This garden is allotment-based, mostly individual allotments plus a shared allotment area. There are around 50 garden plots which are rented out yearly to those with limited household space for growing.
There are regular working bees and social BBQs. These provide opportunities for gardeners to mingle, share freshly grown produce, swap seeds and pitch in to help maintain the site.
Everyone loves a good pie. You can get an average pie anywhere but a pie that surprises you with its complex flavour in a package so simple and familiar is rare. Gourmet Pies takes pride in its pies; quality ingredients and all handmade. The available pies include: beef and mushroom; beef burgundy; beef curry; chicken and mushroom; chunky steak; chunky steak and cheese; pulled lamb and caramalised onion; red lentil and ratatouille; scallop and saffron; tandoori chicken; traditional plain aussie pie; and vegetarian.
The garden caters for a wide range of abilities and has a number of membership-options. The idea behind the garden is to share knowledge and to learn from each other. There is a mixture of individual and communal plots that are maintained through monthly working bees. The people come together through their mutual love of growing and, if you become a member, you will have the opportunity to meet and share with like-minded individuals, it will save you money over the long term and you will have a positive environmental impact by turning waste into a resource. A committee, who are dedicated to maintaining its future, runs the garden.
Luther's specialises in fruit-centric, seasonal ice creams and sorbets. The flavours available change depending on what's in season in Victoria but you will usually find both unexpected combinations (e.g. thyme choc chip and peach & basil sorbet) and refined classics (e.g. strawberries & cream and strawberry sorbet). All ingredients are from within Victoria and all products are sold in compostable cups or cones.
Depending on season, example fruit sorbets include strawberry/mint, lemon/thyme, raspberry/lemon verbena and peach/basil. Example fruit ice creams include: passionfruit custard, lemon cream, strawberries & cream, honey, rosemary & orange and apricot / rum. Example non-fruit ice creams include: vanilla/brown butter, fresh mint choc chip and thyme/chocolate.
The Merri Corner Community Garden was conceived in 2006 by a group of passionate Brunswick East locals and opened in 2010. It has around 40 plots where plotholders grow a variety of herbs and veggies. Members are from the local area and often don't have access to much garden space at home.
All are welcome to visit. There is an open garden / working bee on the second Sunday of each month, 10am-midday.
Local outlets:Rose St Pantry, Fitzroy
Terra Madre, Northcote
Notes (in their own words):
Palace Pies make vegan savoury pies, including minced mushroom pie, chilli chipotle pie, spinach & ricotta pie (soy) and roasted cauliflower pie. They do not use faux meat or dairy products, instead embracing the humble vegetable and letting it speak for itself. Their pastry is simply made from flour, water, coconut oil and nuttelex. They believe in sustainability in all facets of their business, from the produce to the packaging.
Ratio Cocoa Roasters uses traditional chocolate making techniques and sources the World's best single origin cacao beans to bring you individually flavored small batch hand crafted chocolate bars. Their cacao beans are sorted to remove any flawed beans then roasted in an antique ball roaster before being cracked & winnowed to remove the husk or shell of the bean. The cacao bean is now in small pieces called cocoa nibs. Their dark chocolate range is a mixture of these cocoa nibs and raw cane sugar (and is therefore vegan). Their milk chocolate range has two additional ingredients: whole milk powder and cocoa butter. The chocolate ranges from 45% to 100% cacao. There are no preservatives or additives. The ingredients are placed in stone grinders for a minimum of 72 hours, during which time the coarse ingredients turn into a smooth liquid. They then block and age the chocolate for a minimum of 3 weeks before it is tempered, poured into moulds then hand wrapped.
They are also a cafe, selling hot chocolates, coffees and sweet treats. They are also the only dedicated chocolate gelato store in Melbourne, with 7 different chocolate gelato on offer (2 vegan). The cafe is open Thursday and Friday, 2–10pm; Saturday, 10am–10pm; and Sunday 10am–5pm.
They also do public tours of their factory on most Fridays and Sundays. $10. Book on EventBrite.
SEEDs is a communal garden where they grow and share together, growing natural networks, skills, mutual opportunities, friendships, organic food and community. There are no individual plots. The food that they grow is used to feed their weekly volunteers as well as a way to connect with our local community. They also donate regular harvests to The Local Kitchen Brunswick and share and cook their excesses. The garden is connected to, and shares the space with, Milparinka Disability day service. They aspire to be a connecting point and resource for their community.
There are regular working bees at the garden, every Monday and Thursday at 10am.
A food swap is held at the garden on the 2nd Saturday of every month, 10am-midday. Boomerang Bags Brunswick uses the SEEDs space to hold monthly sewing bees at the same time.
West Brunswick Community Garden and Food Forest has some old roots in Dunstan Reserve dating back to the early 1990s. The spaces were re-developed in 2011 and is now focussed on sustainable gardening, sharing, learning and growing together. The community garden space hosts a local community compost hub, 30 individual plots, a greenhouse, a meeting & shaded seating space, and a large communal gardening area.
There are 125 different trees and plants in a permaculture system. It is an educational space incorporating bushfood planting, semi-tropical planting, orchard space and a variety of other zones. It is always growing.
There are regular meetups:
• Weekly meetup: every Friday, 10am-midday.
• Monthly seed savers meetup: 1st Sunday of every month, from 10am.
• Monthly communal gardening working bee: 2nd Sunday of every month, from 10am.
• Monthly food forest working bee: 3rd Saturday of every month, from 10am.
• Monthly garden and gather: 4th Sunday of every month, 11am-3pm (Mar-Nov) and 9am-1pm (Dec-Feb).