Edible gardens are being established in eight Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs, brining a source of fresh, affordable fruit and vegetables alongside a nutrition education program.

Food security is a fundamental human right and an essential component for self-determination as it relates to health. Food insecurity for Aboriginal people is often described in terms of remote communities, where people buy food from a single community store and prices are often hiked up beyond affordability. What many people don’t realise is food security is also an issue for Aboriginal people living in urban and regional area, including in Alice Springs.

Building on the success of the Amern Mwerr Good Food Gardens approach that was developed in the Utopia Homelands, the Amern Mwerr program is expanding to build food gardens (and associated landscaping) in eight Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs, in partnership with Tangentyere Council, NT Health and PHNNT. The program will also provide support to gardens located at Red Cross, Alice Springs Women’s Shelter and other locations.

These gardens will become a site for producing home grown food, for socializing and for learning about heathy eating and hygiene practices. Crucial to the project’s success is Arid Edge’s approach of providing long term fortnightly/monthly support to gardens and gardeners, organising working bees, training gardeners, providing maintenance support and most importantly cooking up produce together in the gardens.

“The Ilperle Tyathe / Warlpiri Center community garden began to take off at the start of summer with all the young people coming in to water the plants and each other to cool down. The Centre was closed around Christmas and new year and we opened back up to see a little watermelon factory after all the rain and lightning. The plants had around a dozen watermelons at different stages of growth and everyone was pretty excited about this.  We have spent the last month harvesting a watermelon at the start of every week and a couple of rockmelons now and then. There are also a few pumpkins growing that we are working out ways to cook up. It’s been really special growing, harvesting and eating the produce together with everyone at the community Centre,” says Spandana, from Tangentyere Council.



Tangentyere Council, NT Health and PHNNT

Project scope

Amern Mwerr Good Food, landscaping


multiple locations, Alice Springs

Larapinta Valley Community Centre Gardens


Fruits harvested from the ” little watermelon factory” at the Ilperle Tyathe / Warlpiri Center community garden