The Little Veggie Patch Co (LVPC) is a business dedicated to helping people grow food and we believe it is something that everyone can do, regardless of your skill-set or space at your disposal. So no matter whether you live in an inner city apartment or a block of land in the sprawling suburbs, LVPC will have you growing your own produce in no time.
Our business began in 2008 as a little company that installed raised garden beds and larger edible gardens in people’s homes. Growing food for other people was very much a niche at the time, but one that was expanding alongside the slow food movement and a heightened awareness of the origins of our produce. Since then our installations have moved towards a style of smaller space gardening; taking on the ideas of permaculture and combining them with the constraints of space and time. Quickly, our raised garden beds became recycled apple crates and our veggie crates have become a product tied to the identity of our business ever since.
In 2009 we released our first range of heirloom seeds, starting with four varieties of LVPC’s vegetable soulmate: the tomato. It seemed the perfect starting point.
The range now has over 40 varieties and continues to grow alongside the demand for heirloom seeds. We believe that growing and saving such seeds will ensure that tomatoes continue to taste like tomatoes and we encourage you all to join us in keeping real food alive!
The following year, in 2010, we signed with Plum (Pan Macmillan) and shortly after released ‘How to grow food in small spaces’ which has become the best-selling gardening book in Australia. Three books later and publishing has become a process we truly enjoy, particularly the challenge of finding a language and style that talks to today’s edible gardeners. They’re just like us, normal people who love food!
Alongside the release of the first book we opened up our retail space in St Kilda East, that is our nursery, gift shop and LVPC home base. But we have also branched out into Melbourne’s CBD, with our Fed Square Pop Up Patch (PUP) opening in 2012. Essentially PUP is 140 veggie plots on a carpark rooftop and it has become our edible gardening club, giving inner city residents and businesses the opportunity to grow produce in the most urban of locations. Now PUP is a more permanent fixture and was a finalist in the 2014 City of Melbourne Awards (in the category of Contribution of a Business/Corporation to the Community).
As the demand for locally grown, better-tasting food grows, LVPC continues to grow alongside it. We want to speak to new and experienced gardeners alike, showing that growing produce is for anyone interested in the food experience and not difficult. Each month we release a free monthly magazine - Countryology (bringing a touch of country ideology to our city lives) - and within it, bring you tips, skills and small, digestible films that help you to garden better.
Ultimately, LVPC wants to live the best of country life in the city, the highlight of which is sharing produce with our friends and family.
Sharing the very tangible, great tasting food on our plates, but also the things that are less quantifiable. The experience. The sense of having provided. Seeing the smiles on faces sitting at your table. And perhaps most importantly, growing a new food culture that began right here: in our own little veggie patches.