Across Australia community food spaces are popping up everywhere. They are on the roofs of apartment buildings, in derelict public spaces, adjoining community kitchens, in public parks and gardens, in hospital grounds – anywhere that is suitable, accessible and available. They are in densely built urban areas, in remote rural communities and in small regional towns.

The common thread between all of them is that they bring people together in a spirit of sharing, an appreciation of food and a respect for how it is grown and prepared.

Whilst community food growing is about learning forgotten skills, sharing knowledge and experiences, exploring new techniques and celebrating the success of harvests, it is also about much more. It is about the pleasure of connecting with each other, of eating well and sharing abundance, of telling yarns and creating bonds.

Community food growing is about the joy of being a community in the truest sense. If your community is interested in creating a community food space then you’re in the right place! The following resources, based on the experiences of the HMST/SGA Community Based Gardening project, will help you plan, build and manage your community garden project.

Community Gardens Manual (the ulitmate guide to setting up and managing a community garden space):












Mastering Garden booklet series:























Community-based Gardening Project
In 2009, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust established a $2 million HMS Bushfires Grants Fund. The purpose of the fund was to assist in the restoration of community life in rural townships damaged or destroyed by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
A $1 million grant allocation was made to Sustainable Gardening Australia for its proposal entitled, ‘Community Based Gardening in Bushfire Affected Areas’.
The Community Based Gardening Project commenced in July 2010, 16 months after the tragic 2009 bushfires. It was designed to provide a lasting contribution by helping Victorian communities to rebuild and regenerate through sustainable gardening activities. During this time eleven communities participated in the project.
Community Gardens
Five communities established a community garden. These gardens can be visited at:

  • Beechworth Community Garden, rear Quercus Bookshop, Ford Street, Beechworth
  • Jindivick Community Garden, Kydd Parke Reserve, Jacksons Track, Jindivick
  • Toolangi & Castella Community Garden, 1719 Healesville-Kinglake Road, Toolangi
  • Yackandandah Community Garden, 3A William Street, Yackandandah
  • Yinnar & District Community Garden, rear of ARC Yinnar, Main Street, Yinnar

POD* Community Food Growing Spaces
Six communities created a POD (Productive, Organic & Diverse) Community Food Space. These PODs can be visited at:

  • Callignee POD, Callignee Community Hall, Callignee
  • Clonbinane POD, Clonbinane Community Hall, Linton Street, Clonbinane
  • Dixons Creek POD, no fixed location but is run from members’ homes
  • St Andrews POD, St Andrews Community Centre, 35 Caledonia Street, St Andrews
  • Yarra Glen POD, Yarra Glen & District Living and Learning Centre, Anzac Ave, Yarra Glen
  • Yea POD, Yea Community Service Group, 5 The Semicircle, Yea

This project has been praised in Parliament by Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi.  Listen to her speech
If you would like to find out about a community garden near you try contacting Cultivating Community for information.