This year the spotlight is on sustainable  produce.

Rather than commissioning the latest catering company, TEDxSydney organisers enlisted food curator, Jill Duplex; head chef of ARIA restaurant, Matt Moran (although you may also know him from Masterchef fame); and a collaboration with Grow It Local (the brainchild of the sustainable strategists at a cool agency in Surry Hills called Republic of Everyone), to help feed the ravenous attendees.

sustainable, food, local

Crowd Farming for TEDxSydney

All 2,200 of them!

The idea was simple – to get local people, families and sustainable companies to grow their own produce or provide foods for the event.

They called the crowd-sourced food initiative, ‘Crowd Farming’!

It’s sort of like a Telethon but instead of pledging money, people grow a few tomatoes or herbs on their balcony or in their backgarden and simply send them off to the event.

In the months leading up to the event, Jill Duplex sent out the message, “We encourage everyone to get involved in some way, even if you’re just contributing a few bunches of basil that seem to have gotten out of control in your yard.”

A logistical nightmare but an awesome idea and food chain solution.

Busy local bees!

Busy local bees!

There were 2 Angus steer from Barrington Tops, herbs from Adelaide, honey from Sydney’s inner west, tomatoes from the north shore, butter made on the premises on the day, and a whole lot of sweat, dirt and fun.

View the overview video here: 

sustainable, local produce

Growing it local

If you’re into gardening, take a look at the video below about the Grow it Local community or simply join them here[youtube=!]

Take action.

TED is all about ideas worth spreading. So take some action. Start investigating sustainable living for yourself.

You may also be interested in two other inspiring speakers from the day:

  • Joost Bakker – talked about growing gardens on walls and rooves
  • James Nathan, founder of – changing the supply chain and providing local food for local restaurants. Cutting out the middle man!