Know Your Foodbowl

One of the best things about Melbourne is its food, but as the city grows, it is gobbling up our best farmland and replacing it with houses. Without us even realizing it, Melbourne is losing its source of fresh, local food.

Around 40-50% of the vegetables produced in Victoria grow on Melbourne’s fringe in areas like Casey-Cardinia, Werribee South and the Mornington Peninsula.

Melbourne’s fringe also produces a large proportion of some types of fruits too – 99% of Victoria’s strawberries grow on Melbourne’s fringe.

These areas are vital to the supply of certain types of fruit and vegetables, like Werribee South, which produces 85% of Victoria’s cauliflower and Koo Wee Rup, which produces over 90% of Australia’s asparagus.

These areas are under threat from continued city sprawl. The Know Your Foodbowl project aims to raise awareness of the importance of Melbourne’s Foodbowl to Victoria’s food supply and our economy.

What grows in Melbourne’s food bowl?
Have a look at our infographic maps of what grows on the fringe of Melbourne and why this area is important to Victoria’s food supply and economy:

What grows on Melbourne’s urban fringe?

What grows in Werribee South?

What grows in the Mornington Peninsula?

What grows in Casey-Cardinia?

What is it like farming on Melbourne’s urban fringe?

Hear from Werribee South farmers Rita and Tony Faranda about growing food on the city’s edge

Hear from Mornington Peninsula farmers Tash and Wayne Shields about growing food just 500 metres from the urban growth boundary

What can we do to protect Melbourne’s foodbowl?
Find out what you can do to help protect Melbourne’s foodbowl so future generations can continue to enjoy fresh local food from around Melbourne.

You can also help by buying your fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farmer. Have a look at the Food Alliance’s farmgate map by clicking here 

South Gippsland also has a thriving local food culture and you can find where to buy local produce in that area by clicking here


Research reports
The Know Your Foodbowl project builds on four years of previous research by the Food Alliance into fruit and vegetable production on Melbourne’s fringe. The Food Alliance’s research reports include A Resilient Fruit and Vegetable Supply for a Healthy Victoria , Fruit and Vegetable Roundtable Summary: Addressing the Barriers to a Viable Victorian Fruit and Vegetable Industry and Planning for Food: Towards a Prosperous, Resilient and Healthy Food System Through Victoria’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy.

Plan Melbourne
The Food Alliance advocates on the need to protect Melbourne’s foodbowl by protecting the city’s remaining areas of fertile agricultural land. For more information, see our submission to Plan Melbourne, Melbourne’s metropolitan planning strategy.

Media Mentions
Go to our Media Mentions page to read media coverage of this issue, or download the Herald Sun feature article.

Media Release
Read the Food Alliance’s media release here.

About the project
The Know Your Foodbowl project was led by Dr Rachel Carey, Research Fellow at the Food Alliance, with Research Assistant Jennifer Sheridan and additional research by Food Alliance Volunteer, Ellie Watts.

Thank you to our Pozible supporters who made this project possible, including major sponsors Slow Food Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula Shire, and the City of Melbourne