How to feed an entire conference with local food? Ask the crowd!

imageTEDxSydney’s crowd-farmed feast (Photo: TEDxSydney)

This year, the team at TEDxSydney took on a seemingly impossible task: feed 2,200 people with only the food grown in their own backyards. There was fear; there was trepidation; there were even pigs; but, in the end, the mission was successful.
Michael of Milkwood Farm with his contribution to TEDxSydney 2013

How did they do it? With a lot of volunteers, a lot of vegetables, and — surprisingly — a lot of honeybees. And why? A year ago, a group of enterprising Sydney DIYers decided to throw a giant dinner party comprised of dishes cooked completely from “community-harvested” food — food sourced from people whose farms are on windowsills and balconies, in backyards and neighborhood blocks. The dinner served as the launch party for Grow it Local, an online community dedicated to mapping and supporting the non-traditional farms of Sydney’s citizens, allowing urban gardeners to add their “patches” to a giant collaborative map, and share advice and tips with one another.
imageLocally-grown goods take over TEDxSydney (Photo: TEDxSydney)

Remo Giuffre — the curator of TEDxSydney and an urban gardener himself — attended the dinner and decided that in 2013, TEDxSydney had to work with Grow it Local for something special. "As a local,” he said, “I was at that original dinner in 2012 … and I remember loving the cozy community vibe. It was my idea to try to bring that vibe to TEDxSydney 2013.”

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