Launching GROW: Brisbane

Campaigning for change article written on the 03 Jun 2011

Photo: OxfamAUS

Clouds loomed but rain held off and the weekly Wednesday Brisbane CBD Farmers Market were humming as always – even more so with the presence of Oxfam’s Grow campaigners who had the crowds flocking to their stall with giveaways of herb and vegetable seedlings to encourage shoppers to go home and grow the movement for food justice.

Spinach seemed the clear preference of the day, followed closely by parsley and bok choi – with good old Iceberg lettuces trailing the favourites a little.

But stall visitors were not only in it for what they could take away free – many were keen to let us in on their snippets of gardening advice too (apparently, the best way to keep the grubs from eating broccoli plants is with a spray of crushed fennel and chilli with a little natural soap to bind it to the leaves).

Shoppers buzzed, with close to 100 Grow survey forms and booklets completed and distributed in little over an hour. And while some struggled with the first survey question to pick their number one favourite food, all seemed to have clear ideas about the things that they weigh up in choosing their families’ food, the factors impacting food prices and about whether farmers get paid enough for their produce and labour.

It was then off around the corner to King George Square for a photoshoot with our local newspaper – sporting our gorgeous new purple and green Grow banners and a fresh contingent of lunchtime volunteers – again with seedlings and ideas of new and interesting ways to get the people of Brisbane to work together to fix broken food systems and find better ways to GROW.