St Kilda Garden
The St Kilda Veg Out was once a bowling green, but it’s now divided into 160 plots, each rented out to locals for a modest fee of $24 for six months. All kinds of people regularly visit the site to look after tiny productive patches, including celebrities such as Peter Phelps and Ian Stenlake from Channel Nine’s ‘Stingers’ cop show. The Veg Out president, Robert Taylor, is also an actor, and starred in ‘The Matrix’ with Keanu Reeves
As well as the stars of stage and screen, there are mums and dads with their kids, war veterans from the St Kilda Army and Navy Club, retired forklift drivers, exotic dancers in high-heeled shoes, students, artists, business people and musicians.
Veg Out members not only share their produce, but also a tremendous camaraderie, a willingness to smile, swap yarns and help each other out. The garden has a no-chemicals policy, and any surplus herbs and vegies are donated to the nearby Sacred Heart Mission. There is a real concern that the allotments may have to make way for developers, as the land is owned by the Crown and is valuable real estate. However, the project has the support of the local council, so Veg Out members are optimistic that the garden will survive, expand and attract more members for years to come.
This story is featured in the May 2000 edition of the Burke’s Backyard Magazine.