Grow Free

Grow Free is about making our food locally grown, organic and free. Food grown by the community for the community.

This fast growing community of backyard growers not only share their passion for home grown produce but share the produce itself for free and its not just for the experienced grower as there are many ways of becoming involved with the Grow Free story.

There are the growing number of "sharing carts" which are small colourful trolleys outside shops, cafes and people's houses. There could be one possibly in your local neighborhood as the count for carts is gaining daily. Carts are loaded up with fresh produce from the community who drop off their overabundance of produce to share. "Take what you need and give what you can" is the philosophy of the carts.

There are a group of growers busy producing seedlings for free so that people can start their own good food giving garden using the hardy stock of heritage seedlings. You will often see seedlings in the sharing carts.

There are the workshops, working bees and information trading that forms a great support and community building. Learn and take home some free seedlings to start your garden and share the output of the seed in return. There are many members willing to support you in all aspects of creating your own great produce at home.

Andrew Barker started Grow Free whilst living in the Fleurieu and is now based in Strathalbyn. Originally from Mildura he moved to a farm in Meadows and developed a taste for gardening. One day whilst standing at the supermarket he was surprised by what people are actually buying and eating and passing these habits to their kids. He says, "We are living in a world where many people are struggling". Even what we call traditional middle class families are struggling to meet their bills. "They can't afford to buy organic with the family budget only extending to basics and what supermarkets offer". Many times its not knowing how simple it really is to grow your own.

It is easy to become part of the Grow Free community. Facebook is the best way to communicate and there is a website being developed to cope as the community is building daily within South Australia and now has a Victorian chapter which is growing by the hundreds every week.

The Affordable Team caught up with Andrew in-between cart visits at the Mount Barker Free Produce Market. Listen to the interview below.