Leaf, Root & Fruit are your local, edible garden specialists. We assist people to grow their own food. Based in Hawthorn East, we offer gardening services to support food production in front and backyards, veggie patches, balconies and courtyard gardens all over Melbourne.
Committed to reducing the impact of modern living on the environment, we actively promote a sustainable and organic approach to producing food. Having your own edible garden provides you with fruit, veggies and herbs that are tastier, healthier and better quality than what’s on offer at your local supermarket. They will be fully sustainable, cheaper and more convenient.
At Leaf, Root & Fruit we see the importance of working with nature. We see edible forest gardening as the ultimate in producing, food whilst keeping in harmony with nature. By copying nature’s blueprint and enhancing it with useful plants and animals, we aim to create productive, edible landscapes that are as close to self-sustaining as possible. Our foodscape garden designs are aesthetic, practical, easy to maintain and very productive.
We believe that everyone should have access to a productive gardening space. We can tailor the perfectly designed, raised veggie garden bed that allow you to garden comfortably whilst standing or sitting. We provide support to anyone with mobility issues to get back into the garden and rediscover their passion for gardening.
In keeping with our belief, that everyone should be able to grow their own food, we provide ongoing support through our gardening blog and other social media platforms such as Facebook. We freely offer this information to inspire and support others to grow their own food. If you have a question about gardening, an idea, a discovery or just want to tell us about what’s going on in your garden, then please get in touch with us through email or social media and share your experiences.
Where possible, we practice sustainable, up-cycling of materials and organic gardening. The Leaf, Root & Fruit core values include:
- the environment
Not everyone was born with “green thumbs”. Often time-poor, we don’t have endless hours to dedicate to a veggie patch. Leaf, Root & Fruit are here to help you with our years of edible gardening experience. Let us take the time, to help you realize the full potential of your outdoor space. We will work with you to design an aesthetically appealing, productive, edible garden. Then we will help you to establish and even maintain it. Enjoy the proud, satisfied feeling of using your organically-grown, freshly-picked produce in your kitchen.
We offer a wide range of gardening services and products to assist you to grow your own food:
- Edible Garden Design
- Veggie Patch Set-Up
- Raised Garden Beds using sustainable cypress sleepers
- Edible Garden Maintenance and Urban Farming
- General Garden Maintenance and Lawn Mowing
- Fruit Tree Pruning
- Edible Garden Mentoring
- Site Visits, Garden Consultations and Advice
- Self-Watering “Wicking” Beds
- Workshops for, local government and council groups, gardening groups and community gardens, businesses and other interested people
No, it’s not related to a crass joke about a wombat! Long before the business was set up, Duncan developed The Philosophy of Edible Gardening. The philosophy is simple. Leafy greens are the easiest to grow, anyone can do it. Fruits are more of a commitment, they take a long time to come to fruition and have more complex growing requirements. Roots (plus bulbs and stems) are somewhere in the middle in terms of complexity and commitment. The name Leaf, Root & Fruit came directly from this philosophy. You might have noticed, that our logo contains veggies with similar colours to a traffic light? Again, that’s no coincidence and is also tied directly to our philosophy. If you’re new to edible gardening we recommend you have a look at The Leaf, Root & Fruit Philosophy of Edible Gardening before starting to grow your own food. It might save you some time and money through avoiding preventable crop failures.
My name is Duncan Cocking, and I started up Leaf, Root & Fruit in 2014. I love to help people grow their own food. I have always been a keen, edible gardener. From a young age I’ve grown veggies on the family farm north of Melbourne In doing so, I have supplied enough produce to feed the rest of the family and still have plenty left to give away. I have completed a Science Degree, majoring in Botany. I’ve added to this knowledge through completing a Permaculture Design Certificate, and an Advanced Permaculture Fruit Trees Management Certificate. I also attended Dave Jacke’s Edible Forest Garden Design Intensive in 2016.
A keen traveler, I spent 2012 as a gap year in South America, where I developed a keen appreciation, for the wisdom behind the ancient growing practices, still in use by the indigenous cultures today. I’m concerned that as a society we are losing touch with the earth, the seasons and our food production.
This triggered me to give up my comfortable, office based career of 10 years to turn to one of my life passions, sustainable, edible gardening.
I’m the person responsible for running the blog and social media pages. I also manage the garden design, set-up and maintenance aspects of the business.
I’m supported by my partner Caryn, my son Angus as well as my extended family. Caryn has used her skills and knowledge from her extensive career in early childhood education to assist in the development of workshops for young children.
My ultimate dream for Leaf, Root & Fruit, would see us supporting the set-up of community based food forests, in parks all over Melbourne. Fruit trees bearing fruit in public places for community members to help themselves and appreciate… How incredible that will be!
Kelly is our enthusiastic Urban Farmer and facilitates the ongoing garden maintenance and urban farming program for our regular clients. She also coordinates the Education and Workshop program. Kelly is a qualified horticulturist who has specialized in rare ornamentals and growing edible plants. She holds Certificates II & III in Horticulture, a Bachelor of Biological Science and has participated in the Farmer Incubator program. Kelly is passionate about sharing the skills and enjoyment that comes from producing food at home. She has fifteen years of hands on experience growing and maintaining plants. Kelly joined Leaf, Root & Fruit in 2016, following six years in the field of cancer research. Kelly spends most of her spare time working on her own extensive food garden which integrates, fruit, vegetables and herbs, a bee hive, chickens, and composting systems.
In 2017 Danny transitioned from an office based job in the finance sector to become Leaf, Root & Fruit’s paid intern. His motivation for the career change was an epiphany while cooking dinner one night. He realised that had no idea where his food came from or how he would feed himself, if he needed to. Danny had never planted a seed at the start of the year, and now he is responsible for coordinating our plant propagation program! Danny spends a lot of time in the LRF greenhouse, growing up plants for our Urban Farming Program and for planting into Edible Forest Gardens. He also helps out on the urban farming program, where he is enthusiastically honing his horticultural skills. Danny has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate and on weekends he regularly volunteers with other organisations and attends Permabiltzes.
Brendon joined the Leaf, Root & Fruit team in 2016 after meeting Duncan at Dave Jacke’s Forest Garden Design Intensive. Brendon is involved in implementing our foodscapes and setting up wicking beds. He has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate. Brendon comes from a family of horticulturalists, his parents own and run the Tambo Vale Nursery. He has a great, in-depth knowledge of edible plants. His practical skills and “can-do” attitude make him a valuable member of the team. Brendon also designs edible landscapes through his own business.
Tim is a registered school teacher with experience in both Primary and Secondary education. Since 2015, Tim has shared his time between Leaf, Root & Fruit and his other roles as a freelance outdoor education facilitator and paid CFA Firefighter. Tim often helps our team with larger projects such as garden makeovers and building our cypress garden beds.
Tim has been involved in the family veggie patch since he could crawl. Each year he looks forward to making tomato sauce with his extended family – all under the watchful eye of Nonna of course!