Dan and Liz’s Garden


Saturday 23 November 2019

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Wednesday 20th November.
The tour will focus on the water systems around the home and will be an opportunity to share patterns and observations on capturing, storing and distributing rainwater, domestic wastewater and runoff. Discussion topics might include: greywater systems, tanks, driplines, measured irrigation, restoring the natural water cycle, wicking beds, swales and terracing, drippers, sprays, ag-pipes, etc.

This will also be a good time to enjoy some berries from the garden. Visitors are welcome to bring a plate and stay for some food and discussion afterwards.

See images from previous tour
Bookings and more info at

Guy & Susan’s Garden

house - lavender park - front garden 1

Sunday 17 November
Starting 11am, for around 2 hours.
If sufficient demand, a second session starting at 2pm

Guy and Susan bought their property in 2012, with the garden being their main reason for choosing it. Their first move was to turn the tennis court into a veggie patch: a regular and flat area, with no trees, and easily irrigated. The veggie patch now comprises 24 raised beds. 10 of these are in crop rotations (a 5-year rotation of legumes-cucurbits-roots-solanums-brassicas), with others for perennials (e.g. asparagus and rhubarb), herbs and berries.

Fruit trees are planted throughout the 1¼ acre garden, some in a purpose-built set of terraces. There are currently around 60 fruit trees, 30 berries and 10 vines. Collectively they cover most of the types of fruit that are commonly grown in Melbourne plus some more unusual species (e.g. jaboticas, cherimoyas and bananas). All the veggies and fruit are irrigated, mostly from tanks.

A few years ago, Helen Simpson from The Mushroom Shed visited the garden.
Read her writeup.

Earlier this year, Morgan Koegel from 3000acres visited the garden
Watch her video.

Some specific aspects of interest re food growing:

  • A no kill policy.
  • Use of Certified Organic inputs only.
  • Various methods for easy and effective netting.

Other points of interest:

  • Natives plants throughout the garden.
  • Labelling of all the plants.
  • 25 different species of eucalypt.
  • A battery-based solar system which means that they are effectively off grid for 8 months of the year.
  • Various artwork, mostly by local artists.
  • A fox-proof chook house and run.
  • Insect hotels.

This is not a child friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit.

To book, and for more detail, please go to:

Sue’s garden in Eltham


Sunday 10 November 2019
Main Rd, Eltham

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Wednesday 6 November.

In Sue’s lovely Eltham garden, visitors will see two wicking beds in the front garden, full of veggies. A forest of elm trees, a three acre paddock of river silt, hazelnut trees planted and a small fenced veggie garden. Bring along a plate to share if you like and Sue will have tea and coffee to share in the paddock!

To book, and for more detail, please go to:


Kate’s Garden in St Helena

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 10.36.20 am

Saturday 26th October, 10.30–12.00
Kate’s Place in St Helena

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 25th October.

Visit Kate’s magical quarter-acre garden in St Helena.

Edna Walling design and permaculture have been Kate’s dream forever, becoming a reality with the arrival of ducks to her large, suburban block in 2010. The garden is a mix of fruit and shade trees, veg, roses, herbs, chooks and ducks. The Eastern garden is her ornamental indulgence. She has a passion (obsession) for trees, birds, wildlife, and Art.

For a sneak peek – https://www.instagram.com/katemccredieart/

Some garden images and captions from Nicole:

Despite the wind, our time at Kate’s was lovely. It made me think of the words of artist, designer, thinker William Morris who created a golden rule saying: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” We could easily say that Kate is achieving this at her place. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience too and NERP are very grateful that she opened her garden and gave us a tour.


Front garden. Roses, herbs, irises and plenty of bee fodder! I have buckets of water everywhere for the wild birds, and my ducks when I have them out there. Also handy to water my pot plants.


Deep red leaves of the Cersis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy,’ and silver foliage of Eremophila nivea – a gorgeous West Australian native I can’t recommend highly enough. Lovely purple flowers, beloved by blue-banded bees! Kate pointed out how lovely it feels too. An unusually soft native.


Front garden looking North. Roses, herbs, and loads of bee food, including soursob and white clover, which are nitrogen-fixing and SO good for the garden!


Front garden. A newly constructed trellis for espaliering some citrus (currently hiding in the nasturtiums). Taking advantage of the thermal mass of the brick wall.


White lavender with peppermint and frankincense scented geraniums.


Drama unfolding.


Front garden looking East towards the Ioensis plena, crabapple, and the still-naked jacaranda. Roses, poppies, salvias, and the pink wisteria tree in the top right corner, which is a type of robinia that is also nitrogen-fixing and great for the soil.


Japanese maples and tree ferns in the Eastern garden with duck pool underneath.


The Eastern garden is a haven of shade trees. A beautiful, cool, peaceful hideaway.


The October Glory maple in the Eastern garden. I think we might have to come back in Autumn Kate!


The backyard or Western garden – fruit trees, free range chooks, and ducks. I didn’t get many decent shots of the numerous fruit trees back here… but there are many and they all looked very healthy.


Blue trumpet flowers of the Iochroma australis, a type of Brugmansia, thriving in the south-west corner of the garden.


Happy hen house.

Sauerkraut Workshop with Marina


Saturday 19th October, 10.00–11.30
at Marina’s place in Macleod

There are only 6 places available so be quick! You can book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 18th October.

If you want to make some sauerkraut to take home, bring some cabbage – red or white and some pure fine salt (about 2 level tablespoons of salt per cabbage) – preferably sea salt, some jars (wide-mouthed ones are better) and Marina should have enough caraway seeds and peppercorns, (which are optional) for everyone.

What Marina uses for the preparation is a deep wide metal bowl that can put up with being pounded, a flat ended rolling pin to help with the pounding/softening process, a sharp knife and chopping board, large deep jars that you can put your hand down into, as the softened cabbage needs to be packed tight to exclude as much air as possible.  Salt is the only essential addition – no liquid is added.  It should be ready in about 3 days.  Thanks to Milica Fraser who taught me (and I forgot who taught her…).

Sauerkraut is one of the probiotics that people are recommended to eat daily if possible.  Consuming a few different types probiotics (cultured or fermented food),  is ideal, for instance kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut is a good combination. Making your own is easy but a little time consuming, however you can make it in batches as it last for a long time and is fun if done with friends while you chat.  Sauerkraut used to be used as a winter food in Eastern European countries when there were few fresh vegies in that season.  It also provides Vit C and was used on sea voyages to help prevent scurvy.

To book, and for more detail, please go to:

Tomato Training Session at KABUU

tomato bushes in the greenhouse, care and support for tomatoes,

Sunday 24 November, 1pm to 5pm

Bookings via Trybooking:

Richard Lee from KABUU is looking for some extra hands to get his tomatoes strung up. Community members are invited to a hands-on Tomato Training Session at the KABUU urban farm in Research.

The session will include adding some additional purlins to the frames of the poly tunnels above each row of tomatoes, attaching strings and training the already-established tomatoes up the strings while pinching out unwanted growth. There will be plenty to do for the less physically inclined as well as for those who are comfortable using power tools and climbing ladders.

It will be an opportunity to learn about growing vegetables in poly tunnels, how to maximise the productivity of tomatoes in small spaces and how to optimise the form of the plants, pinching out unwanted side-shoots.


KABUU Background

KABUU is a start-up enterprise based in Banyule and Nillumbik, Victoria. They currently run a micro-nursery and grow vegetables, herbs, baby salads and microgreens, specialising in growing seedlings using the Nature’s BoxPress method. Their goal is to transform currently vacant and underutilised urban spaces into thriving food producing systems; supplying quality fresh food to local communities.

KABUU’s vision is a vibrant sustainable environment where everyone has access to healthy and affordable fresh food grown within walking distance and their mission is to create an urban food system providing hyperlocal and affordable fresh food to all; while leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint.

Many of you will know KABUU’s founder Richard Lee from the Eltham Farmer’s Market. His produce is amazing, usually having been picked that morning and having travelled only a few km down the hill from Research.

Ben’s Tool Repair Workshop


Sunday 1 December 2019 at 1:00pm
Ben’s Place, Eltham

You can book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 29 November.

In this tool maintenance and repairing workshop, bring along any tools you have lying around that need some TLC and bringing back to life. Ben will help you to repair by guiding you and sharing tips on how to look after your much loved hand tools so they keep on working! The broken wooden handle or the rusted blade, or simple sharpening.

When rsvp-ing to this booking, please provide a description of the tool that needs repairing, and if possible a photo, so that Ben can come prepared to help you with your specific tool requirements. Note that this is an out door activity essentially, so it is weather dependent. Attendees will be sent a final confirmation of the event 5 days prior when the weather forecast is available.

To book, and for more detail, please go to:

Lasagna Garden to Food Forest Workshop


Sunday 8 December 2019, 10am–1pm
Hurstbridge Hub
50 Graysharps Road, Hurstbridge

NERP and Edible Hub Garden are holding a hands-on workshop to create a no-dig lasagne bed for a future food forest at the Hurstbridge Hub. Learn about the design principles behind the proposed garden, the lasagne method of bed preparation and techniques to improve water capture and retention in the garden. The workshop will start with a presentation and briefing over a cuppa and then move outside for the hands-on activity.

Further Information:
Tracey Bjorksten

Bookings via TryBooking:

Geoff’s Open Garden


Saturday 14 December 2019 at 10.30
Eltham South

Geoff has kindly offered to open up his garden to NERP for a walk, talk and learn session. Here are the details for a visit to his 3/4 acre garden in Eltham South.

My garden is on a three-quarter-acre block in Eltham South. We moved here five years ago . Block is a quite sloping from front rising up to the back. Previous owners had been there for 40 years and was run down and overgrown with Pittosporum ,cotoneaster, brooms ,ash ,cherry plums, prickly pear, wondering jew, morning glory ,huge pine trees and hundreds of cactuses. When it rained, water ran like a torrent over the poor Eltham soil down to the road and away with very little being retained on site. I have tried to create as many level areas as possible and divert water run off from house and land through creek beds and pond holding areas. Large retaining walls have been made mainly from rock gabion construction but concrete was used in the vegetable garden area. We have chickens, bees and a developing vegetable garden in garden beds and wicking beds and many fruit trees. Vegetables are also grown in a hot house with a hydroponic set up. I try to recycle materials rather than throw out. My garden has been overhauled in stages and have planted out over 1500 plants with still many more to go.

You can book a visit to Geoff’s garden via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 13th December.

To book, please go to:

Pam’s Spring Garden 2019


Sunday 22nd September, 10.30–12.30
Diamond Creek

Pam is opening her garden to close scrutiny whilst the orchard is in blossom and before the leaves hide the form of the trees. We will spend most of the time discussing various pruning methods including cordon, espalier and Spanish bush. We will also have a look at some grafting – some new and some a couple of years old (and already producing fruit) and discuss various methods. No doubt there will be some weeds around that we can identify and perhaps find uses for. We might even have a taste of some in a frittata or sip some in a tea. If you have time to linger, feel free to bring a plate of finger food to help celebrate the beginning of the new growing season. Excess produce for swapping is welcome.

Book via Trybooking. Numbers are limited to 12.