The Frontyard Garden
We are working with permaculture principles to experiment with how the pleasure and responsibilities of a common garden play out in a shared space with temporary residents. At Frontyard there are now four raised garden beds, a sweet potato patch, and worm farm all overlooked by resident trees. The garden is abundant with many energies: it is a place for food, a place to gather and a place to learn. At Frontyard we look at the garden as a sign and example of vitality - if the garden is thriving, so are we.
Connect with the garden
If you want to get your hands dirty in good company then check the events calendar for our regular garden working bees. You can also join the #garden channel on our slack space (join here) where we share updates and observations about what's happening in the garden week to week.
- Principles/philosophy - (More details to come...)
- Permaculture principles in the garden and beyond. (More details to come...)
- Undermine scarcity
- Abolish prisons?
The garden seeds
In 2016 the Frontyard janitors and friends installed two raised beds in the backyard of 228 Illawarra Road. Sydney artist Gilbert Grace provided design and permaculture advice while 107 Projects gifted second hand wood and other building materials.
The garden grows
Over two weekends in late 2017 several tonnes of heavy garden beds and soil were shifted to Frontyard by a couple of Frontyard Janitors and an intrepid crew of volunteers from Marrickville/Sydney and from as far as Newcastle. The four garden beds were shifted from "Earlwood Farm", a project of love, labour and place in Inner Sydney that wrapped up in 2018. The beds had been installed at Earlwood Farm by the artist Gabrielle Di Vietri, and a large team of volunteers, when Di Vietri boycotted the Biennale of Sydney in 2014.
At the end of Jennifer Mae Hamilton's Frontyard residency in January 2018, she instigated a working bee to populate two of the four garden beds. A collection of volunteer gardeners turned compost in to the soil, planted green manure, herbs and vegetables. Tomatoes and pumpkins sprouted from the compost, fruiting well in to the Sydney winter.
The future of the two unpopulated garden beds currently resting up against the wall is still under discussion.
The garden futures
- Seed harvesting
- Sustainable food production - learning how to grow food in the inner city
- Entanglements - many residents collaborate with the Frontyard garden. Many more think with and through gardens generally to alternative ways of thriving. Here are just a few: