Food Production

Food production: part of EBD’s built environment.

Many Melburnians think of food when they think of EBD.  As a response to the global food crisis and other climate change pressures food production has been one of the most visible and valued facets of the EBD development. In recent surveys, 78% of residents were somehow active in our food production network.

Popular activities include gardening, working at the food co-op and / or tool shed library, taking part in the local cooking classes, using one of the commercial kitchens, making beer in the micro brewery, or attending one of the EBD local food picnics in the park and markets.  Nearly 45% of residents have signed up to the organic compost agreement, but of course all residents are using the food waste bins.

Over half of the residents indicated that they are participating in some form of horticulture. EBD has a number of different types of food production; there are many small private residential (often hydroponic) gardens, as well as community gardens, public food landscapes and the commercial growing areas. Whilst many residents and community groups maintain gardens, a large section is commercially run by the EBD urban food production businesses. There are typical cross-cultural veggie gardens that have been around for many years, and fruit and nut trees are also abundant as public plantings. However it is the development of unconventional growing spaces in EBD (as part of building designs) that has attracted most attention. The innovative designs of EBD’s urban agricultural systems are a defining aesthetic of the neighbourhood. Urban agriculture systems are carefully designed to not only provide a robust growing system but also allow for maximum solar access. Roofs and other non-ground level spaces have become valuable for mixed production systems – energy, food and water collection and storage. EBD has had to carefully negotiate these open space inter-dependencies across the site. The design is so successful that aspects of it have been adopted in other areas of Melbourne and also interstate. Technology and systems have been exported to many other countries.