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Grow Your Own Produce At These Melbourne Community Gardens

By Ben Tyers
21st May 2020

Fresh produce laid out from a community garden. We can see radish and kale.

There have been some trends floating around during isolation—baking sourdough, banana bread, taking up pottery, along with planting vegetables and trying to grow something remotely edible.

If you haven't got a patch of land to grow an abundance of food, the next best thing might be your local community garden. 

In Melbourne there are two types of community gardens:

  1. Shared gardens: Where gardeners have responsibility for the entire garden, working together to care for the plants and taking a share of what is produced.
  2. Allotment gardens: where gardeners each have their own plot and use it as they wish.

There are plenty of benefits to joining and taking up some space in a community garden. People from different cultures and backgrounds will be part of the community. You can learn about different types of food, along with gardening tips from some experienced gardeners in the community.

Here are some great community gardens in Melbourne to join. To find your nearest, head to this directory.

Veg Out

St Kilda

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by David H Staneck (@david_h_staneck_) on

One of the most well-known community gardens can be found across the road from Luna Park in St Kilda.

Veg Out is an organic, chemical-free community garden run solely by volunteers. The land has been reserved for public use since 1881, and there are more than 140 garden plots on site.

You'll need to join a waiting list to start gardening at Veg Out. The first step is to become a 'Friend Of Veg Out' which you can do here.

Learn more about Veg Out on vegout.org.

Rushall Garden

North Fitzroy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jules Musgrove (@julesmusgrove) on

Launching in the early 2000s, Rushall Garden is propped up between Rushall and Merri railway stations on a patch of land where the old Inner Circle Railway ran.

The garden gives space priority to low-income residents who have no space garden at home. 

Gardeners taking part in the Rushall Garden community follow sustainable organic gardening techniques keeping gardens tended too often, watering properly, controlling weeds, pests, and diseases, and, of course, regular harvesting of produce.

Learn more about Rushall Garden on their website.

CERES

Brunswick East

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CERES Environment Park (@ceresbrunswick) on

CERES has 50 garden plots that are rented out annually to people with limited space at home to grow vegetables.

The community regularly shares produce, swaps seeds, and pitch in to help maintain the gardens. There is also a "no pesticides on-site" policy, and soil fertility is kicked up a notch by chook manure generously provided by the resident CERES chooks.

Along with community gardening, you can also buy produce, and buy plants of your own at CERES. Learn more at the CERES website.

There are hundreds of community gardens dotted around Melbourne, find your local here.

For more great stories on living sustainably in Melbourne, head to our Sustainability section.

Image credit: Caroline Attwood

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