We are always excited to work with sustainability innovators and Elle Paton definitely falls into that category. Elle is passionate about tiny homes. She is one of the founders of Tiny, a non-profit organisation dedicated to proving the viability of tiny homes as a housing alternative in Australia.
She isn't only talking the talk, she is walking the walk.
Elle lives in her very own tiny home in St Kilda. The tiny home on wheels was the first to be granted pre approval for long term occupancy in an urban environment in Australia. Tiny homes have many benefits. They are less demanding on the environment than larger homes with less materials required for the build and less space to heat and cool. They are also transportable and significantly cheaper than ordinary houses which makes them a compelling solution to problems like housing insecurity and affordability.
Elle moved in her tiny home in St Kilda at the start of this year and installed 4 Foodcube wicking beds to provide fresh food at arm's length from the household. For Elle, growing food is one of many steps people and communities can take to reduce their impact on the environment.
"The only problem that I've had with the Foodcube is that we've grown so much food that we can't eat it all for ourselves. Fortunately we've been able to give lots of the produce away to people in the community. In that sense we've been able to support our local community despite being in lock-down for much of this year."
Elle is also in the process of building a community garden on the vacant land that she was donated. While the lock-down has slowed progress, she can't wait to create a space that brings the community together to grow food and learn about real ways to live sustainably and well.
Stay tuned for more on this project.
Sometimes you get to work with great people on really inspiring projects and this is one of them, a proposed large scale, innovative urban farm at Glen Junor in the Gisborne area, north of Melbourne, working with Nigel Sharp and Odonata.
Designed by The Sustainable Landscape Company and Australian Ecosystems, the farm has the potential to produce large amounts of food for the community and local charities, and to show how new communities can become more food secure, sustainable and circular economy.
The community farm design includes large areas for plot holders, orchard, farmers market space, cafe, playground, education area, rainwater harvesting, composting areas and more.
Stage one of the farm has been built and planted out using our Foodcube wicking beds.
Very keen to see these beautiful assets in all new communities to improve future food security and deliver a raft of benefits - nutrition, exercise, social connection, reduced food bills. TSLC produced a detailed briefing paper on the farm including design features, governance, revenue streams which can be read at the link below for those interested in a deep dive. Thanks to The Sustainable Landscape Company for sharing this briefing paper with us.
Congrats to the Glen Junor team for thinking outside the square, it will be a project worth watching.
These renters in Northcote are making the most of their 3 Foodcubes. In May 2020 the occupants transformed their backyard from a weed bowl into a thriving urban farm which has been pumping out fresh veggies ever since. The Foodcube is a perfect solution for renters who want to grow food. They are easy to assemble, super productive and when your lease is up, you can take them with you to your next house. You can also customise them to create structures to make your rental property more welcoming. These renters have used the Foodcube to create more seating space in their communal area. They've also used the trellis slot on the edge of the Foodcube as an impermanent pole fixture. This has allowed them to hang lights and bunting above the garden and has given them the option to add shade sails in summer. Foodcubes are also a great solution for city backyards where the existing soil has been contaminated with chemicals such as lead from paint washing off old houses. Check out our website for more food growing solutions.