Community garden

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All Nations Kitchen Garden
Northcote

This garden is membership-based but membership is free.

What: Darebin Council collaborated with members of the Northcote Library Food Garden and the local communuity to develop this visible and accessible urban food demonstration site. The All Nation Kitchen Garden design incorporates permaculture principles and is based on a multi-layered garden of fruit trees, edible understory and ground cover.

Who: A group of local residents care for and manage the site in partnership with Council. The goal is to sustainably produce local food and to provide opportunities for education and community building.

When: Community gardening days are held on the first Sunday of each month, from 10am.

Bedford Park Community Garden
Ringwood

This garden is open to the public.

This project began as a dream of the manager at the Central Ringwood Community Centre when she spied an empty unused sunny patch of grass that begged to be filled with plants and people. This site used to be a skateboarding park that was filled in and left. A group of volunteers (led by brother-and-sister team Robin Hallett and Jess Ness) have been working to develop it into a community garden. They aim to develop and maintain the site as the primary sustainability centre in the Outer East of Melbourne.

There is an open public space with fruit trees, herbs and a bush tucker garden whose fruitful harvest is free for all to enjoy. The communal garden beds are keyhole shaped and of an ergonomic height designed for up to 10 people each. There are companion herbs beneath the fruit trees to serve as organic pesticides, soil remediators, and pollinator attractors. Everything will be labelled so that the public can learn from what is growing, and members of the garden can share their knowledge and passion for gardening, thereby building a sharing economy. Their plans also include: wicking beds; a seed library; a covered area for teaching, potting, cooking, events, etc; and a play area for the children.

They run many workshops and classes at the garden. See their Facebook page for details.

The garden’s partners include the local Rotary (TTM), Transition Towns Maroondah (TTM), Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place, Heathmont College, Ringwood Secondary College, The Box Hill Institute, and the social enterprise Elishacare. The inclusion of schools and community groups is helping to build a strong sense of community ownership.

A management committee has been established, in the form of a sub-committee of the Central Ringwood Community Centre’s Committee of Management.

Bellfield Community Garden
Bellfield

This garden is membership-based.

The garden was incorporated in November 2014, and is entirely run by volunteers. The three main aims are:

1. To develop an open space community fruit and vegetable garden for individual community members and community groups who want to engage in, and learn about, sustainable gardening practices.

2. To provide a meeting place for individual community members and groups to develop a community gardening identity.

3. To promote the Bellfield Community Garden within the Bellfield neighbourhood, and across the Banyule council area and neighbouring council areas, and to form strong community partnerships to enhance and influence the success of the garden.

Brunswick Neighbourhood House Community Garden
Brunswick

The garden is membership-based but is open to the public whenever the neighbourhood house is open (Mon-Thur 9am-4pm and Fri 9am-midday).

The garden is a communal garden which comprises a mixture of raised and wicking beds. It is a place to meet neighbours and have a chat. Everyone is welcome.

Bundoora Park Community Garden
Bundoora

This garden is allotment-based.

What: The garden is located within the Bundoora Park Farm. Within the farm, there is a fruit orchard including an urban farm with chooks and bees. The farm also supplies tools, water and manure.

Who: There are garden plots available for rent to the general public. Annual fees are $79 for a raised plot and $105 for a standard plot. There is a waiting list for these plots.

CERES Community Garden
Brunswick East

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.

Condell Growers and Sharers Community Garden
Fitzroy

This garden is open to the public.

The community garden comprises 36 garden boxes. These used to be allocated to individuals but are now mainly communal, with everyone invited to sample the bounty. The garden is maintained by local residents – providing access to fresh food and encouraging sustainability.

There are monthly working bees on the 3rd Saturday of every month, 10.30am-12.30pm.

There is an active composting program which aims to be reduce the food waste that goes into Yarra City’s rubbish bins and to create compost for the garden. If you would like to contribute your food waste, email them to arrange a time to participate in a 15-20 minute composting tutorial which will entitle you to participate in the program.

Creeds Farm Community Garden
Epping

This garden is open to the public.

The garden is a communal garden where participants share both the gardening and the harvest. There are no fences, nor individual plots. The garden provides space for locals to share their knowledge and make new friends. It strives to enhance community connection in this relatively new community, and acts as a learning and demonstration centre for communal organic gardening.

A food swap is held at the garden on the last Sunday of every month, 10.30am-midday.

Croydon Community Garden
Croydon

This garden is allotment-based.

There are 76 allotments (with most being 36 square metres), plus 6 raised garden beds, for a total size of 3,000 square metres. Membership is $10-20 pa, which includes an allotment, water and access to equipment (spades, forks, barrows, mowers, etc).

The garden has been in operation since the 1980s. Its purpose is to enable each person to grow things on their own individual allotment, with any excess to be shared with other allotment holders. There is a diversity of cultures/nationalities within the gardens, including heritance of; Anglo Saxons; Italians; Greek; Malaysian; Burmese; Mexican; South America; and Baltics. Members members learn from each other and try different plants, methods of cultivation and how to grow plants.

Diamond Creek, Planter Boxes in Chute Street
Diamond Creek

The produce from these planter boxes is freely available to any members of public who pass by.

There are 7 planter boxes in Chute Street (5 on the north side of the road and 2 on the south side) plus a further 2 around the corner in Inglis Street. Each of these is a wicking bed. They were established in 2014.

Doncaster Hill Community Garden
Doncaster

This garden is open to the public.

Set amongst the high rise of Doncaster Hill, this garden is an ‘open backyard’ where volunteers learn, play and appreciate growing local food. The emphasis is on collective fun, enjoying the space and coming together as a local community. Participants are rewarded with seed collections, skills workshops and food programs. There are no private plots. Most of the food grown is donated to local food banks and charities.

Regular working bees and skill development programs are run by Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden. Join the Facebook group for dates and times.

East Reservoir Community Garden
Reservoir

This garden is mostly allotment-based.

What: This garden is made up of 30 individual plots of varying sizes available to rent for an annual fee. The garden is conveniently located near the East Reservoir Senior Citizens Centre as well as the Reservoir Neighbourhood House (which has facilities to hold cooking demonstrations and workshops). Market days, food swaps, festivals and other celebrations are also regularly held at the garden.

Who: This is an access friendly and culturally diverse community garden. Everyone is welcome to become a member of the garden in some way. You can rent a plot to plant and grow your own food. Become a member of the garden committee to contribute to the running of the community garden. Or you can become a friend of the garden and meet with other gardeners and members to learn about gardening, swap tips and stories and help others learn.

There is a garden get together every Saturday from 10am to midday.

Eastland Multicultural Community Garden
Ringwood

This garden is membership-based.

The garden provides a safe and welcoming space for people from different cultural backgrounds living or working in Ringwood and surrounds to come together to plant and grow edible crops, participate in other gardening activities, socialise with others and enjoy a communal garden space. There are currently 34 garden plots, some of which are available for rent.

The garden is managed by a management committee comprising office bearers from multicultural backgrounds, as well as representatives from the Migrant Information Centre, Eastern Melbourne.

Membership is $5 for one person, or $10 for a family. Plot fees are currently $25 per plot. Families with over 3 members can apply for two plots, otherwise one plot. Plots eligibility is limited to Health Care Card holders, who are unable to garden at home, and who live within a radius of 5 kilometres of Ringwood.

Eltham Railway Station
Eltham

The produce from these planter boxes is freely available to any commuters or other members of public who pass by.

There are 2 planter boxes on the railway platform, both of them wicking beds. They were established on 18th September 2017. They are the first project by the Incredible Edible Eltham community.

Eltham, Planter Boxes outside healthAbility
Eltham

The produce from this planter box is freely available to any members of public who pass by.

There is a large planter box outside healthAbility at 917 Main Road, Eltham. It is under cover but irrigated. It was established in 2013.

Eucalypt Community Garden
Wollert

This garden is membership-based ($20 pa for a single and $40 pa for family).

Friends of Eucalypt Estate’s group of volunteers have established a community garden in a public space behind the Bluestone Kitchen Cafe amongst the historic bluestone farmhouse and outbuildings. The garden is a space for the community to participate in growing sustainable organic produce-related activities in a friendly, inter-generational, accessible environment.

The aim of the garden is to provide a multi-functional space which facilitates and promotes community connectedness through the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources, such that people can come together to learn, share, relax and make friends. It is hoped that, over time, it will provide a range of physical, social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits to the diverse community.

They have been able to make progress because of an enormous community effort: they have the use of the land from one of their committee members; donation of a shed from Bunnings; donation of benches; donations of plants and seeds; and, most importantly, donation of time and labour.

There are monthly meetups at the garden, on the 3rd Sunday of every month, starting 10am.

Fawkner Community Garden (The Dandelion Patch)
Fawkner

The garden is open to the public whenever the community house is open (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

Since 2014, members of Sustainable Fawkner have been developing the eastern side of the Fawkner Community House as a community garden. The garden now has a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees.

There are many local community members who attend to the garden and people are always welcome to help. People are respectful of the produce and pick what they need or it is shared at the monthly food swap, which is held at the garden on the 2nd Saturday of every month, 10am-midday. Working bees are held at the same time. New ideas for the garden are always welcome and this is the best time to meet and discuss them with other local residents.

Garden of Plenty, Diamond Valley Library, Greensborough
Greensborough

The produce from this garden is freely available to any members of public who pass by.

The garden is open to the public 6 days per week and provides a valuable place of engagement, education and participation in sustainable living practices. The produce is available to be shared by the community and also to engage the concept of food sharing. It is a place which is open to all to enjoy either planting, harvesting or tending the garden. The installation of four wicking beds, with the help of Diamond Creek Men’s Shed, has meant the produce is thriving in all conditions and the boxes are at a great height for all to enjoy.

The garden has inter-generational appeal with programs including: storytimes to kindergartens and schools; workshops with schools with an environmental focus; monthly workshops to the general community; and a monthly food swap. The production of a number of food sources are also shared with the community, not only in the garden, but at events such as the Home Harvest Festival.

Associated regular events:
1. Food Swap – 2nd Saturday of the month, 10-11am.
2. Garden Club Talks – 3rd Tuesday of the month, 11.30am-12.30pm.

Glen Park Oaks Community Garden
Bayswater North

This garden is open to the public.

The community garden is a shared communal space for gardening, interacting and learning whereby members of the community can harvest vegetables as well as the group of volunteers who manage the garden. Owned and managed by Maroondah City Council, with the assistance of volunteers, its aim is to focus on, and share, the benefits provided by gardening – where the harvest is just an added bonus.

Hawthorn Community Gardens
Hawthorn East

These gardens are allotment-based.

There are two gardens, one at 381 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn East and the other in Linda Crescent, Hawthorn.

Hawthorn Community Gardens was established in 1980. Across its two locations, it has a total of 86 garden plots. Membership fees range from $80-100 per annum, depending on the size of the plot, and this includes access to gardening tools, water and social gatherings. There is currently a substantial waiting list for both gardens.

Jewell Community Garden
Brunswick

The garden is open to the public. There are 10 planter boxes on the bikepath outside the Nice One cafe which are available for anyone to harvest.

Kevin Heinze GROW
Doncaster

This garden is open to the public.

Inspired by a visit to a garden for children with disabilities in the UK, the late Kevin Heinze believed that all children should be given the opportunity to take part in gardening activities. He saw the benefits that horticulture-based therapy and recreation programs brought to children with disabilities and wanted to introduce the concept into Australia. Working with the Kiwanis Club of Doncaster and Templestowe volunteers, he raised the seed funds required and, with the help of Manningham Council, secured a lease on some land, where the Centre opened in 1979 and continues to be located today.

Kevin Heinze GROW operate a number of initiatives including iGrow (which matches volunteers with people to provide support as a companion gardener), Grow Together (which matches volunteers with schools and individuals undertaking recreational gardening) and Grow T (which offers the opportunity for individuals and their carers to participate in activities directed by their Horticulture Therapist).

The garden hosts two major plant sales each year, in April and October.

Links Community Garden Lalor
Lalor

This garden is open to the public, with free membership (gold coin donation) and communal garden beds.

This is a new and developing community garden. The purpose of Links Community Garden Lalor is to foster community connections though the use of this space. It will include activities such as gardening, cooking, preserving, sustainability, sensory gardens, providing meals for those in need, upcycling, outdoor mothers or other social groups, eating or simply enjoying being in nature.

There are regular meetups at the garden, every Saturday, 10am-midday. All people of all ages are welcome, whether you’re a gardening wizard or don’t know a root from a branch.

Living & Learning Nillumbik Community Veggie Garden, Eltham
Eltham

This garden is membership based but membership is free.

The garden comprises several, large, raised beds. It is maintained by a group of volunteers who meet weekly on Thursdays, from 9-11.30am. New members are most welcome, whether you are an experienced gardener or absolute beginner. As well as growing fresh food to share or swap, you can also use the Living & Learning kitchen to make a meal from the harvest. Regular attendance is not required; rather, you can drop in when you like. You can join at any time and they just need you to register once.

Macleod Organic Community Garden
Macleod

This garden is membership-based.

The Macleod Organic Garden started in 2015. They were fortunate to have received some grants from Banyule City Council to assist them in establishing the garden.

The garden is communally cultivated and the food raised is distributed between those who work in the garden, Macleod College and local organisations that provide food for those in need.

The site is two disused tennis courts in the grounds of Macleod College on the Somers Avenue boundary just north of the Basketball Stadium. The project is being run by Sustainable Macleod.

Mernda Community Garden
Mernda

This garden is allotment-based, with some communal beds for members. Membership is around 30 adults plus children.

It is an established community garden on the historical Carome Homestead site, owned by Working Heritage. It is a relaxed space where members share, learn, grow veggies and get dirty! Garden members receive a monthly newsletter. The group tends to a small orchard, compost bays, several worm farms and their communal and private plots.

A food swap is held at the garden on the first Saturday of every month, 10.30am-midday. Working bees are also held monthly.

Mernda Seed, Sow & Grow Community Garden Group
Mernda

This garden is membership-based, but membership is free. It is open to the public every Wednesday, 9am-midday, and the 2nd Saturday of each month, 10.30am-midday.

The garden is an accessible learning space for community members and families interested in being actively engaged, sharing tips and knowledge about gardening, growing food from seed to harvest and sustainable living, re-using, re-purposing and recycling what they can.

Merri Corner Community Garden
Brunswick East

This garden is allotment based.

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.

Newton Street Community Garden
Reservoir

This garden is membership-based but membership is free.

This is a communal garden on public housing land associated with the East Preston Community Centre. It is currently open on Thursdays from 10am-midday but, once it is is more established, it will be open to the general public throughout the week.

The garden was started in late 2018, and is still being developed. Once fully established, it will include shared vegetable growing areas, fruit trees, berries, food forest gardens and composting/worm farming facilities.

The main purpose of the garden is to improve food security in the community. Most of the food grown will be shared amongst volunteers and public housing residents, with any surplus being distributed through the emergency food relief program run from East Preston Community Centre.

Periodically, a 10-week, ACFE-funded Introduction to gardening course will be run, available to local residents, low income earners, unemployed people, single mothers, pensioners and people from a non-English speaking background for $22 for the 10 weeks, to give people skills in gardening and food production.

There is a weekly drop-in gardening day every Thursday, 10am-midday, which everyone is welcome to attend. Occasionally, there are bigger working bees.

Northcote Community Gardens
Northcote

This garden is allotment-based.

What: The garden has 25 individual plots, some communal areas, a pond, an orchard in the making, and a small recreational park with a basketball hoop. The park has been planted out by the community garden’s members with indigenous local plants. They provide space to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits and they share information on all aspects of organic gardening as well as some permaculture principles. They all have different levels of gardening experience and beginners are welcome.

Who: There are around 28 members who manage the garden. All plots are typically allocated, but you can email them to be added to the waiting list. Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend the monthly working bees (see times below). Plots are rented out yearly and first preference is given to Northcote residents. They are all volunteers and the garden is managed through informal consensus with some primary office bearing roles being elected each year.

When: Working bees are held on the first Sunday of each month, from 1pm. Please bring a plate of food to share for afternoon tea if you are able to.

Northcote Library Food Garden
Northcote

This garden is open to the public.

What: The garden is a communal growing space open to all community members, with communal garden beds and a food forest. Although there are no individual plots, there are areas of the garden set aside for growing plants of particular interest or liking. The garden is maintained during regular communal planting, harvesting and working bee days, and gardeners are also encouraged to donate some extra time individually when they can.

Who: The garden is managed by a small group of dedicated residents. Community members can become involved as a friend of the garden (lending support and advice) or as a gardener.

When: Community gardening days are held on the second Sunday of each month, from 10am.

Pentridge Community Garden
Coburg

This garden is membership-based, with some allotments.

Pentridge is a new (as of late 2017) community garden within the grounds of the historic Pentridge Prison in Coburg. The old prison site is being re-developed as an integrated residential and commercial precinct with housing, cinema, hotel, cafes, retail and artists studios. The garden is located within the site on land provided by the developer, Shayher Group.

The garden is maintained by a group of local residents, with a focus on gardening together, learning from each other and building a vibrant local community. It includes fruit trees, vegetables, herbs in both communal gardening spaces and personal plots (allotments), ornamental beds, a community compost hub, open & shady spaces to sit, and plenty of activities for kids.

The garden is part of Moreland Community Gardening. Please join the group to help develop the garden into a vibrant part of the Coburg community, where residents can meet, grow some food, plants and flowers, chat and enjoy some relaxing green space within the city.

There are regular open sessions at the garden, every Sunday, 9-11.30am. See their Facebook page for dates of other events.

Richmond Community Garden Group
Richmond

The group is membership-based.

The group’s aim is to create more opportunities for gardening throughout Richmond, both for growing food and for bringing people together to share and learn from each other. Membership is $10pa.

The group leases an area in the Burnley Backyard community facility at 49 Tudor Street, Richmond. This comprises 25 individual plots for rent plus some shared communal beds. They have also established 3 planter boxes on the nature strip in Tudor Street so that passersby can pick a variety of herbs and teas.

There is currently a waiting list for the individual plots. Members without a plot can still join in tending and sharing in produce from the communal beds. Members can also access a composting system, a worm farm and a supply of coffee grounds.

Seasons of Hope Garden
Croydon

This is a charity-owned garden with the express purpose of providing people in financial crisis with fresh produce.

Hope City Mission has partnered with Melbourne Water to construct this vegetable garden, which comprises 84 raised beds (2.4m x 1.2m each). It provides much needed fresh produce for the Hope City Mission foodbank program, which feeds around 80 families per week. In addition, they have a large greenhouse that they use to house their seedling propagation program, growing seeds to seedlings.

The garden also provides a place where the isolated can connect with others and have a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Volunteers are welcome to come and maintain the garden, with the preferred days being Monday, Wednesday, Thursday between the hours of 9am-3pm. Wednesday is the ideal day for volunteers as this is the day where all the action happens with picking produce ready to give out at Hope City Mission emergency food program on the Thursday.

There are regular working bees on most Wednesdays – please contact the office to confirm (9761 6778).

SEEDs Communal Garden
Brunswick

This garden is open to the public.

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.

Span Community House Community Garden
Thornbury

This garden is membership-based but membership is free.

What: The garden is a community shared space. There are no individual plots but produce is shared amongst those that attend, as well as used in the community lunch and cooking classes at Span. The garden is maintained with a watering system and by regular planting and harvesting. All produce is organic. The garden is a large space with a number of garden beds and areas producing vegetables, fruit and herbs. There is a shelter built with natural building techniques and materials that can be used for meetings or other activities, a propagation area, a seed and cuttings swap program, and a community mural. There are regular sustainability programs, classes and activities run throughout the year. The garden is access friendly for all.

Who: The garden is shared and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and community members, with the assistance and support of Span Community House, and regular working bees. All those participating have differing levels of skills, experience and physical abilities. New community members and gardening beginners are invited and encouraged to join the garden group and participate in Span’s activities whilst learning and enjoying the company and support of other community members.

Audrey Beard is the Coordinator of the community garden. Read an interview with Audrey.

St Johns Riverside Community Garden
Heidelberg

This garden is membership-based, partly communal and partly allotments.

Situated at Salt Creek’s meeting with the Yarra River, this sustainable food garden is a joint venture between the Anglican Parish of Banyule and the local community. Both individual and community plots are available and new members are very welcome. There are monthly opportunities to garden together in addition to individual garden access.

Stock Street Community Garden
Coburg

This garden is open to the public.

The garden originally specialised in herbs but now has a wider array of produce and is run by the locals of Stock Street. The garden features five raised beds growing seasonal produce plus large collection of herbs (including plants like the Australian native mint bush which is great for using in hot sauce). There is a community compost with open access to everyone. A section of the garden now has a lot of natives to attract more bees and native birds.

The garden runs ‘Mindful Gardening’ sessions once a month to promote good mental health and to educate people on how to use gardening therapeutically. During Spring, there are regular sessions on the 1st and 3rd Sundays at 2pm.

Sunnyfields Community Garden
Northcote

This garden is open to the public.

What: Sunnyfields Community Garden was created in 2013 in partnership with Cultivating Community and the Northcote Baptist Church. The garden provides a space for people to come together and share their passion for growing food and community. There are 28 garden beds for members of the local community to grow their own food.

Who: Regular meetings and working bees are held where all are welcome. They provide gardening tips and advice and also hold gardening and composting workshops throughout the year.

Sylvester Hive Community Garden
Preston

This garden is open to the public.

What: Sylvester Hive community garden was built in partnership between Darebin Council, The Pavilion School and local residents on land generously provided by the school. The garden was launched in November 2016. With a border of fruit trees, 14 raised wicking beds for vegetables and herbs, storage container and shelter, seating, composting bays and a children’s sand pit, the garden has been designed as a welcoming space to meet with friends and neighbours.

Who: A group of local residents have formed to take care of the garden which they have named ‘Sylvester Hive’ (‘Sylvester’ is derived from the Latin for woodland and ‘Hive’ denotes a place where people meet and connect). The group meet regularly to discuss and agree on how the garden is to be managed, used, planted and harvested. The raised wicking beds are all cultivated communally and the harvest is shared at regular communal meals and celebrations.

When: The garden is open all week. Members meet regularly at the garden every Saturday, midday-3pm.