The garden has around 20 plots that are rented out annually by individuals or families who reside in the local area, or by community groups engaged in sustainable activities and which are able to contribute consistently to the garden culture.
The garden was established almost 20 years ago and is an initiative of Interact Fairfield Disability Services. It is a dynamic work space, all the time developing according to the energies and interests of participants.
Fawkner Food Bowls is a resident-led group growing food, sharing skills, and socialising in a family-friendly space. It is based on a communal market garden model where members can learn about, and contribute to, growing crops that are then sold to support the running of the garden. They have a range of memberships, with general membership being $25 pa (see their website); this entitles people to discounts on produce, events and seedlings. Membership is open to anyone.
Work on the garden began in 2017 with the help of Moreland City Council, Fawkner Bowling Club, and the Neighbourhood Project. They have since received grants from Moreland City Council, CoDesign Studio, Moreland Energy Foundation Inc. and the State Government. The starting point was a disused lawn bowls green. Since that time, they have created social garden spaces, a children’s play area and vegetable growing rows. They are now developing more space for people to bring and share seeds, seedlings, plants, food, and ideas plus they have plans to construct a shelter. Fawkner Food Bowls is an incorporated group.
A number of events, workshops and celebrations are organised at the garden including: soil, composting and companion planting workshops; the Fawkner Lane-way Festival and Fawkner Festas (where tomato seedlings are given away); passata making; and winter solstice celebrations.
The garden is open on Sundays for working bees, market stall, and socialising. On the second Sunday of each month, there is a food swap from 10.30am to 12.30pm. On the other Sundays, the garden is open from 10am to 1pm.
The garden comprises 10 large garden beds, a compost exchange scheme, and a seed library.
The main purpose of the garden beds is to grow food to give away. Once harvested, the vegetables are put onto ‘food is free’ shelves which the public can access. People can also donate vegetables for these shelves.
The purpose of the compost exchange scheme is to turn kitchen scraps into usable compost. People drop off a bucket of kitchen scraps and take away an empty bucket to fill again. They can also take away compost – anyone can order up to three buckets of compost at a time by phone (9428 7668) or email.
The aim of the seed library is to encourage people to grow food at home. People are welcome to take, share or donate seeds.
Someone is in the garden every Monday from midday to 1.30pm – feel free to drop in for a chat, seek gardening advice, pick up some compost juice, or pick up some worms. There are also regular workshops.