We recently caught up with our favourite Bondi hipster farmer, Byron Smith, the founder, and chief green thumb of Urban Growers. Byron and his team are taking over our urban cities one edible garden at a time, and empowering city dwellers and locals alike to source their food the right way.
Over 90% of Australians are living in urban environments; Urban Growers aims to educate communities and individuals on how to activate these spaces with their own locally grown, nourishing food.
Urban Growers has already installed gardens and bee hives around Sydney city including on the rooftops of Qantas, Optus, OzHarvest, and working alongside the guys at Three Blue Ducks.
Check out how Byron spends his days and what drives his passion for creating Urban Growers.
Why did you start Urban Growers?
I created Urban Growers from a seed, a little idea that would allow a lifestyle of being outdoors, meeting new people, creating productive gardens while continuing to learn and educate. We both loved the idea of creating simple edible gardens for family homes, local cafes, and corporates wanting to integrate this kind of sustainable living into their workspaces. It is from this little seed that we were able to bring Urban Growers to life.
What does a day in the life of a city farmer look like?
It starts by letting the chooks out at home to forage in the backyard while I’m out and about. Gardens are always evolving so we check in on our clients gardens to give them a helping hand and maybe plant some some new goodies. We might have a beehive to inspect and some honey to harvest. Heading out west to the big nurseries to pick up a fig tree or two to add to a new garden or concept design. If the surf is looking good perhaps a meeting with the ocean just to clarify things.
What companies are you working with?
Three Blue Ducks in Bronte was the birthplace of Urban Growers. The boys’ ethos and support has allowed us to experiment growing a range of food for their kitchen. Since then we’ve created gardens for homes and commercial spaces across Sydney, [including] Koskela, Ozharvest, Westfield, Qantas and Macquarie Group. These companies have utilised unused spaces and rooftops for us to create productive gardens for their staff and communities to enjoy and learn. It’s a positive step to improve people’s connection with each other and the environment.
What are you hoping to achieve with your installations?
We believe education is the key to improving people’s awareness of food and food production. Our goal is to teach others the value of growing produce for themselves through practical workshops within our gardens. Activating spaces to yield an abundance of fresh organic food is a valuable asset for our city dwellers; educating these people gears them with the confidence and skills to discover their connection with the environment, community, and the joy of harvesting real food.
What’s next for Urban Growers?
We will keep growing, educating, and finding new ways to inspire more and more people to grow their own food. The more urban farms we create, workshops we run and the more seeds we plant will create more awareness about how, as a society, we can better connect with our food and the environment. Growing this network of green thumbs and broadening our community to include fun new projects and avenues of inspiration is high on the priority list.
To order yourself an urban farm get in touch with Byron at urbangrowers.com.au