Monday, December 29, 2014

Local Food Launchpad will help you develop your local food project (starting Feb 24 - City of Melbourne) #fairfood

Healthy food systems are the foundation for healthy lives, communities, economies and ecosystems. In order to build a future for Melbourne in which we can all thrive, we need a food system that is healthy, sustainable, resilient and fair.

A thriving local food economy is not only good for business, it’s also good for people and planet. Growing, exchanging, eating and sharing local food connects local people to each other, to their health and wellbeing and the land, creating shared value financially, socially and environmentally. We believe that connected networks of thriving local food systems not only provides a solid foundation for Melbourne’s future, but also for the future of all Australians.


Doing Something Good (DSG) are working with City of Melbourne, the Food Alliance and Open Food Network to support the development of individuals, communities and organisations working toward a thriving local food economy for Melbourne and it’s surrounds. Over the last year DSG have been running a series of events as a program for those interested in making a better food future. We’ve designed this Local Food Launchpad program as a platform for building shared understanding of key issues, challenges and opportunities, and to grow our collective capability to work together and make change.

Following on from the EcoCity Food Forum in 2013, the Going Local Forum in February, and the Big Ideas Jam in June, we are very pleased to announce that we will be running a series of Concept Development Labs in February and March 2015 to develop concepts for campaigns, products, services, events, programs and other initiatives that will contribute to a thriving local food economy for Melbourne.

More information here


Do you have an idea that you believe will contribute to:

  • increasing food production within the City of Melbourne, or
  • increasing the opportunities for city residents and visitors to purchase local and regionally-produced food?
  • If so, we invite you to join us for this series of Concept Development Labs starting on Tuesday 24 February. 

We invite growers, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organisations, food retailers, social enterprises, distributors, design and technology professionals, schools, caf├ęs, restaurants and catering services, and other passionate and innovative community members that have a big idea for a better food system or would like to help make somebody else’s idea happen.


We’ll be running a series of six sessions over six consecutive weeks, with five Concept Development Labs and a Pitch Night in week six. The program has been designed to get you and your idea to a stage where you have developed a solid project plan and are ready to:

  • launch you project
  • go for funding for your project
  • build a team or find partners for your project, or
  • scale up your project.

Over the first five weeks we will work with you to complete a Business Model Canvas, grow your understanding of key issues, challenges and opportunities, and learn and apply the principles of design thinking, Lean Startup, strategic communications and community building to shape good ideas. You will also be provided with tools, templates and information resources to help you develop your local food concept, or any other project you may be working on now or in the future.

Deakin University
Level 3
550 Bourke St

More information here

Monday, December 1, 2014

Saxon St Garden Launch and Planting Party - Thursday December 4th

We are super excited to say the Saxon st Garden has now been built, and all community members are invited to the launch and planting party this Thursday from 5:30pm.

This latest garden by 3000acres, in collaboration with the Moreland City Council, is a new shared community hub and food garden at 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick. On the site of a now vacant primary school, 30 wicking beds were constructed last weekend from repurposed industrial plastic containers with the help of over a dozen local volunteers, and are now ready and waiting for planting. We have a good bunch of donated seedlings from some generous local providers, but as we have 30 beds to fill we are still searching for more, so any excess seedlings that community members may have to contribute will be so very appreciated.

The garden will be properly launched this Thursday December 4th from 5:30pm. There will be a BBQ, cider from our friends at Faire Ferments Cider Co-op, and an opportunity for people to get their hands dirty and help plant out the garden beds. All are welcome to come and celebrate this great new edible space in Brunswick.

Cheers, 3000acres

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Community orchards in Moreland are within reach. We only have until December 5th to help make it happen

click for a bigger pic
Hidden in the Merlynston Creek Park Draft Development Plan, (currently in the final stages of community consultation until December 5th - more on this below) is a tiny, beautiful glimmer of the future.

On their plan map they have three areas marked as "Opportunities for community food tree plantings"

According to the council's FAQ document, "There have been requests for some type of community gardening activity in this area. Given the narrowness of the open space and the number of private gardens in the area Council is suggesting that community orchards could be included in this space. They will be un-fenced and open to all the community. Council will only put in the orchards where the community in the general vicinity are interested in caring for the trees. Council will develop an agreement with a community group who are incorporated or who are auspiced by another organisation so that there is an ongoing commitment to provide this opportunity. Issues of pest management, fruit drop and pruning will need to be managed by the community."

Moreland Council are to be congratulated for this. It's a big step for them and an acknowledgment of the increasing demands of their constituents for opportunities to grow food in the community.

What can you do?
Show your support for this effort:
It's possible that the community was hoping for a more traditional community garden but if that can't be achieved this is a terrific alternative. 

Imagine strolling along this linear park grabbing an apple or a plum, harvesting olives, feasting on loquats. Consider the annual opportunity to teach about pruning fruit trees.

  • In nearby West Brunswick a community managed orchard (well this one's called a food forest) with around 30 mature trees has been growing for more than 15 years. It's a fantastic way for the community to get together, to provide free, fresh food for the community and to teach people how to care for productive trees. Dealing with the pests, fruit drop and pruning aren't a problem. One's just been started in Northcote.
  • In London the folks at the Urban Orchards Project "partner with local authorities, residents’ associations, Transition initiatives, park user groups, schools and other community groups to help design, plant and maintain community orchards in the nation's parks, housing estates, schools and universities." They're full of good ideas about how to do this.

More of these please!
The Merlynston Creek Park Draft Development Plan and Playspace Concept Plans are available for comment until 5 December 2014.

More info here

Story Sharing with Nick Rose from AFSA, Local Organic BBQ, Backyard fire and music

When: Friday, 28th November 6-9pm

Where: Local Organics Food Hub, 16 Barkly st, Brunswick East

You're invited to a relaxed end of year evening of story sharing, networking, and organic seasonal BBQ food. All in a relaxed back yard, with fire and music (weather permitting)!

We'd love to celebrate the amazing work we have all done in sustainable food, together! We hope you can make it!

Nick Rose (AFSA / Food Alliance) has just come back from a Churchill fellowship to the US, Toronto and Argentina. He's moved to Melbourne, and is keen to share these stories and help support the fantastic work that's already underway in Melbourne and beyond to transform our food system into one that cares for all of us and our soils, animals and waterways.

Lets talk about local food systems from across the globe to our own back yards!

What: Story Sharing with Nick Rose from AFSA, Local Organic BBQ, Backyard fire and music

What to bring: Picnic rugs, blankets

Tickets: $15 (please book)

Drinks at bar prices, profits to Local Organics / AFSA.

About Nick Rose:-
Nick is the national coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and a Director of the Food Connect Foundation, affiliated with the Brisbane-based food social enterprise, Food Connect. Recently he was also appointed as Project Coordinator, Food Systems, for the Food Alliance at Deakin University in Melbourne, where he is leading an initiative to establish a Victorian Urban Agriculture Network and an Urban Agriculture Charter for Victoria

Monday, November 17, 2014

Learn about Worm Farming and Composting at Home (CBD, Dec 10th)


What’s it all about?

Wish you could be doing more with your waste? Worm farming and composting not only reduces the amount of food waste going to landfill but also provides high quality organic matter and fertiliser which enriches your soil and helps your plants grow big and strong! Come along and learn how to use and maintain a worm farm or compost bin at home and learn too how to make your own worm farm using mostly scrap materials.
What will we cover?

In this fun and interactive workshop we will:
  • Learn about why recycling food waste is good for the planet, the many types of worm farms and compost systems available and what works best in certain circumstances.
  • Find out what to feed the worms (and what not to feed them!); how to harvest and use the worm wee, castings and compost in the garden; how to diagnose and fix problems with your worm farm and compost bin; as well as how to make your own worm farm.

Who will be teaching?

Sam Green coordinates a sustainable living program for residents in the Cities of Darebin and Banyule. She is a keen composter and worm farmer. Sam practises what she teaches having established a community composting and worm farming hub in her front yard for which she recently won a City of Yarra Sustainability Award.

Questions about the class? Please email

Sound like fun?

When: Wednesday, December 10th, 8:00pm to 9:15pm
Where: The Little Mule Cafe, 19 Somerset Place, Melbourne CBD, VIC, 3000

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Open edible garden this weekend (Heidelberg West)

If you're free this weekend......

From Karen Sutherland

You may be interested in an edible garden I have designed opening to the public this weekend, 10-5 each day.

It's opening with other gardens as a fund raiser for Kew Rotary, 'Garden DesignFest'

This garden at 6 Lae Street Heidelberg West is based around edible and useful plants, so I thought you may be interested to see it.

I'll be there all weekend chatting to visitors and hopefully inspiring them to include more edible (and beautiful!) plants in their gardens!

You can read about the garden here

Hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saxon St Garden Meetup - Get involved with @3000acres at a new community food growing space in the heart of Brunswick (Sun 16th Nov 3pm)

There are some super exciting things happening at the moment in Brunswick - we would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and potential interest.

3000acres in collaboration with the Moreland City Council have been given the go-ahead to for a new shared community hub and edible garden in the heart of Brunswick, tucked right in behind the Brunswick Baths on Saxon Street. By repurposing a now vacant primary school, we plan on turning this site over the coming weeks into a dynamic and inclusive community space with a range of growing spaces, places to congregate as well as event and workshop areas.

But before we dig, hammer and plant, we want to hear the thoughts of our local community – after all, this garden is for everyone! So please spread the word and come along to our first Saxon Street Garden meet-up Sunday 16th November at 3pm and give your thoughts on how we can grow this space into something wonderful and resourceful for our Brunswick community. Give your input of what you would like to see growing in the garden, the kind of skills people might have to share (or want to learn), and how we can engage community groups in the most meaningful and relevant way.

We would love to meet with anyone who might have an interest in the garden - whether it might be short term, long term or just a general curiosity about the project.

If you would like to get involved please contact us at, call Ellie our garden manager on 0449753676 or just come along to our first garden meet-up at 33 Saxon St on Sunday November 16th at 3pm.

Here is a link to our Facebook event with some more information (please feel free to share and spread the word!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Field Institute and Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance Film Premiere: Fair Food (Melbourne 2nd December)

Fair Food is Australia’s first feature-length documentary that tells the story of our farmers, social entrepreneurs and communities pioneering new approaches to food production, marketing and distribution. After a year of production by The Field Institute and Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, we couldn't be more excited to announce the premiere screenings of this very special documentary.

Our current food system is broken – two supermarkets control 75-80 per cent of the grocery market, cheap imports undercut local producers markets and farmers are walking off the land in droves. But Fair Food reveals a countercurrent to these trends – a fair food movement that’s gathering momentum, led by biodiverse family farmers, independent food enterprises, and communities and individual food buyers around the country.

The film will be launched in Melbourne and Sydney at events taking place in the first week of December, 2014. Tickets to launch events around the country are limited, so don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fair food revolution.

To view event details and purchase tickets visit

For Melbourne:

WHEN: Tuesday 2nd December, 6:30pm-8:30pm

WHERE: Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria, 80 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Vic

Premiere events proudly sponsored by National Gallery of Victoria, City of Melbourne, and Golden Age Cinema.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Brite Plants 2014 Open Day (Sat 22nd Nov - Broadmeadows)

The Brite Plants Open Day is a great day when our wholesale nursery is open to the public.

We have loads of vegetable seedlings as well as our great selection of Australian native and exotic plants. Plus raffle tickets and much more including:
  • WHOLESALE Plants, Trees, Herbs & Vegies
  • Food & Drinks
  • FREE Gardening Advice
When: Saturday 22nd November From 9.00 am

Where: Cnr Belfast St & Dallas Dr Broadmeadows

Enquiries: 9309 5111

  • is the wholesale nursery division of Brite Services, an Australian Disability Enterprise that provides employment and training for people with disabilities.
  • has a reputation for supplying quality plants of all sizes to a diverse range of clients within the horticultural trade industry.
  • is a member of the Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria (NGIV) and is nationally accredited through The Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA)
If you represent a retail nursery, wholesale nursery, Council, or you are a landscaper, builder or an architect, why not give us a call?

Proof of trade will be required to ensure wholesale prices.

Please contact one of our friendly staff if you are interested in receiving our Monthly Specials List by mail, fax or email or would just like more information about Brite Plants.

Telephone: 9309 5111
Facsimile:  9302 2921

Help local farmers, asylum seekers & CERES. Help "Rewiring the Food System" reach its tipping point

A message from CERES Fair Food:

It's crunch time - one week to go before our Rewiring the food system campaign ends. 

One more week to buy the new software that will give more people access to Fair Food and by doing so will give more farmers fair prices, give more asylum seekers jobs and fund more education programs at CERES. 180 people have given $17,500, so it's only $7,500 to get to our tipping point of $25,000 to make it happen.  The scary thing is that If we don't make the tipping point all donations are returned and we're back to scratch. 

Rewiring our website is crucial because it solves the problems you, our customers, have shared with us about your shopping experience with Fair Food.  It's the project that gives you the power to swap items out of your set fruit & veggie boxes that you don't like and don't use for the things you do want.  It gives you the power to have delivery the day after you order, to be able to shop by recipe and lots more.  It's the project that will make buying Fair Food doable for so many more of the 300 people a month who try Fair Food and leave because we just don't fit with each other's ways of doing things. And most importantly it's reclaiming all the lost opportunities to build a better food system that those people represent.

Asking you to help fund this project is a peculiarly democratic way of doing things.  Because now the decision is in your hands; you have the chance to help shape your food system and like the Onceler says in The Lorax, "Nothing will change unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."

So, if you believe that farmers and grocery makers shouldn't be forced to the bread-line by Coles and Woolworths. 

If you believe that asylum seekers shouldn't treated as "illegals" but welcomed as human beings who can contribute to to our community.

If you believe that people can help build community by something as simple as sharing their verandahs for others to pick up their groceries from. 

If you believe that the profits from your grocery shopping should help teach children to care for their environment.

And if you believe that ethical, fair food should be available and easy to buy for as many people in Melbourne as possible.

Then it's time to put your money where your mouth is - literally.  

This is our last week to get over that $25,000 finish line and do this.  Let's make it happen together.

This is the campaign website -

Friday, October 24, 2014

West Brunswick Community Garden Mega Garage Sale Fundraiser - Saturday 25th October

Come down to the 

West Brunswick Community Garden on Saturday 25th October to take part in 

our first Garage Sale!

I know many will come just to experience the beautiful surroundings and to chat to our gardeners (there is no charge for this incidentally) but we have an amazing array of things for you to browse through and buy. All money goes towards helping our garden to grow.

This is a big deal for us so we would love your support.

Where: West Brunswick Community Garden - Dunstan Reserve, Brunswick West (Enter from Everett St, we are behind the Moreland Child Care Centre at 49 Everett St) more info here

When: 9.30 - 3.30ish Saturday 25th October

What: There is so much stuff but here is a little selection: a fish tank, jewellery, books, quality CDs (not your normal Op shop rubbish), plants, seedlings, a big bookshelf, a table, a standard weeping Japanese maple tree, lots of clothes, toys, crockery, a table tamp, glasses, shoes, ornaments, a compost bin and more.

Why: All the reasons listed below and more:

  1. Help divert perfectly good stuff from landfill
  2. Pick up something you really need but for less money than buying it new
  3. Pick up something you didn't know you needed but will love and won't find anywhere else
  4. Help us keep our garden growing

Unlike all the 'home' garage sales your money is not going into someone's pocket, it'll help our garden to keep growing. Just makes you want to get your wallet out right now doesn't it? Well you'll have to wait but get in early so you don't miss out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Your invitation to MFGN Social #4 (Friday Nov 7th, Brunswick West)

Our next MFGN Quarterly Social is fast approaching and everyone is welcome.

When: Friday 7th November from 6.30pm - 9.30pm-ish

Where: Richard Lynch Centre, 27 Peacock St, Brunswick West

Food/Drink: Bring something edible and drinkable to share, a plate to eat off and a fork to eat with

A great way to end the week! Mingle, chat, eat, drink. It's an informal opportunity to find likeminded, enthusiastic people in one place and discover what amazing things people are getting up to around local food growing in Moreland and further afield.

We'll probably spend a bit of time chatting about the impending presentation of the Moreland Council Food Growing policy that is expected to be be presented to Council in December and maybe we'll discuss our reason for being (the MFGN that is!).

We hope you’ll come along and participate, meet new friends and say hello to old ones.

RSVP: by emailing

Merri Corner Community Garden - Kids, Dig it! (26th October - Brunswick East)

Sorry but this event has been cancelled.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Registrations now open for 2014 Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival (9-13 November)

Presented by Darebin City Council in partnership with Darebin Ethnic Communities, the Backyard Harvest Festival runs from 9 - 23 November in a celebration of home food-growing traditions from around the world. 

This is your chance to tour over 16 impressive home gardens around Darebin and participate in 7 great workshops, covering everything from chicken keeping, fruit tree selection and care, composting to aquaponics. Plenty more info here.

Darebin's Backyard Harvest Festival is FREE for Darebin residents and only $10 per event for Non-Darebin residents. 


There is a 4 event limit per person. Home garden locations are provided at the time of booking.

For more information and to register on-line visit

For any questions on the program or registration, contact Alice Potter on 8470 8465 or email

CERES Sustainable Gardening Course starting 29 October

Interested in hands on sustainable gardening? Enthused about growing your own organic fruit, herbs and vegetables to share with your family and friends?

If you want to know more about organic gardening but don’t know where to start than this course is for you. Join CERES Trainer, Justin Calverley as he introduces you to the basics of horticulture, permaculture and organic gardening.

Start date: Wednesday 29th October to Wednesday 17th December 2014
Duration: Eight weeks 10am - 2pm 
Cost: $400 Full, $320 CERES Member/Concession
Bookings: Please contact CERES reception on 9389 0100

This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to confidently propagate seedlings, save seeds, grow vegetables and more! 
  • Session 1 Introduction to Sustainable Gardening
  • Session 2 Garden design and permaculture principles
  • Session 3 Soils and their preparation
  • Session 4 Composting, worm farming and fertilisers
  • Session 5 Organic fruit and vegetable production
  • Session 6 Organic fruit and vegetable production
  • Session 7 Seed saving and propagating
  • Session 8 Water Management and Guild Planting

About the trainer:

Justin Calverley is a horticulturalist and permaculturist with over 20 years experience. He has extensive knowledge and experience in permaculture, garden design, organic gardening and native bushfood plants. He specialises in edible gardens and is an expert in fruit tree cultivation and pruning. Justin has taught workshops at CERES in sustainable gardening and permaculture for over 10 years . Justin is a regular broadcaster on 3RRR’s‘Dirty Deeds” and is a presenter on Ch 31’s “ The Garden Tap.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Royal Botanic Gardens Professional Development Program for educators: AusVELS & Indigenous culture; Food gardens for schools & kinders

In 2014, the Royal Botanic Gardens presents an expanded Professional Development Program featuring some of Australia’s and the world’s leading experts in nature-based education.

A Shared Country

The Royal Botanic Gardens in partnership with the Catholic Education Office Melbourne will present sessions on; the cross curricula priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people in the AusVELS and Indigenous culture.

When: Tuesday 29 July 2014  10am - 4 pm
Where: RBG Cranbourne,
Auditorium at the Visitor Centre,
Australian Garden Cost: $50

Food gardens for schools and kinders
Participants will see food growing at school in a new light – look at using food plants to enhance your school grounds through good design; develop ideas on how to share fresh produce with your school community and try some simple recipes that kids will love tasting and sharing:

  • hardy, edible plants for schools 
  • multi-function garden design 
  • share some tasty recipes 
  • cooking without a kitchen

When: Wednesday 12th November 9.30am – 4.00pm
Where: RBG Melbourne
Cost: $50

New Professional Development opportunity at your school
Would you like us to visit your school or early learning centre? We offer consultation on how to enhance your outdoor play spaces or we can deliver a range of workshops utilising your outdoor areas. Please call RBG Melbourne to discuss how we can tailor to your individual needs.

For further information and bookings, please contact:
P: 9252 2358 RBG Melbourne or 5990 2200 RBG Cranbourne

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PepperTree Place Incr-Edible Food Swap Saturday, 4th October, 10am-12pm

Its October and Spring has truly Sprung with its wild and unpredictable nature, pretty much in step with Melbourne's reputation for four seasons in one day.

PepperTree Place hosts the October Incr-Edible Food Swap on Saturday 4th October, 10am-12pm and the place will be buzzing this month! Not only will there be the bountiful amount of free, swappable, fresh produce that pours in through the gates with the friendly locals but Ross will be wielding sourdough and have the wood oven fired up for his Sourdough Bread Making Workshop starting at 10.30pm. If you've ever wanted to get down and dusty with bread makers, here's your chance to get close up and personal with the living breathing culture that is sourdough. Register at 10.15am for $10 a head.

Also this week, Moreland City Council are looking to consult with community about their new Community Food Growing Policy. A Moreland City Council staff and a member from the Moreland Food Gardens Network will be attending the food swap on that Saturday 4 October from 10am–12pm. Everyone is welcome to attend to discuss and share ideas.

As is usual for the Coburg Incr-Edible Food Swap Saturday, the nursery is full of beans (bush beans actually) and has a huge variety of affordable plants and products ready for spring planting. We have bales of lucerne, hardwood stakes, bamboo stakes, bags of pulverised sheep manure and bargain bags of primo potting mix also available.

The pop up cafe will be serving an array of hand baked goodies and the best coffee and tea this side of the Merri Creek.

And just a heads up that our annual Spring Garden Fiesta is just around the corner on the 8th November, 10am-4pm - a huge day of music, inspiring and informative workshops, cool, nature inspired kid's activities, info and displays, story telling and much much more! Share this flyer with your friends and family - its a free event and everyone is welcome!!

©2014 Kildonan UnitingCare | 512 Sydney Rd. Coburg, VIC 3058

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Check out Yarra's draft Urban Ag Strategy, tell the Council what you think (Closing 26th Sept)

It's been a tumultuous time for the folks involved with urban ag in Yarra, their funding was being cut and their pioneering urban ag facilitator role was under threat.

Thankfully due to a large surge of support, the local community was able to persuade Council to reconsider and the role has been confirmed for a short term.

Your help is now needed to further shape Yarra Council's efforts in this area. Take a few minutes to influence the future direction of our city.

Yarra has just released its draft Urban Agriculture strategy for community consultation. You can read it here. (Don't be put off by the number of pages - they used a big font and there's lots of empty space)

They need people to answer 7 feedback questions which you can do here.

Judging them on their efforts to drop the role mentioned above, it would seem a good idea to make sure what they're planning is on the mark.

Go on, find 15 minutes. The offer closes on Friday 26th September.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Monthly food swap at West Brunswick Community Garden starting 18th Sept

Grown too much silverbeet and don't want to waste it?
Loaded with parsley seeds but really need a pumpkin?
Stuck with surplus worm juice and need more thyme (who doesn't)?
Cookbooks taking over your kitchen?
Got an extra garden fork?

You can solve all these problems at a food swap.

Swappers deposit their stuff and then ‘shop’ from the table of stuff left by others. What you pick up should be a fair reflection of what you have put down. No money changes hands. There are food swaps happening everywhere all the time and they have been around forever when you think about it. It just works!

At our next Garden & Gather (from 11am on 28th Sept) we're relaunching our food swap at the West Brunswick Community Garden then we'll hold one every month on the 4th Sunday.

Everyone (not just people connected with our garden) can come along and exchange things like fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, seeds, honey, preserves, tools, seedlings, cookbooks, fruit trees, compost or worm juice, but don't let this list limit you, be imaginative. Community garden or home grown, it doesn't matter.

Why are we doing this? To have a bit of fun, share delicious local food, create friendships, build a stronger community, reduce waste and encourage a grass roots response to food access issues in Moreland and beyond.

Foods swaps are popping up all over Melbourne, in community gardens, local parks, meeting places and even beside traditional markets. Every weekend you can visit a Food Swap in Moreland and from Fawkner to Footscray, Cockatoo to Coburg, Food Swaps are sprouting up all over Victoria.

Monday, September 15, 2014


You are warmly invited to PARK FOR A DAY on Sunday 28th of September 10am-4pm at the Edward & Dodds Street Carpark in Brunswick.

This pop up park is part of a longer term campaign to have some of this unused carpark converted to a green space for everyone.

We want the local community to come along to Park for a Day and show support for this idea and share your ideas about what a park here could look like.... The question for you food gardening fans is....Would it include edibles? Come along and have your say!

Please help make a park by 'likeing' us on facebook and sharing this link to invite your friends and neighbors

Some background to the event:
Friends of Edward Street is a local brunswick group commited to greening their local neighbourhood with food plants and habitat and bringing the community together in the process.

The group formed 3 years ago when some members got talking about converting some of a unused car park on the street to a permanent park.
They decided that by forming a local friends group to become stewards of the Edward st naturestrip outstands they could demonstrate how commited they were to creating and helping to maintain a new park.

Since then we have been busy maintaining and creating gardens along the street with the help of Moreland City Council seeding grant and helping to maintain the communities for nature habitat corridor that also runs along the street. Perhaps our most loved achievement along the street is the installation of a childrens garden- frequented and cared for by local children.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

IncrEdible Food Swap this Saturday 6th Sept 10am-12pm @ PepperTree Place

pruning image
Hello PepperTree Friends
Spring is definitely in the air (apart from that first day glitch) and time to shrug off the cold and get some spring in your step - best to come down to PepperTree this Saturday with your fresh garden goodness to swap with like minded gardeners.
Diana Cotter will be running our first spring garden workshop and sharing some great tips on how to prepare your summer vegie patch. See registration details below. Paul will be here chatting about chooks in Chookville from 11am at no cost.
We are also beginning plans and preparation for our annual Garden Fiesta - this years theme is Recycle/Upcycle. Happening on the 8th of November - we are looking for volunteers to help at the event or in the lead up to event preparation - there is lots to do!!
If you can lend a generous hand the rewards are deep and nurturing to your good soul. Please contact us here at PepperTree and talk to Tash on 0431 494 773 or get in touch via email:

The IncrEdible Coburg Food Swap happens on the First Saturday of the Month, 10am-1pm

512 Sydney Rd, Corner of Sydney Rd and Bell St, Coburg

June Swap Heidi

PepperTree Place Spring Food Garden Workshops

Workshops begin 10.30am. Register and pay at the Swap Table prior to start time please. $10 per person
Sept 6th: Summer Vegie Gardening - seed sowing and getting your garden ready to beat the heat
Oct 4th: Sourdough Bread making for Beginners
Nov 1st: Summer Vegie Garden Maintenance and PepperTree Working Bee
Nov 8th: Spring Garden Fiesta!!! 10am-4pm All day extravaganza!! Featuring local music, the bounty of PepperTree nursery, great organic food and drinks, nature inspired kids activities and informative workshops in a family friendly environment.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Grafting Masterclass 11 & 14 Sept (9am-12pm Fairfield)

If you came to the recent Permablitz at the West Brunswick Food Forest, you might have been lucky enough to have a pruning tutorial with John Pinniger of the Heritage Fruits Society (a not for profit whose sole purpose is to preserve heritage fruit varieties).

John has just announced he will run a couple of 'masterclasses' in grafting for those Permaculture designers and others who would like to improve their skills - or learn the basics.

This will be hands-on. It will involve learning the reasons for, and the science of grafting, and then some practice. Budding will also be discussed, (although Winter is not the best time to do it). Your questions answered.

John's a great teacher, very knowledgable and happy to offer explanations. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from an expert, it won't cost you a dollar and you'll help a very worthy cause.

Does it cost?
There is no cost, but the third hour of the three-hour session will be assistance with the grafting of Heritage Fruits trees, including potting, labelling, etc. (part learning, part application)

When is it?
Sessions are planned for 9 AM - 12AM on Thursday 11th September or Sunday 14th September.
Maximum 5 per session - more sessions if there is enough interest

Where? Location will be Fairfield, accessible by public transport - address sent with acceptance.

RSVP: Please book by emailing John at with the subject line GRAFTING and your preferred date.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Environmental Film Festival Melbourne: Slow Food Story w. Growing Food Project (8th Sept)

"Why should an Eskimo eat the same food as an Ethiopian? What will happen to the neighborhood trattoria? Food is as important as language, why destroy our heritage?" - Carlo Petrini


For more on the film festival, go here.

Almost thirty years ago, the announcement that McDonald’s was setting up shop in the heart of Rome, provoked large numbers of angry demonstrators. But one charismatic Italian chose a different approach — he set about creating an alternative.

Meet the ebullient Carlo Petrini, founder of ‘slow food’ — an international anti-fast food resistance movement, that aims to simultaneously preserve local traditions, agricultural diversity and the pleasure principle.

In this charming biopic, we celebrate the growth of the slow food movement, from the tiny town of Bra into a revolution, that now has roots in more than 150 countries. Alongside cheese-makers, vintners, and artisanal food folk, we toast Petrini for bringing about a change in consciousness that shook the very foundations of gastronomy.


SCREENS WITH: GROWING FOOD PROJECT (Rasha Tayeh, 2013) which explores Melbourne's community food movement and initiatives, where people are coming together to build, local, fair and sustainable food systems.

Here's a taste of Slow Food Story

SLOW FOOD STORY - TRAILER ENGLISH from Autlook Filmsales on Vimeo

Friday, August 1, 2014

Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap 2nd August, 10-12pm

PepperTree Place - Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap

This Saturday, 2nd August, 10am-12pm

Pause this mid winter at PepperTree Place and take in some tasty hand made treats over coffee and cups of tea at the Pop-up Cafe.
Continuing with our Food Garden Workshop Series, Judy Allen will be taking the Composting and Wormfarming workshop from 10.30am this weekend. Register at the Swap Table from 10.15am, $10 per person. Trouble shoot your compost problems and get those worms a kicking in your garden!
Peruse our Plant Nursery for affordable plants of great diveristy - natives, vegie seedlings, perennial herbs, climbers, groundcovers and unusual edibles.
Ross will have some sourdough creations baking in the woodfired oven. Bring your own to bake and find out about the fine art of wood fired cooking! Ross will be running a work shop on making and baking sourdough bread at the October Swap - so put it in your diary now!!
Food Garden Workshop Series:
Workshops begin 10.30am. Register and pay at the Swap Table prior to start time please. $10 per person 

July 5th: Introduction to Vegie Gardening for Beginners
Aug 2nd: Composting and Wormfarming - have all your questions answered!
Sept 6th: Summer Vegie Gardening - seed sowing and getting your garden ready to beat the heat
Oct 4th: Sourdough Bread making for Beginners
Nov 1st: Summer Vegie Garden Maintenance and PepperTree Working Bee
Nov 8th: Spring Garden Fiesta!!! 10am-4pm All day extravaganza!! Featuring local music, nursery, great food and drinks, kids activities, workshops in a family friendly environment.

PepperTree Place is Kildonan Uniting Care's Community Hub and Social Enterprise base located in Coburg. We have a volunteer powered community nursery open all week, a pop-up cafe open on the 1st Saturday of the month and at special events, we run informative workshops and are also a composting hub - bring your organic kitchen waste down to feed the worms. 

PepperTree is open to the public Tuesday - Friday, 10am-4pm and the first Saturday of every month, 10am-12pm.

Located at 512 Sydney Road, Coburg. Entrances on Urquhart St and Bell St. Handy to public transport: Tram route 19; Upfield Train line, Coburg Station and a five minute walk. 
Buses at back gate on Bell St.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your invitation to MFGN Quarterly Social #3 with Zainil Zanudin (Fri 1st Aug)

Our next MFGN Quarterly Social is fast approaching on Friday 1st August and everyone is welcome.

Last social we saw 20+ friendly faces come along to hear about the urban and regional food charter which triggered plenty of interest and enthusiasm (and maybe even some tangible activity in terms of a Moreland council policy).

We've picked a Friday this time in case Tuesdays are difficult (it being a school night and all).

This time Zainil Zanudin will be our guest to talk about her research project: Urban food production as a strategy for food security in Melbourne, exploring the diversity, abundance and production practices of urban food production within a 70 km radius of the Melbourne CBD.

After we hear from Zainil and have an a opportunity to discuss what her research revealed, we’ll mingle, chat and eat. It's informal and everyone is welcome, an opportunity to find likeminded, enthusiastic people all in one place.

We hope you’ll come along and participate, meet new friends and say hello to old ones.

When: Friday 1st August from 6.30pm - 9.30pm

Where: Richard Lynch Centre, 27 Peacock St, West Brunswick

Food/Drink: Bring a plate & drink to share

RSVP: by emailing

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Join others to start a CERES Food Forest

Wow, Food Forests are THE THING right now.

3, it's a magic number....

1. Hot on the heels of the recent food forest Permablitz in West Brunswick (what an awesome day it was! That link will lead you to a report on the day with pics)

2. and the upcoming start to establish the first food forest in Darebin on 27th July

3. we hear the call has gone out for volunteers for a working group to start and maintain a food forest at CERES in East Brunswick

For more information and express your interest, please email Monique at:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Help Create Darebin’s First Food Forest on National Tree day! (27th July)

Darebin City Council is building its first food forest based on a design incorporating many of the community’s great ideas and suggestions. You are invited to learn about planting fruit trees and be part of the Food Forest’s creation by helping us plant the forest on National Tree Day.

When: Sunday 27th July from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Where: At the site in All Nations Park, on Separation Street, Northcote (opposite Santa Maria College).

What to bring: Bring your own water, warm weather-proof clothing, gardening gloves, a hat and a hand trowel if you have one. There will be a limited number of tools available.

Bookings not required. Drop in any time during these hours to lend a hand. Free tea and coffee will be provided.

For more information contact Jules Martin on (03) 8470 8435 or



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sign this petition to tell our politicians we want a Local Food Act and Local Food Fund for Victoria

Please sign this petition from Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

The way we produce, process, transport, sell and dispose of food lies at the heart of so many of our major problems. 
Our food system is in crisis. Some say it's broken. We can and must do better. 

Victorians want to support our local producers and food businesses. Look how we rallied to support SPC when it was about to go bankrupt. In other places, governments act on this community sentiment and pass laws and allocate resources to help farmers become more viable, support local jobs, educate kids about healthy eating habits, and support community gardens and urban agriculture. A couple of months ago the US Dept of Agriculture allocated $78m to Local Food projects like farmers markets. Late last year, the Province of Ontario passed a Local Food Act and allocated $30m to Local Food.

In this year's Victorian election, we are calling on all candidates and parties to commit to a Local Food Act and Fund for Victoria.

We want:
  • Protection of High-Value Agricultural Land (from housing development and coal-seam gas fracking and other forms of mining)
  • An enabling framework for urban agriculture in Victoria's towns and cities
  • Creation of a $10m Local Food Fund to support community and local food projects around the state
  • An inter-departmental Ministerial Food Forum to ensure strategic and coherent thinking about food and agriculture 
  • A full community inquiry into the state of Victoria's local food economy and system, leading to comprehensive law reform proposals

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Go on, help disrupt our food systems - support the Open Food Network. You'll feel better.

The Open Food Network has the potential to really disrupt our food systems - in a good way.

It's like a network of online farmers markets that enables everyone to participate. It helps put control over food into the hands of farmers, eaters and local enterprises so that:
  • Eaters can “know their farmers” (where they are, how they farm, exactly what price they get) while still having wide choice and the ease and convenience of local pick-up and access.
  • Farmers can set their own prices, tell their own stories and choose who they trade with.
  • Ethical and diverse food enterprises ("Food Hubs") rebuild local economies by supporting these farmers and eaters to distribute food.
Sounds good right?

Well, they need you to get on board now and help make it happen by contributing funds to their crowdfunding campaign.

Every little bit makes a difference, so even if you can only spare $20, they will absolutely put it to good use to get this platform launched for use by farmers and food hubs in Australia, with the software available for use all around the world!

Proudly open source (we mentioned them a little while back in our post about 3 Melbourne-based Open Source, Fair Food Projects) and not for profit, they're creating software with and for the global fair food movement.

The Open Food Network, the first project of the Open Food Foundation, is a free and open source project aimed at supporting diverse food enterprises and making it easy to access local and sustainable food. (Saying that, they've been around for a while in other guises. You might even remember reading here about Eaterprises as far back as 2011).

Friday, July 4, 2014

Heritage Fruit Society: 3 x Grafting Workshops and Trees Sales days (August 2014)

Every year the people from the Heritage Fruits Society runs some grafting workshops around Melbourne and sells some trees and scion wood so you can do some grafting of your own at home. It helps support their work and you get to learn form experts.

If you get the chance go and visit Petty's Orchard in Templestowe. It's amazing.

All are welcome.

Grafting workshop and Tree sales day
When: Sun, August 03, 2014 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Petty's Orchard, Templestowe
Annual Grafting and Tree Sales Day at Petty's Orchard. Come along and -

  • Learn techniques for grafting or budding fruit trees
  • Select suitable rootstocks
  • Have new trees grafted or budded by HFS members
  • Buy heritage fruit tree scion wood for home grafting

Grafting And Tree Sales Day
When: Sat, August 09, 2014 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: CERES Environmental Park, Brunswick East
The CERES annual Grafting and Tree Sales Day is an event not to be missed. Come along and -

  • Learn techniques for grafting or budding fruit trees
  • Select suitable rootstocks
  • Have new trees grafted or budded by HFS members
  • Buy heritage fruit tree scion wood for home grafting
  • Buy one-year-old grafted trees.

Grafting workshop and Tree sales day
When: Sun, August 10, 2014 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: The Briars, Nepean Hwy, Mornington
A new Grafting and Tree Sales Day at The Briars. Come along and -

  • Learn techniques for grafting or budding fruit trees
  • Select suitable rootstocks
  • Have new trees grafted or budded by HFS members
  • Buy heritage fruit tree scion wood for home grafting

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap and FoodGarden Workshops Saturday 5th July

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Hello PepperTree Friends

Winter is a special time of year for the garden where we slow down a tad, take stock of the garden, make some leaf mould, keep the compost turning and prepare the soil with organic matter and green manures. Some people stop gardening all together thinking nothing grows during these colder months, but we can assure you that winter vegetables and fruits continue to grow and thrive here in Melbourne right through the frosty months!! Last June, the Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap Table saw a huge diversity of free fresh food being presented - the likes of lemons, kiwifruit, pomegranate, Jerusalem artichokes, bunches of chard, rhubarb, basil, kale, bay leaves, silver beet plus celery, chillies, Warrigal Greens, carrots, Vietnamese mint, plum jam, seedlings, olives, chokos and oranges to name a few!!

The Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap happens on the First Saturday of the Month, 10am-1pm

512 Sydney Rd, Corner of Sydney Rd and Bell St, Coburg

PepperTree Winter/Spring Workshop Series

Workshops begin 10.30am. Register and pay at the Swap Table prior to start time please. $10 per person

  • July 5th: Introduction to Vegie Gardening for Beginners 
  • Aug 2nd: Composting and Wormfarming - have all your questions answered! 
  • Sept 6th: Summer Vegie Gardening - seed sowing and getting your garden ready to beat the heat 
  • Oct 4th: Sourdough Bread making for Beginners 
  • Nov 1st: Summer Vegie Garden Maintenance and PepperTree Working Bee 
  • Nov 8th: Spring Garden Fiesta!!! 10am-4pm All day extravaganza!! Featuring local music, nursery, great food and drinks, kids activities, workshops in a family friendly environment.

PepperTree Place is Kildonan Uniting Care's Community Hub and Social Enterprise base located in Coburg. We have a volunteer powered community nursery open all week, a pop-up cafe open on the 1st Saturday of the month and at special events and we are also a composting hub - bring your organic kitchen waste down to feed the worms. PepperTree is open to the public Tuesday - Friday, 10am-4pm (but won't be open Tuesdays in July for 2014 only).

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grants available for playful community meals in Melb/Geelong: Mixed Dozen (closing 31 July)

From The Baker of Mixed Dozen:

Mixed Dozen are running a playful new community meal making program, and you might be interested.

At Mixed Dozen, we believe that there is need to reinvigorate the local, to rediscover our sense of community. How do we do this? Through meeting the people in your community you would never talk to otherwise, and what better way to connect with people than through food? This meal gives neighbours the space to play, create, give and make better connections to the people around them.

There are six $500 grants for those
in the Melbourne and Geelong regions wishing to create a playful, community meal event. Individuals or organisations can apply at But don't be too slow, applications are closing on the 31st of July.

Mixed Dozen is run in association with the Uniting Church, CERES Fair Food, Foodie Feasts and Project Synthesis. These organisations have all joined forces in their common love of binding communities together, and eating local and sustainable produce.

Check out more our manifesto at or learn more about creating your own Mixed Dozen meal here


Mixed Dozen Handbook |
Mixed Dozen Manifesto |
Apply here |

For more information or to talk further about Mixed Dozen’s work with food, meals and local communities you can contact:

It would mean a lot to us if you could share this within your networks, through word or mouth or even in your newsletter or similar.

Looking forward to our collaboration,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mark your calendar! West Brunswick Food Forest Permablitz Saturday 12th July

Pruning, camaraderie, spades, pumpkin soup, wheelbarrows, workshops and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction await you on Saturday 12th July as we hold another remarkable Food Forest Permablitz with help from the amazing Permablitz Collective. Help get months of work done in a day, learn stuff and have a laugh while you're at it (PLUS we'll provide lunch for everyone who comes to help).

When: 9.30 - 4.30 Saturday 12th July

Where: Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick - enter from Everett St through the car park beside Moreland Child Care Centre, 51 Everett St.

RSVP to (so we can cater lunch for everyone)

Prerequisites for attendance: your willingness to learn and get stuck in and a bit of common sense

Bring: gardening gloves, secateurs (if you want to prune), hand tools for planting, sensible footwear and clothing

This amazing food forest with 30+ mature productive food trees and a slowly developing under-storey of edible and companion plants is a terrific companion to the community garden next door provides a long-term, perennial counterpart to the garden's mostly seasonal, transient, plant-harvest-replant cycle. This unique place will only get better as it becomes more established and we invest some love and attention.

We've got lots to do and learn and plenty of fun to be had. Amongst other things we'll:
  • prune whatever needs it but mostly the fruit trees
  • Assess a few trees that are struggling 
  • work on the pergola for the climbing vines
  • Sheet mulch an area to suppress the grass
  • hold some short workshops on things like pruning and composting.
  • mulch and weed
Never been before? Come and check it out. If you came along last year, come and see how much the food forest has grown and developed over the year and to bump into the people you met last June.
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