Edible Gardens

Discovery Circle Edible Gardens logo

Impress friends and family with your food garden? Or maybe you wish you could grow food as well as Costa? Join the Edible Gardens project to discover more about the ins and outs of your own food producing garden!

Get started: to get involved, first complete our online survey, then we will select participants for “Phase 2”, garden data collection (read the details below).

Complete the online survey

View participating garden results:

View participating gardens

Enter garden data (you must have completed the survey):

Enter new garden data

About the project

“Many people want to know what they’re putting into their food gardens and how much food they’re producing. There are so many different ways you can grow food, but which method best matches the results that you’re after for your garden? Do you want to try to save money? Or to use less water? Or maybe you just want to grow more food? This project will help you figure that out, and learn all about your garden while you do so.”   – PhD Researcher Georgia Pollard

Producing food in urban areas is known as urban agriculture, see our blog for more information on urban agriculture and growing food. Previous research has found that over half of all South Australian households grow some of their own food. However, very little research has been done on how much food these urban gardens can produce, or how much time, money or water it takes to grow that food. This project is a big step to better understanding urban agriculture in South Australia.

How to participate

This project is open to all South Australian home, community and school gardens. There are three phases you can contribute to:

Phase 1. Start by completing our online survey (you can volunteer for subsequent phases of the project at the end of the survey)

We will then select participants for one (or both) of the next two phases:

Phase 2. Collect data on your own food garden (we send participants a data collection toolkit)
Phase 3. Focus group conversations about the importance of urban food production

So if you grow any kind of vegetables, fruits or herbs. Or if you keep chickens, other poultry, raise fish or keep bees – we want to hear from you!

Phase 1. Online survey details

The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It asks questions on why people choose to grow food in urban spaces and the benefits of doing so. At the end of the survey you will be asked if you would like to volunteer for subsequent phases of the project. Click here to complete the online survey.

Phase 2. Garden data collection details

We have 200 data collection toolkits to share. Each toolkit includes a water meter, a spring-balance scale, data-sheets, instructions, a clipboard and pencil. Selected participants are posted a toolkit to help them measure four things:

  • Time spent on their food garden
  • Money spent on their food garden
  • Water applied to their food garden
  • The quantity of food their garden produces

Once participants receive a toolkit they can start collecting data. When they enter their data online they will be able to see their results as an interactive chart, and compare their garden’s results with those of other participants. If we run out of toolkits, we will provide details on how anyone can collect and enter their own data into our system!

Phase 2 began in Spring 2016 and is ongoing, but participants can collect data for any length of time (such as 3 or 6 months) if they want to. Just keep in mind that the longer the data collection period, the clearer the results will be.

Nutritional and retail value reports: when the selected participants are finished collecting data they will be sent a final report on their garden’s results. This report will contain the nutritional value and the retail value of all the food they grew during the project.

Phase 3. Focus group conversation details 

We want to hear from you – what is the best experience you’ve had in your garden? Are you satisfied with how much food you currently grow? If this sounds like your kind of conversation, register your interest at the end of the online survey. One focus group will involve 1.5 hours of your time and you can choose a time that best suits you.

Current participants

Here you can see how many people have participated in the Edible Gardens online survey and the spread of suburbs and postcodes across South Australia. Please Note: no individuals’ address is identified (this map shows suburb or town markers only). Click on the map to enable zooming and moving the map!

For project updates, follow our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thediscoverycircle

Questions & Answers

Don’t currently have a food garden?
You can still complete the online survey.

Don’t have access to the internet to complete the survey?
We can send you a paper copy of the survey (please call us to ask for one). However, the survey works much better online (it lets you skip questions that you don’t need to answer), so please do it online if you can!

Don’t live in South Australia but still want to participate?
Please contact us and we will see what we can do.

Project team

Contact us

You can contact us via email: discoverycircle@unisa.edu.au
Or by phone: 08 8302 9999