Monday 7 March 2016

Pop Up Patch- the green oasis within Melbourne CBD

In the midst of the hustle-bustle concrete city, there is this out of ordinary green space with around 140 vegetable patches housed in some rustic recycled apple crates. This little urban farm was located strategically at the back of Federation Square (you can’t get any farm more central than that!), and is affectionately known as the “Pop Up Patch”.

Below are 5 interesting facts about this edible urban oasis:

1.         The site used to be an unused car park

Until some creative gentlemen, Matthew Pember and Fabian Capomolla, transformed this dull parking lot into a vibrant garden. To build this extraordinary farm in the middle of the city, Matthew and Fabian did not construct any fancy glass houses or deploy any sophisticated agricultural landscaping techniques. All they did was procured numerous old portable apple crates, waved their magic wands, and voila, a green paradise is formed! 

2.         Many restaurants in CBD rent a plot

According to the Federation Square website, all the restaurants and cafes at Fed Square own a plot with the Pop Up Patch. In the last Australian Master Chef TV program, we saw contestants running frantically from the Press Club (the flagship restaurant of the famous Master Chef judge George Calombaris) to this out-of-nowhere farm at Federation Square to pick up their fresh ingredients. 

3.         Even the public can rent a plot and start planting

Public (like you and me) can get our thumbs green by renting a plot with the Pop Up Patch. In fact, majority of the apple crate spaces are leased to the public. If you want to become a member of this little garden, all you need to do is pay the membership fee of $25 a week ($108 a month), and you will receive a fully prepared vegetable crate, tools, seeds, know-how to get your planting project started; and of course, a little dream plot that will soon be grown with herbs, lettuces, zucchinis, tomatoes and almost everything that you fancy!

4.         The café recycles all waste generated back into the farm

Apart from the Pop Up Patch, the Little Veggie Patch Co (LVPC) also ran its very own café (the Mister Patch) on the site. All waste generated in the café is recycled and gone back to the farm.

You could also purchase seeds, books and tools from its mini LVPC shop.

4.      Chemical-free vegetable gardens

The garden produces organic products (only organic fertilizers are used), hence you can rest assure that the food produced in your private little patches will be safe to eat with no suspicious chemical in it. 

5.      Workshops and events are held throughout the year  

Apart from wandering around the serene green space and breathe in the fresh scents of basil and oregano, you could also register and participate in various workshops to hone your gardening skills. There are exciting events such as scarecrow making, edible gardening for beginnings and pickling workshops for you to choose from.


Russell Court behind the Federation Square, at the car park roof. 

Opening Time:

5-days-a-week (closed Monday & Tuesday)
Weekday Hours-  8:00am – 4:00pm
Weekend Hours- 10:00am – 4:00pm


Updated 3/3/17: the Pop Up Patch is now closed. 

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