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How wonky veggies or kooky chooks could make you a winner

Think you have the best home veggie patch around? How about winning wonky veggies, or the best chicken name?

Sunshine Coast growers in the backyard, school patch or community garden have the chance to impress the nation, as entries open for the annual Grow It Local Awards.

Judges include Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis, and winners from each category will be awarded prize packs of gardening supplies, along with a bumper crop of bragging rights.

Supported by Sunshine Coast Council’s Living Smart Program, the Grow It Local initiative aims to bring fun and creativity to food growing, with the awards featuring quirky categories to engage growers of all means and expertise.

Woman Holding Up Giant Carrots As Part of the Grow It Local Wonky Veggies Competition

A Biggest Vegetable category winner for the 2021 Grow It Local Awards. Image credit: @urbanveggiepatch


Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said more than 560 members were registered in the Grow It Local community.

Cr Suarez said this showed a rapid uptake since council first partnered with Grow It Local in 2022.

“Growing food at home, schools or community gardens is a fantastic way to foster a connection to nature and healthy lifestyles, and an easy step for residents to live more sustainably within our Sunshine Coast Biosphere.

“Council’s partnership with Grow It Local aims to empower everyone to access skills, knowledge and inspiration to grow food, whether in a backyard, balcony, kitchen or shared garden.”

Grow It Local co-founder, broadcaster and author Paul West said the annual awards were fast growing in popularity.

“Community interest in growing food has exploded, and here at Grow It Local we’re all about making growing food simple, social and fun,” Mr West said.

Woman Holds Wonky Veggies Like a Moustache

The winning entry for the Wonkiest Vegetable category in the 2022 Grow It Local Awards. Image credit: @kathshomeandgarden

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To enter the Grow It Local Awards, gardeners must:

  1. Be a member of the Grow It Local community, with registration a free and easy process at growitlocal.com.
  2. Post a photo showing their entry with the hashtag #growitlocalawards on Instagram or Facebook
  3. Tag @growitlocal
  4. Mention Sunshine Coast Council and the award category in the post caption.

Entries open February 1, and close March 30, 2023.

To check out the winners of the 2022 awards, visit the Grow It Local website.

Grow It Local Awards 2023 categories

  • Wonkiest vegetable or vegetable that most looks like…
  • The why I love my patch award: only a grower knows the feeling
  • Australia’s best chicken name
  • Homegrown hero: community champion award
  • School garden: growing the future
  • Sustainable gardener award
  • Homegrown harvest award
  • Dept of Environment Dingo campaign
  • Event Crowd - Pet Show ROS

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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