Mat and Fabian are the masterminds behind the Melbourne edible garden company that is inspiring and making it more possible for people in inner Melbourne to grow produce.

With an idea to recycle the humble apple crate, in 2009 Little Veggie Patch Co promoted small scale gardening and started to share country ideas to city dwellers.  As more people were seeking to get into the garden and grow their own food, the Little Veggie Patch Co business grew.

“In Australia, growing food has really been defined by certain stereotypes,” says Mat.

“It can be your grandparents, in the case of ourselves, it can be your hippy friend who has moved to Northcote and decided they want to be self-sufficient, or it’s just something a farmer does in the country.

“I think it’s important to break down these stereotypes and to show that growing food is something that we can all do.”

Mat and Fabian began their journey of spreading the message that you can grow food regardless of your space restrictions by setting up The Nursery in St Kilda. Fabian said the retail space has allowed people to come in and be inspired. They get to see firsthand what they can actually do in their gardens, he says.

Wonder through The Nursery and you’ll see ample crates filled with delicious produce, overflowing window boxes with herbs and even chooks scratching about in their run. You’ll find great resources in the way of books, guides and the Little Veggie Patch Co staff, not to mention all the accessories you’ll need to start your own produce garden.

Through their journey of helping people set up their very own veggie patches across Melbourne, the guys discovered more people were living in the CBD who didn’t have any space to grow food. Ironically these, people were the ones who were most interested about food and where their food was coming from.

It was from this interest that Pop Up Patch was born; a modern day edible garden club. Transforming an unused car park in the middle of the city, Mat and Fabian have installed over 140 veggie crates to rent to residents, businesses and restaurants.

“It’s a community space where local residents can spend time to share information about growing food and also sharing food, sharing time together,” says Fabian.

“The origin of the business has been around food”.

Whilst this may be the foundation, the business of Little Veggie Patch Co has expanded. The Pop Up Patch now has a café and a mini gardening shop. They hold community gatherings including BBQs, movie nights and even table-tennis competitions. There’s gardening workshops for big and little people, and events that take advantage of the urban landscape such as morning yoga.

Over the years, Little Veggie Patch Co have introduced Melbourne to the concept of urban farming. What they do next is anyone’s guess, but we’re sure it’s going to be good.

Go and visit the Pop Up Patch or start your very own after a visit to Little Veggie Patch Co.