Urban farming as transformation: Green Institute Conference 2023

By Elissa Jenkins October 20, 2023

This recording is from The City Transformed: Urban life at the end of the world as we know it – Green Institute Conference 2023, specifically the session entitled Urban farming as transformation featuring “Creating Food Resilient Neighbourhoods”, with Gabriel Reese; “What’s Next in Urban Farming”, with Fiona Buining; and “Agrihood and the #growfoodathome movement”, with Thiago Barbosa. Facilitated by Green Institute Board Chair Rebecca Galdies.

Gabriel Reese

Gabriel’s first foray into activism began when he found himself helping to reform the NZ/Aotearoa Green Party in 1989 as a passionate 23 year old, becoming a dedicated Green Party campaigner over the following five years. This experience and its impact on my worldview led to two decades working in the human rights, environment, animal rights and green political spheres – including being the Campaigns Manager/Director for Amnesty International, Compassion in World Farming, Greenpeace, Safe Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) and the NZ Greens National Campaign Manager for the 2008 elections.

His activism also inspired Gabriel to complete a Masters degree in International Politics with a particular focus on underlying value-systems that connect transnational social movements. He has been working for two Greens Councillors (Jonno & Trina) at The Gabba Ward in Brisbane for the last six years.

Fiona Buining

Fiona Buining runs Ainslie Urban Farm where she grows microgreens for local restaurants. Her 1/4 block, developed following permaculture principles, has two greenhouses, over 50 fruit trees, nuts, berries, vegetables, beehives, chickens and working rabbits. Fiona is a passionate educator who works as a consultant and runs workshops and tours.

Fiona travelled for her Churchill Fellowship in 2022 to the USA, Canada, The UK and the Netherlands to investigate urban farm ventures that provide vocational pathways for aspiring food growers.

As the result of her Fellowship findings Fiona is working towards establishing an Urban Farm Incubator with a productive farm at the hub offering a continuum of training in urban farming including apprenticeships.

Thiago Barbosa

Thiago Barbosa is an agroforestry pioneer in Australia who for the past 10 years has been spreading the knowledge of this unique food production and land management technique. Driven by a deep respect for the natural world, Thiago has helped countless individuals, from backyard gardeners to farmers to transition from conventional to more ecologically sound practices. Beyond his practical expertise, Thiago is also a gifted teacher and communicator. His engaging workshops and talks have inspired audiences across Australia and around the world. His enthusiasm is contagious, and he encourages everyone around him to take action toward a better future.


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