This is a communal garden on public housing land associated with the East Preston Community Centre. The garden was established in late 2018 and The East Preston Community Centre, in partnership with DIVRS Urban Food Program, are continuing to develop it. Once fully developed, it will include shared vegetable growing areas, fruit trees, berries, food forest gardens and composting/worm farming facilities.
Local community members are invited to get involved in shaping the garden’s look and feel. This is a space where local residents can connect, share, learn and grow food locally. From planting, weeding and harvesting crops to designing what will be planted in the vacant beds – there’s plenty to do.
A gardening group, led by the DIVRS Urban Food Program, work in the garden on Thursday mornings, 9am-midday, and it is open to the general public throughout the week. Everyone is welcome to attend the Thursday morning sessions. Occasionally, there are bigger working bees.
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.
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.
The garden also hosts a food swap on the second Saturday of the month, 11am-midday, organised by the Darebin Urban Harvesters.