growing the community
Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla (SAGE) is a not-for-profit, community based organisation whose mission is to create and support a NSW South Coast sustainable fair food economy and food sovereignty for local communities.
The vision behind SAGE is a reflection of the concern that many local people have about food production in our country. Globalisation, agri-business, widespread use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers, genetically modified species, and domination of food distribution by major supermarkets, all threaten our right to access good, clean, real, fair food.
Established in 2009, SAGE began as an education and demonstration project for sustainable agricultural and horticultural practices. Our intent was to create the opportunity for people in the region to redress the loss of healthy food growing and cooking skills through education in all disciplines of sustainable agriculture and gardening.
SAGE aims for a range of community benefits including:
- greater community access to good, clean, local, fair food
- increasing local community food production, preparation and cooking knowledge
- increasing the number of people growing a significant amount of their own food
- developing horticultural skills to increase local employment and self-employment
- “growing the growers” through education for both home and commercial growers
- enhancing the sense of community in the shire through the growing and use of food
- providing fresh, healthy local food for those in need in our community
- increasing local food sovereignty, security, democracy and resilience in our region.
SAGE is acting locally to create a local sustainable fair food economy with our local community. Our efforts are part of the national and global food sovereignty movement; the biggest social movement in the world.
Food sovereignty is the right of people to have healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and the right to define our own food and agriculture systems. Food sovereignty gives communities control over the way their food is produced, traded and consumed. It creates food systems designed to help the people and the environment, rather than make profits for multinational corporations.
Fair food is the term used for food sovereignty in Australia. Fair food is about communities taking back control of our food systems, connecting with where our food comes from and who grows it, and creating local food economies that are fair for farmers, consumers and the environment.
The original SAGE Plan was produced in 2009 and outlined SAGE’s initial aims and actions. These and much more have been achieved over the past seven years.
- established the SAGE block including the home garden, commercial market garden, orchard, “house”, water, irrigation and solar power
- trained new growers and increased the number of commercial growers in the region
- run many events and workshops on growing and using local food
- developed a national award winning farmers market
- donated fresh food grown in our garden to local groups
- built relationships across the community
- gained recognition as a positive, practical community enterprise.
The Eurobodalla Shire has great potential to continue to evolve as a vibrant, clean and green local food agricultural production region and food tourism destination. We have big visions for the future of SAGE and the local fair food economy.