Dunstan Reserve Food Forest

Food Forest working bee

Thank you to everyone who came along to today’s working bee in the Food Forest! We got loads done, including:

  • Removing the dying Kangaroo Apple
  • Cutting down the dead Abyssinian Banana 
  • Taking cuttings from our Mulberry tree
  • Smothering the Kikuyu around our Carob tree with (biodegradable) weed mat and mulch
  • Weeding the paths
  • Weeding and mulching around the Lime
  • Bagging our bananas to protect them
  • Most importantly, eating plenty of cake for Richard’s birthday!

It was great to meet some locals who discovered the working bee through the new noticeboard (it works!).

If you’re looking for tasks to do in the Food Forest, please keep an eye on the newly mulched areas and remove any weeds that make their way in. There will also be some more carob pods to harvest very soon – wait until they’re brown and dry before picking. 

Jess, Judith and Lindy
Mulberry cuttings
Ian & Richard
Garden helper
Huge olives!
Abyssinian Banana mid-chop

Why we love communal gardening!

Did you know that although our gardens have personal plots, over half of our garden space is dedicated to communal growing area? There are several advantages to this…
🌱 You don’t have the pressure of running a whole plot on your own. You can share the load with others! This is especially beneficial if you’re new to gardening.
🌱 If you go on holidays or want a break from the garden, you don’t need to stress about keeping your plot maintained.
🌱 Gardening with others is a great way to meet your neighbours and expand your knowledge!
🌱 The amount of people who can join our gardens is virtually unlimited, with no wait lists for joining as a communal gardening member (if you feel so inclined, you can join PCG here and WBCG here).
🌱 You have the option to adopt a personal plot in addition to your communal gardening membership, if one is available.
🌱 You have the space to grow a huge variety of different crops without being limited to your plot space & crops that grow well together.
🌱 There is always PLENTY of produce to go round. We often have so much left over that we give it away to people walking past the gardens!
🌱 Our plot holders get involved in the communal space too, sharing their knowledge and excess produce. 
If you want to check out one of our gardens before committing to a membership, come along to a working bee and say hi! You can see what’s happening here
Communal garden beds at PCG (a small fraction of the growing space!)
Excess produce at PCG
Communal pumpkin patch at PCG
Communal hydroponic system at PCG
Excess crops at WBCG
Communal garden beds at WBCG (a small fraction of the growing space!)

Our first bananas!

Libby and Jess were very excited to discover the first fruits on our banana plants in the Food Forest! 

These plants are thriving in our subtropical garden. They do need to be thinned out as they are currently growing in very large clumps. We’ll be doing this at a working bee later this year, so keep an eye out for that if you’d like to get involved.

The next Food Forest working bee will be on Sunday 20th February from 10am – 2pm. All welcome and no experience necessary – just bring yourself and a pair of gloves. Hope to see you there!

Farewell to our wonderful friend John Coutanche

Many of you would have worked in the garden at West Brunswick or in the Food Forest alongside John Coutanche over the last few years. John was a massive contributor to the garden, and very much a quiet achiever. John was a very active member of the Organising Committee, a tireless worker in the communal garden, a keen and knowledgable seed saver, a Food Forest champion, wonderful company and a great friend.
Last Thursday, John lost his battle with cancer and passed away. He had battled sarcoma for a number of years and had been having treatment until earlier this year. The Organising Committee has organised a memorial (via zoom) this Sunday at 3pm. Please come along to share your memories of John or even if you didn’t know him well come and hear what a wonderful person he was and the amazing things he did for the garden and Food Forest. There are plans to set up a permanent memorial in the garden for him too.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting, or use the details below.

Meeting ID: 874 2626 4251

Passcode: Sn83bf

Dunstan Reserve Food Forest Survey

Dunstan Reserve Food Forest Survey

We are lucky enough to look after the Dunstan Reserve Food Forest, right next to the West Brunswick Community Garden. We have lots of ideas for this space, and we’re putting together a plan to enact them (when it’s safe to do so of course).


Whether you love it, are confused by it, or just like the free fruit, we want your input! Fill in our quick survey here.
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