Grow It Local is your local grow community. A celebration of backyard, balcony, community and window-sill farmers across the country.
Grow It Local is a plant-powered mission to make life happier, healthier and more delicious. We aim to achieve this by making growing food simple, social and fun.
We aim to get more Australians growing, sharing and eating locally-grown foods by:
- Making organic food growing knowledge more accessible.
- Increasing the production and consumption of locally grown foods.
- Providing a connection to nature.
- Inspiring positive health and wellbeing.
- Helping build stronger and more resilient communities.
- Increasing composting and reducing organic food waste to landfill.
- Doing something delicious and having a little fun!
Why get involved?
GROW: Get inspired by seeing who’s growing locally and what's under cultivation.
LEARN: Join our free monthly gardening workshops or subscribe to our Seed Service and skill yourself up to grow healthy organic food, no matter your level of experience.
SHARE: Connect with local growers to share knowledge, expertise, produce, recipes and more.
EAT: Attend local food experiences that celebrate local produce, growers, chefs and like-minded businesses.
How you can join our grassroots movement
Put your patch on the map
Add your patch to our giant map of Aussie edible gardens. Tell people a little about what you're growing, plus find other growers near you and connect to share, knowledge, skills and more. Registering your patch is a free and easy process that takes less than 5 minutes.
Sign up for free workshops
Each month, we offer free and exclusive 'learn to grow' workshops to our community — connecting you with leading Australian growers and designed to help educate and inspire you to get growing healthy local food in your own patch or windowsill. See all live and on-demand workshops here.
Join our next Seed Service grow-along
Our Seed Service subscription is a #FoolProof way to grow your own veg from scratch, even if you're a total beginner. Join and learn from our gardening guides as they grow this season's seeds right along with you! And then top Aussie chefs will show you how to cook the produce you've grown in your own backyard! Join the national grow-along here.
How we got started
Grow It Local is brought to you by the folks behind Garage Sale Trail, an annual weekend-long event powered by hundreds of councils nationally, which aims to encourage reusing items, reduce waste to landfill, connect local communities, provide a platform for fundraising and inspire a little creativity and fun.
The team first brought Grow It Local to life in 2012. It was a ‘crowd farming’ initiative that generated lots of interest and was a lot of fun. At this time, our team included Jess Miller, Ben Peacock, Jordan Sly and the awesome folks at Sydney's Three Blue Ducks restaurant.
Local growers were invited to put their patch on the map and donate some homegrown produce, which was then transformed into a mind-blowing growers' feast at Three Blue Ducks in Bronte.
The ‘crowd farming’ idea caught on and we were soon approached by Remo Guiffre of TEDx and food extraordinaire Jill Dupliex with an outrageous idea to crowd farm for 2,200 people at the Opera House. The results exceeded all expectations.
Since then, we've done some serious growing.
In late 2019, we returned with gusto, fired up for our mission to help get more folks growing, sharing and eating locally grown food.
We now partner with hundreds of councils nationally to bring monthly workshops, seeds and a heap of gardening knowledge to local growers all over the country. We welcome you to join our plant-powered revolution!
Can you dig it?! xx
Paul West — Co-Founder & Head of Content Programming
Author, broadcaster, chef, surfer and master grower, Paul West (who you might remember from that famous TV show River Cottage...) brings his edible expertise to Grow It Local as Co-founder and Head of Content Programming. Paul is now on a mission to share his extensive knowledge to create a thriving Aussie gardening community and help new growers experience the magic of delicious, fresh and organic homegrown food.
Darryl Nichols — Co-Founder
A local to Sydney's Bondi Beach, Darryl is an advocate for the lo-fi lifestyle — switch off, slow down, grow something and enjoy homegrown and homemade food. It's easier than most people think.
As co-founder of Australia's Garage Sale Trail, Darryl says Garage Sale Trail is about our stuff, while Grow It Local is about our food — but both are about community. Let's connect and grow together.
Andrew Valder — Co-Founder
"Give me the boy until seven and I’ll give you the man" or so the saying goes. Andrew’s first memories as a kid involve gently sticking purpley-brown bean seeds beneath the soil’s surface at his family home in Sydney. Mandarin trees groaning with fruit, growing cobs of corn and picking plentiful tomatoes.
Fast forward to now and edible gardening remains Andrew's connection with nature — plus a way to teach his kids that food doesn't actually come from the supermarket! With Grow It Local, Andrew hopes to bring communities together and encourage a more sustainable way to live.
Diego Trigo — Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Living in Byron Bay since 2018, Diego has a pumping veggie garden made from secondhand timber. Known as 'the curry-man', Diego has the biggest curry tree in town and is proud to share it with anyone on a cooking mission. He's also a tech guru, specialising in mobile apps and complex system integrations. When he's not entertained with his backyard patch or on his computer, you can find Diego playing saxophone around iconic pubs across the Northern Rivers.
Merlina Neloe — National Councils Manager
What was only supposed to be a short contract role with Garage Sale Trail evolved into a passion for grassroots movements that make a difference. Merlina now works with council partners across the country to facilitate both Grow It Local and Garage Sale Trail, and loves being part of a national community movement. Most in her element when outdoors, Merlina thrives off coastal runs, bush walks and camping. Although she grew up in the city fringe, she’s happiest when she’s connected to nature, be it surrounded by trees or immersed in the ocean.
Koren Helbig — Head of Content & Digital Marketing
Koren has a passion for urban permaculture and loves growing organic food at her small home in Tarntanya / Adelaide, South Australia. She spent 15+ years working as a journalist in Australia and Spain before branching into digital marketing. Since studying her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2017, Koren has focused on helping sustainable businesses communicate to amplify their positive impact. She also writes a permaculture gardening column for the ABC.
Rami Mukhtar — Advisor
Patch to plate has been a passion since childhood. Quickly outgrowing his suburban backyard and pushing his garage hydroponics veggie patch to the limit, Rami uprooted his family from urban Sydney in pursuit of two acres in the Northern Rivers. He now lives in patch to plate utopia with year-round sub-tropical growing. A great meal is one that starts from planting the seeds months earlier. When not growing food Rami, loves growing companies and innovation through early-stage venture capital and mentorship.
Farmer Alana — Seed Service Growing Guru
An urban grower from Perth with 10+ years of veggie gardening experience, Alana offers 1:1 horticultural support to all our Seed Service subscribers. In 2021, Alana crowd-funded to turn her small Perth front yard into a permaculture market garden — now known as Project 76 — to feed her suburb. Alana also has a Diploma in Sustainable Living and is a mural artist, community garden founder, waste educator and youth officer.
Costa Georgiadis — Ambassador
“There is nothing more important than a community of growers. Grow It Local says let's come together and let's grow,” Costa says. We're so proud to have Australia's most famous gardener on board as an Ambassador for our local grow community.