This year's national conference on organic urban gardening will be held in Chennai on January 25 and 27 and in Auroville on January 26.

'Community gardening' will be the focus of the conference, now in its third iteration. The event is a gathering of enthusiasts from all over the country, especially those interested in furthering the edible urban gardening movement.

The conference will provide a forum for gardeners from different cities to share their experiences in urban gardening, with a special focus on ‘community gardening’. There are invited talks, discussions, visits to farms and urban gardens and some work sessions.

Community gardening takes the activity beyond private backyards and rooftops, to other contexts where people come together to garden and share the produce. Institutions, schools and after-school centres, low-income settlements, shelters, municipal corporations and private land owners are among those offering their land to create such gardens. A large number of online communities focused on community gardening have also been formed in different cities.

A main session will explore the possibilities and challenges of community gardening as relevant to various Indian contexts. Other topics like 'children and gardening', 'urban garden design', 'waste as a resource in gardening', 'poverty, livelihoods and gardening' and 'food safety issues in urban gardening' will also be covered. There will be practical sessions in local community gardens, besides a day-long visit to three organic farms in Auroville scheduled on Jan 26.

The detailed agenda and registration are available online at http://restoregardens.org/blog

The organizers can be reached by phone at 9500044897 / 9840249251

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