Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services

Leaf, Root & Fruit are your local, edible garden specialists. We assist people to grow their own food. Based in Burwood, 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.

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:

  • professionalism
  • the environment
  • integrity
  • quality
  • education

Our Edible Landscape Services

Not everyone was born with “green thumbs”. Often time-poor, we don’t have endless hours to dedicate to a productive garden. 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.


Why the name Leaf, Root & Fruit?

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.

Who are Leaf, Root & Fruit?

Duncan Cocking

Duncan Cocking Leaf Root Fruit Edible Garden Specilaist Hawthorn Melbourne Urban Farmer

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. 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!

Danny Rouse

Danny coordinates our plant propagation program and assists in most areas of the business.

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 planting into Edible Forest Gardens. Danny has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate and on weekends he regularly volunteers with other organisations and attends Permabiltzes.

Jess Villani

Jess helps drafting our design work on a part-time basis.

Jess joined the team in 2018 as our Junior Permaculture Designer and assists Duncan with designing the foodscapes. Jess loves plants and is passionate about helping people achieve their edible garden dreams. She completed her PDC with Robyn Francis in 2011 and her Certificate IV in Permaculture in 2015. Jess is always keen to expand her knowledge and skills and has completed multiple short courses over the years including Complete Urban Farmer, Permaculture Teacher Training and Creative Community Facilitation. She is currently completing a Diploma of Horticulture and Landscape Design at Swinburne University. Jess has spent the last few years working in small scale organic farms and is pleased to be working with the Leaf, Root & Fruit team and supporting the growth of edible landscapes across Melbourne.

Troy Dawes

Troy is our fruit tree guru. He has completed a PDC, advanced fruit tree management class and has been an intern with Pete the Permie for several years. Troy works for LRF on a casual basis helping to install netted enclosures and assists with large landscape projects. Troy’s knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism are all well regarded by our clients.

Dean McLelland

Dean Joined the LRF team in 2018 and brought with him a wealth of experience in designing and constructing netted enclosures. Dean has completed a PDC and has sound working knowledge of aquaponics systems. Dean works for LRF on a casual basis helping to install netted enclosures and implanting our foodscape designs. His attention to detail and proactive planning ensures projects are completed efficiently and to a very high quality.