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Top End Remote Food Gardens Study and Website



The aim of the Top End Remote Food Gardens Study and Website project was to trial a reduced-cost, remotely supported school gardening program that would improve the uptake and reduce the cost of school gardening, nutrition and cooking in remote communities.

The study came about after over 20 remote community gardens were located in the Northern Territory in 2011. Information from these gardens on the perceived benefits, barriers and enablers to the sustainable operation of remote Indigenous food gardens informed the Top End Remote Food Gardens Study and Website project. Interviews were conducted with garden participants and how the garden operated was also documented.

The study found:

This study demonstrated that a program such as this can:

Supporting the Top End Remote Food Gardens Study and Website project were public health nutritionists, remote horticulturalists and education personnel. The project was funded by General Practice Education and Training Academic Post. Menzies School of Health Research collaborated with Charles Darwin University, the Northern Territory Department of Health, the Northern Territory Department of Education and the Department of Resources, Horticulture division.

This project commenced in January 2011 and was completed in December 2012.

Abstract adapted from Menzies School of Health Research


Dr Andrew Hume (Project Manager)
Dr Julie Brimblecombe (Chief Investigator)
Menzies School of Health Research
John Matthews Building (JMB)
Building 58, Royal Darwin Hospital Campus
Darwin NT 0811
PO Box 41096
Casuarina NT 0811
Ph: (08) 8922 8196 (Reception)
Fax: (08) 8927 5187

Related publications

Let's Dig: a school garden resource (2013)

Northern Territory Department of Health

The Let's dig: a school garden resource offers ideas and fun activities to encourage and support interest in healthy eating, food production and cooking in the school setting. Let's dig! has four components suitable for children from transition to year 6. Teachers can expand the activities to suit the learning needs of their students by utilising the extension activities in each component.

The four components are:

      1. nutrition - contains a range of ideas for teachers to start nutrition education with extension activities included to cover a wide range of student ages. The activities in this section are based on the National Heart Foundation's Eat smart play smart resource
      2. gardening - contains activities designed to encourage students to learn about the garden before, during and after the growing process. Activities are done in the class room as well as in the school garden and can be adapted to suit class needs
      3. food safety - contains activities covering safe food storage and handling, handwashing, hygiene and unsafe food
      4. cooking - contains a range of cooking activities to reinforce the food safety principles learnt from the food safety section.

There are additional resources available to support teachers in the delivery of the activities.

This resource was produced to support the Top End remote school garden project, which was collaboration between the Northern Territory's Departments of Education and Children's Services, Primary Industry and Fisheries and Health and the Menzies School of Health Research.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Last updated: 1 June 2017
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