The Northcote Library Food Garden has been developed by the City of Darebin as part of its sustainable food program. A community consultation process began in late April 2011 and the first community planting day was held in July.
The garden is managed by a committed group of residents for the benefit of the community. It is a productive growing space, as well as a place for gathering, for education and for demonstrating sustainable gardening practices. The Northcote Library Food Garden joins an exciting array of sustainability and gardening projects and networks operating in the inner-Northern suburbs of Melbourne.
The garden features two large communal growing beds, which have been planted out with annual and perennial edible plants, as well as a variety of companion and beneficial plants.
The garden has been established as a communal plot in order to maximize growing space. It will function using a communal planting and harvest model. A monthly planting, harvest and working bee day will take place, with gardeners committing a further 1-2 hours a week of their available time. On the community days, the available harvest will be shared with those present, and gardeners are welcome to harvest a reasonable share of anything that is ready to pick at any other time. The garden will be chemical-free and operate using broad permaculture and organic principles.
Gardening workshops are planned as part of broad educational aims for the garden. Establishment of a seed bank and construction of compost corrals are a couple of the more significant projects undertaken over the years.
The Northcote Library Food Garden is open for members of the public to enjoy and it is hoped that it will become a place where the community can meet, children can explore and people can learn about growing their own food.