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Pop Up Patch – Melbourne’s Urban Haven

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on December 4, 2015

pop up patch

Imagine a community garden in the heart of the CBD, with lush veggie patches and alluring 360° views of Melbourne’s skyline and the Yarra River.

Well you don’t need to imagine it, because it exists, right in Federation Square. Matt Pember and his business partner Fabian Capomolla have created Pop Up Patch, The Little Veggie Patch Co’s urban backyard.

They have transformed what was once an unused city car park into a community gardening paradise, installing over 140 veggie crates, which are rented by PUP members.

“We have tended the garden as a community centre, where we have table tennis tables, run community events and even have coffee machines,” Matt says.

“Consider it a pseudo backyard for anyone who lives in the urban sphere or a condensed flat. In the bustling city room is precious so they can meet people at the PUP, use it as their own space and also do their own gardening.”

Pop Up Patch is also open to the public 6 days a week. While the main focus is on growing food, PUP is an urban oasis where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With table tennis competitions, Mexican food trucks on the weekend, and coffees and granitas on offer, this urban haven in Federation Square is definitely the coolest getaway from city life. And when the weather cools you can enjoy a hearty bowl of soup, prepared straight from the gardens.

As Matt explains, “this space has become a conduit for the people of Melbourne to come and meet each other.”

“It’s so funny,” he says “because we live in a city with so many people around, you would think it is a great hunting ground for friendships, but nobody knows who each other is. We get people who come to the Patch, only to realise that they have lived next door for years.”

PUP is also an education centre, hosting a range of food, gardening and kids’ workshops, including Edible Gardening for Beginners, Scarecrow Making and Pickling Workshops.

More recently, PUP has condensed the garden, adding in a huge marquee for events like weddings and corporate functions.

“We have been a finalist for the city of Melbourne 2 years running, losing out to State Library of Victoria and Yarra Trams, which shows we are making a huge impact in the Melbourne community space,” Matt tells me.

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