Connecting gardens, groups and growers to create a more resilient food future in Darebin

Call for Submissions – Darebin’s next Communal Food Growing Site

Darebin is looking to create a new communal food growing site in Darebin in 2018/19. Examples of communal food sites Council has funded in recent years include Sylvester Hive Community Garden (on the grounds of the Pavilion School) in Preston and the All Nations Kitchen Garden in All Nations Park, Northcote (pictured).

The key to these gardens success is the strong community support they enjoy. Each site is looked after by a group of enthusiastic local residents who not only grow delicious produce all year round, they manage the site fairly and inclusively for the benefit of the whole community.

Are you a member of a local community ready to connect through the cultivation of delicious locally grown food? Do you have a site in mind that would be ideal for growing food?

Then we want to hear from you!

Council is looking for:
1. An established community with 10 or more members. The proposed site could be land or a park associated with or close to a community centre, neighbourhood house, school or church. This can help ensure there are enough committed community members to share the responsibility for looking after the garden
2. A site which is accessible to a large number of residents, i.e. near medium to high density residential areas and preferably close to walking / cycling tracks and public transport
3. A site which is not highly contaminated and which has access to water and sunlight for at least 6 hours per day

Nominated sites can be on Council land, owned by other public entities such as VicTrack, or may even be private land, provided agreement / permission and planning permits can be obtained to use the site for this purpose.

The conditions required for Council to build a communal food garden include:
• The site is available for at least 3 years, preferably 5
• Full public access to the site is maintained
• The funds are only for the infrastructure required to grow food, such as garden beds, soil, a water tank, paths, a storage shed for tools etc. Buildings and other non- food growing related infrastructure is excluded
• Planting / cultivation and ongoing maintenance of the site becomes the responsibility of the community group

A number of potential sites have already been identified through a mapping exercise undertaken with Transition Darebin a few years ago. These sites can be viewed here:

Council has developed Communal Food Garden Assessment guidelines and checklist to help the community identify sites which have the most potential for success – both in terms of maximising food production potential as well as access to as broad a range of people as possible.

Communal Food Garden Site Assessment Checklist

Submissions are open until 29 September, 2017

Please submit suggestions (or requests for more information) to Lee Tozzi at or Ph 8470 8392

3 thoughts on “Call for Submissions – Darebin’s next Communal Food Growing Site

  1. Can you tell me about the current status of the site: corner Herbert Street and Hawthorn Road, near the Northcote railway station. In the past it was a little ‘alternative’ garden. I know because I was one of the people who worked it. Some fruit trees still grow there.The drought, and then, later, the weeds, became too much. Dumpers followed and a fence was put up–I am not sure by whom…. The neighbour used it for ponies…and other things. There has been no public access for a while now. It could be put to better use.

  2. Hi Lee
    I would like to suggest an extension of the Northcote Community Garden (on Hartington Street), to utilise some of the land down towards Westbourne Grove. A lot of illegal dumping currently takes place in that stretch of land. A community garden would be much better.

    1. Hi Suzie, thank you for suggesting an extension of the Northcote Community Gardens as a possible communal food garden project for 2018/19. We are inviting people who have submissions to our next Sustainable Food Leaders Forum on Wednesday 16 August, 6:00 – 8:00pm in the Function Room, Council Offices, 350 High Street Preston. It would be great if you or other members of the Northcote Community Gardens were able to come along to talk through this idea. I’ll be emailing around the agenda shortly so will include you on that list. RSVP’s are required by Friday 11 August. Cheers, Lee

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