Community garden

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Seasons of Hope Garden
Township/Suburb: Croydon
Notes (in their own words):

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
Township/Suburb: Brunswick
Notes (in their own words):

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
Township/Suburb: Thornbury
Notes (in their own words):

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
Township/Suburb: Heidelberg
Notes (in their own words):

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

Situated at Salt Creek’s meeting with the Yarra River, this sustainable food garden is a joint venture between the Banyule Anglican Church and the local community. Both individual and community plots are available and new members are very welcome. A gardening get-together occurs each month where seedlings are shared, compost is made, fascination is felt about the latest vegetables appearing and members always feel comfortable to try new planting experiences and see what happens. Workshops conducted have included building wicking beds, liquid fertilisers, pruning fruit trees and making hot compost.

Gardening in the cool evening riverside air is refreshing!

Sylvester Hive Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Preston
Notes (in their own words):

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.

Tables Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Heathmont
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is open to the public.

On the second Saturday of each month at 9.30am, they tend to the garden together, learn new skills and share stories around the morning tea table. Anyone from the local community is welcome.

On the fourth Saturday of each month, from 10am, there is a food swap where they share gardening tips, food and nutrition knowledge, and where they encourage sustainable living often with a speaker to help them on our way. At the swap, they add crops from the garden to the table and also provide morning tea to share.

The Patch
Name: The Patch
Township/Suburb: Bundoora
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is open to the public.

The Patch is La Trobe University’s community garden located behind the Borchardt Library. Everyone is welcome to join and participate in their regular events, which include: gardening bees during semester; workshops; and social events (which often involve their harvests).

The Patch is always open, so feel free to water or do some weeding if it takes your fancy.

Thrive, Diamond Creek
Township/Suburb: Diamond Creek
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is membership based. Membership is $20 annually for a whole family or $10 for a single person.

Thrive community garden is on a 1 acre block that has long been vacant due to the fact that it lies in a flood plain. While there is always the risk of further flooding, the soil is rich and ideal for growing. It was started in 2014.

As of Spring 2016, there were garlic, leeks, celery, silver beet and rainbow chard, snow peas, broad beans and various herbs, all doing well. There are around 30 fruit trees. There are also several large berry beds – boysens, raspberries and strawberries, along with gooseberries, black and red currants. Lavenders and calendulas, along with a wild flower bed, have been planted to attract bees and add more colour.

There is someone working at the community garden every Saturday afternoon between 1pm and 3pm, and on various days during the week. Everyone is welcome to come down and help out, and to take some of the crops that are growing there. It is a garden for all residents of Diamond Creek.

A food swap is held at the garden on the third Saturday of every month, 2-3pm.

Triple G Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Epping
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is membership-based, but membership is free. Current membership is 6 people.

The garden is a creative place where people come together to grow fresh food, share, learn, relax and enjoy each other’s company. The garden’s core values are respect, honesty, integrity, inclusivity and creativity.

Uniting Church Herb Garden and Orchard
Township/Suburb: Northcote
Notes (in their own words):

The Uniting Church has established a small orchard in the courtyard and a herb garden out the front facing High Street in Northcote. It is designed to be a place where people can take time out and relax. The herbs are used in Yuni’s Kitchen located at the back of the church courtyard.

All are welcome to enjoy the church spaces and participate in the many programs on offer. If you are interested in being involved with the gardening group, contact them by email.

Warrandyte Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Warrandyte
Notes (in their own words):

The garden sits on the banks of the Yarra River and is built on the old paddock behind the police station, where the local constabulary used to tether the police horses.

There are 24 raised vegetable plots. Communal planting areas feature raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, olive and nectarine trees and many herbs. Citrus trees grow in wine barrels, and an ornamental vine blazes red during autumn. In the late winter, jonquils and daffodils complement the blossoms. In summer, canna lilies hide the water tank and the rose arbour is covered in blooms.

Facilities include water tanks fed by run-off from the neighbouring police station, a glasshouse with an automatic watering system, an equipment shed, a children’s garden (8 little plots), a sandpit and cubby house for visiting children, and a gazebo. A three-bin compost system recycles weeds and clippings into precious compost to enrich the soil.

A food swap is held at the garden on the first Saturday of every month, 9-10am.

Watsonia Library Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Watsonia
Notes (in their own words):

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

With increasing awareness of climate change, a group of Watsonia residents decided to focus on producing some of their own food in a sustainable way. The Watsonia Library Community Garden has been producing organic food since late 2014.

The garden is based on a design influenced by Permaculture. The three main principles of Permaculture are “Care of the Earth; Care of People; and, Re-distribute Surplus”. By following these ideals, they aim to improve the fertility of our soils while growing a bountiful produce to share with the local community. The garden is a site for sharing and learning as they have regular guest speakers on topics such as seed saving, worm farming, composting and the history of significant trees in Banyule.

The garden area complements other programs offered by the library, for example a workshop on edible weeds and a demonstration from a fire twirling group!

A group of residents meets every Tuesday from 10-11am to tend the garden and to share a cup of tea. It is a social occasion allowing time to share tips on how to grow and prepare home grown produce. The foundations for an effective community garden have been completed with construction of a garden shed, worm farm, compost system, seed saving and raised garden beds. The garden is small in size but significant to those who care for it.

West Brunswick Community Garden and Food Forest
Township/Suburb: Brunswick West
Notes (in their own words):

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.

The garden is part of Moreland Community Gardening. Please join the group to be part of a vibrant community and to have fun.

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).

Whittlesea Community Garden
Township/Suburb: Whittlesea
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is membership-based (annual fee $10, with additional fees of $25 pa to lease plots). Membership is around 30 people.

The garden involves community members, volunteers, community groups and organisations in a diverse range of ways. It aims to create a welcoming space accessible to all members of our community that offers diverse pathways for people to:
1. Learn – create a sustainable community resource for current and future generations to enjoy.
2. Share – promote and enable social connection within the community.
3. Grow – provide a space for people to come together for a range of community building activities.
4. Heal – provide opportunities for reflection and have opportunities to improve health and wellbeing.

The garden is on land owned by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), Whittlesea Secondary College. It consists of three types of spaces:
1. Individual and communal plots.
2. A circular reflective space which is used for connection, learning and healing.
3. A garden shed and tea room, and a small portable for administrative tasks and resources.

Willsmere Kitchen Garden
Township/Suburb: Kew
Notes (in their own words):

The garden is membership-based. Membership is a $50 one-off fee plus a yearly subscription fee depending on the size of the garden beds you have access to.

The garden is located in Yarra Bend Park in Kew – the largest area of natural bushland near the heart of Melbourne. It was started in 2017 as a collaboration between a group of residents from the neighbouring Willsmere Estate and Parks Victoria and provides a place to share a vision of growing our own food, strengthening community bonds and sharing gardening knowledge. They welcome everyone in the community to enjoy the garden, but ask that you respect the produce of individuals.

The garden’s first stage is designed to pay homage to the formal gardens of the neighbouring asylum and the site’s previous history as a kitchen garden that supplied food for the inmates and staff of the asylum. It features a central talking circle surrounded by seats that are designed to encourage conversations and community. Above-ground beds were donated by Bunnings Hawthorn in November 2018 and smaller community herb beds around the inner circle were created with recycled local materials.

Future possible developments include a second set of above-ground beds mirroring the first, a heritage fruit orchard, a garlic farm, more in-ground beds, grapevines, and communal spaces with paving, chairs & tables.

Township/Suburb: Reservoir
Notes (in their own words):

This garden is open to the public.

What: At Your Community Health (YCH), there is a communal garden area with vegetables, 29 fruit trees, and some lawn. As well as planting and garden maintenance, they also use the space as a venue for activities and events. Their Men’s Shed is located on the edge of the garden and some of the guys get involved in the garden.

Who: People who visit YCH, staff, local residents and community members are all welcome to come and enjoy the garden.

When: There is someone in the garden on Thursday mornings, between 10am and midday.