When Josh Collings returned to his burnt-out home in last year's Upper Murray bushfires, the only thing that survived was his veggie patch.
It was a sign of hope and he knew he could play a role.
With the Upper Murray cut off from food supplies for several weeks, Mr Collings wanted to find a way to address the shortage.
He was one of eight members of an Upper Murray food swap group, and after some brainstorming and serious fundraising, Acres and Acres was born.
The market garden initiative grows healthy and affordable food for the local community and he and his team have established a tool library for farmers involved in the co-op so they can borrow materials they don't have.
Fast forward to the end of 2021 and Mr Collings, a former photographer and filmmaker, has been nominated as Community Legend in the Victorian Health Promotion Awards for his efforts.
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"We can't solve every issue, but the idea is we can show a model to use community resources and share equipment to make local food possible at a fair price," he said.
"It's been a bit overwhelming in lots of ways and maybe we've bitten off too much, but we're chewing really hard.
"We've already employed a few people and we're supplying food. We hope we can do it at a price that doesn't have to rise because it's grown locally and our costs won't skyrocket.
"There's a lot of resilience and there's a lot of talk about food prices over Christmas due to rain, COVID and disasters up north.
"All of those things have a massive effect on how food is created."
Acres and Acres manages gardens at Tintaltra, Towong and Corryong and has also formed partnerships with farmers at Beechworth and the Indigo Valley.
"We're starting to work together and connect to make the project viable and we've got lots of volunteers involved," Mr Collings said.
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