Knox City Council Urban Agriculture Policy Snapshot

City of Knox Policy Snapshot

 Background and Overview

The City of Knox is located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, between 20 and 25 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD. It is a predominantly residential, with some commercial, industrial and agricultural areas.

Without specific mention in the City Plan, urban agriculture and food growing does feature in a number of key council documents, predominantly the Integrated City Strategy. Knox City Council has combined the Knox Community Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-17, Economic Development Strategy 2008-18, Sustainable Environment Strategy 2008-18 and elements of the Council Plan into one Integrated City Strategy and Implementation Plan. The Gardens for Harvest program is the main mechanism Council uses to implement its policies relating to urban food growing and food access, all of which are outlined in the Integrated City Strategy.

knox

Image via knox.vic.gov.au/gardensforharvest

In addition to the Gardens for Harvest program, there are a number of additional home growing resources that are available on Council website and are used to complement and support the program. These include links to summaries and fact sheets relating to;

  • Companion Planting
  • Crop Rotation
  • Growing Fruit Tree’s and Berries
  • Growing in Small Places
  • Keeping Chickens
  • Natural Pest Control
  • Solving Composting Problems

A number of additional PDF documents may also be found, and include The Gardens for Harvest Guide Book, What to Plant When, Vegetable Planting Guide, Knox Nursery Guide, What Can my Garden Grow. Together these resources represent a substantial and comprehensive guide to growing food at home.

Review of Policies, Plans and Procedures Addressing Urban Agriculture and Related Areas

Name of Document Reference to Urban Agriculture and Related Areas
Gardens For Harvest Program

 

 

Gardens for Harvest is a program that involves a series of workshops that aim to help build skills and knowledge in how to grow your own fresh fruit and veggies and maintain a vegetable garden. The program is run by the Healthy Together Knox and the Sustainable Futures teams of Knox City Council.

The accompanying booklet, Gardens for Harvest Guide Book, provides the necessary tools and information for successfully designing and managing a sustainable food garden. From planning, to building, managing and harvesting, the document provides in-depth explanations on organic systems, soil choice, companion planting, integrated pest management, and many other areas. The guide book is similar in content to the Home Harvest Booklet (City of Moreland, City of Manningham, Nillumbik, Banyule, Whittlesea, Hume, Macedon Ranges, Stonnington, & Wyndham Councils) and City of Darebin’s Sustainable Gardening booklet.

(City of Knox, 2016)

Integrated City Strategy and Implementation Plan (2015-2017) The Integrated City Strategy and Implementation Plan provides robust strategic direction for the City of Knox and reduces duplication of effort across key initiatives. There are two integrated strategies (IS) that relate to food growing and food access;

  • As an outcome for Integrated Strategy 5; ‘Improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of people in Knox and mitigate lifestyle risks such as smoking, risky alcohol consumption and drug use, obesity, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition, through the provision of high-quality services, support, infrastructure, partnerships, advocacy and regulation’, Council aims to encourage healthy food choices in Knox sporting and community groups that operate in Council owned and managed facilities.
  • As an outcome for Integrated Strategy 7; ‘To support community resilience to external influences through efficient use of energy, water and waste resources and planning for adaptation in response to a changing climate’, Council aims to encourage local food production.

(City of Knox, 2015)

Knox Vision, Our City Our Future (2013-2017) Our City Our Future is the shared aspirations between Council and the community for the future vision of the City of Knox. Formulated following an extensive community engagement program it provides an overview of what the ideal future City would look like in 2020.

The only mention of urban agriculture and access to food comes from the ‘call from the community’ section of the report. In a call for ‘more shared resources’, food security is identified as a key challenge for Knox; “Local production and community based solutions such as community gardens” are identified as ways to help address concerns surrounding food insecurity. In addition to the call for more locally based food production, some community members also identify that Council needs to be a leader in the sustainable consumption of resources, and in utilising and promoting new green technologies.

(2013, City of Knox)

Review of Existing or Developing Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Strategies

Snapshot & Summary  
Strategy / Framework / NA Framework
Does the Strategy or Framework integrate existing policy documents that explicitly address or make reference to urban agriculture and related area? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to the Council Plan and appear to be integrated into the achievement of the Plan’s major objectives? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to and integrate the objectives of The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Act (2008) into its framework? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise and address the ecological, economic, environmental, social welfare, cultural, and social benefits of urban agriculture and local food systems? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise the interconnectedness of urban food systems (from production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, nutrient/waste capturing, and recycling)? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework have an action or implementation plan, a set of indicators, or feedback mechanisms that will allow it to evaluate its development, achievements, successes, obstacles, barriers and lessons. NA
Is there an educational component of the Strategy or Framework? NA
Is the Strategy being overseen by a dedicated Food Policy Liaison Officer? NA

References:

  1. 2016, City of Knox, Gardens for Harvest Program, Available From; http://www.knox.vic.gov.au/gardensforharvest
  2. 2015, City of Knox, Integrated City Strategy and Implementation Plan, Available From; https://www.knox.vic.gov.au/Files/Plans/Integrated_City_Strategy_FINAL_July_2015.pdf
  3. 2013, City of Knox, Our City Our Future, Available From; https://www.knox.vic.gov.au/Files/Plans/Vision.pdf

 

Henry Crawford, Sustain: The Australian Food Network, 2016.

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