Incredible Edible Broome (IEB)

  • Food in the Built Environment
  • Healthy food access
  • Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
    Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
  • Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
    Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
  • Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
    Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share
Introduction

Incredible Edible Broome (IEB) is a volunteer community group initiated in 2013 by a group of keen gardeners. The name was adopted from the ‘Incredible Edible’ movement, founded in Todmorden, UK. The Incredible Edible philosophy is to garden where you can, with what you have, rather than wait around for funding, grants, or the right time to garden. Three years into the program, IEB has a significant following, with approximately 500 people on their mailing list.

Description of project

IEB have a number of completed and ongoing projects. The most well-known and regular event is the Edible CIRCLE Fresh Food Share, held at Broome CIRCLE (Broome Community House) on the first Saturday of every month. Members of the public come together to exchange fresh produce, seeds, seedlings, empty egg cartons and jars. Broome residents have limited access to green grocers, or stores where fresh, locally grown produce is available. This was one of the main drivers for IEB, with Broome residents becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the produce supplied at the major supermarkets. Recognising that buying fresh produce can be difficult for a lot of people, IEB provides an avenue to obtain fresh food without having to pay financially for it. For example, the 2013 WA Food Access and Cost Survey (Pollard et al, 2015) showed that for families living in remote communities, in which both parents were reliant on welfare, they would have to spend 50% of their income to feed their family a nutritious diet. This compares to around 14% for the average Australian family. Therefore, IEB aims to reduce the stress of accessing fresh food for at risk populations. IEB became incorporated in 2016. 
 

Project team
  • Volunteer members from the following areas:
  • Nutrition
  • Indigenous land management,
  • Environmental science
  • Aquaculture
  • Indigenous youth support services
  • Environmental health,
  • Aboriginal health sector
Project cost

IEB operates on little to no money. The group has been fortunate to have received several grants over the past few years. This support, combined with added income through fundraising and entry fees, has enabled IEB to expand project goals and outcomes.

Health value

IEB’s key objective is to improve access and availability of fresh food for Broome residents. While consumption of fresh food is linked to better physical health outcomes, there is also a significant mental health aspect to this event. There is currently no local evidence to support this, however the broader literature base suggests that gardening and related activities positively impact people’s health and well-being (Barton & Pretty, 2010). Feedback from community residents often reflects this.  

Economic value

Food in the Kimberley is expensive and the quality of fresh food is poor in comparison to metropolitan areas. IEB’s ‘Fresh Food Share’ attempts to make fresh food more accessible and available at no financial cost. Instead, participants re-distribute resources for the good of all parties involved. 

Environmental value

IEB’s ‘Fresh Food Share’ is a green approach for excess inventory and time. A significant reduction in transport costs of food could be achieved if more fresh food was produced locally. Where there is food produced in the Kimberley, little is sold directly to residents, so in many cases food may travel 4000km before it gets back to the community – and the freight price is passed on to residents. 

Social value

IEB’s ‘Fresh Food Share’ provides more than just improved access and availability to healthy fresh food. The project also helps to empower people, building social inclusion and connectedness, by banding people together. 

The group also donates leftover produce to charities around Broome, including the Women’s Refuge, and the Feed the Little Children initiative.

Use value

IEB’s ‘Fresh Food Share’ is held at Broome Community House, which is managed by Broome CIRCLE. Broome Circle is a community organisation that runs a variety of community education groups including; money management, after-school programs, sewing groups, and a crèche. Broome Community House is located within close proximity to the Broome Weekend Markets, making this an ideal location to capture market-goers.

References

Barton, J. & Pretty, J, 2010, ‘What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis’, Environ. Sci. Technol, Volume 44, Number 10, pp. 3947–3955

Pollard, CM, Savage, V., Landrigan, T., Hanbury, A, and Kerr, D. (2015). Food Access and Cost Survey, Department of Health, Perth, Western Australia.