Springridge Common is Victoria’s oldest and largest public permaculture garden or community multi-layer food forest, located in Fernwood at the corner of Chambers and Gladstone. Check out a map of the Common here.
Designed as a permaculture demonstration site, Spring Ridge Common contains over 100 species of plants, many of which have food and/or medicinal value. A home for many native birds and insects, the Common is intended to be a place where community members can meet, engage and grow on land held in common.
In 1999, local permaculturist Geoff Johnson, together with a group of volunteers began laying sheet mulch over the hard-packed gravel on this unused former school bus lot, and proceeded to start planting fruit trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Over time, some of these plantings have been more successful than others, with figs, goumi, medlars and the large damson plum near the centre doing especially well, while some other species have struggled due to the original poor soil conditions and warm, dry conditions on the site.
Thanks to The Youth Research and Engagement in Growing Prosperity Project and UVic Centre for Youth and Society the Community Social Planning Council for creating this video.
Currently, Fernwood NRG and Transition Victoria Food Group are taking leadership in supporting the Common. We are organizing monthly work parties, and will be exploring fundraising and grant opportunities to revitalize the Commons. A comprehensive long-term plan will also be developed for the space.
Want to get involved? Become a volunteer to hear about upcoming work parties.