Adam from VEG has an article about urban permaculture in this new Dutch publication Food for the City which also features one of our heroes, the famous Indian physicist, food activist and seed-saver Vandana Shiva and a lot of other great people.

Food for the City. A Future for the Metropolis

In 2050 nine billion people will be living on earth, 75 percent of them in cities. If we go on at this rate, we will need several extra planets for the production of our food. ‘Food for the City' examines how we can keep feeding our cities.

Ever since Carolyn Steel's international bestseller ‘Hungry City', food is no longer a subject reserved for experts. The publication ‘Food for the City' goes a step further and presents 13 unique visions from across the world on the future of food in the city in the year 2050. In addition, a timeline from 2050 BCE to 2050 CE and a richly varied pictorial essay offer the reader an intriguing look at a subject that may be hip and hot now, but has in fact occupied people for millennia. The chef, the activist, the industrialist, the artist, the philosopher, the architect and the farmer, among others, offer their view of the future of food for the city.

This publication is part of the Foodprint. Food for the City program

Online orders through: : NAi Publishers

Publishers: NAi Publishers | Stroom Den Haag
Made possible with the financial support of: DOEN Foundation, Mondriaan Fund, the Netherlands Architecture Fund


Audio: Adam Grubb on the Grapevine

Monthly guest Adam Grubb from Very Edible Gardens and the Permablitz network chats to Donna and Kulja about lead contamination in Melbourne backyards, issues surrounding food safety, and more on the Grapevine.

Listen to the interview here.

For the last couple of years Adam has been a monthly guest on The Grapevine on Triple R radio with Donna Morabito and Kulja Coulston.  This weeks discussion was prompted by an article in the Sunday Age (and a kind of retraction) about lead contamination at Ceres Environmental Park.  (In the past Adam's spot was on the fourth Monday of the month, but that might change.)

UPDATE Mar 16: Read this article by Chris Ennis from CERES about the truth of the matter and some dodgy journalism.

Tune in to The Grapevine each Monday morning from 9am til 12pm on 102.7FM or at

If you have concerns, check out VEG's Soil Testing services

Adam from VEG was in The Age today talking about edible weeds.  We've had four sell out edible weeds walks this spring, but sorry, we probably won't do any more till April.  Sign up to the mailing list on the home page for updates.

Greener Homes edible weeds from Michael Green on Vimeo.

That plant you despised could become your dinner

ADAM Grubb makes a beeline for a plant clumping in the mulch, behind a park bench, next to the barbeque area.

“This is mallow,” he explains, “which is related to the marshmallow plant and to okra. You can eat the leaves, the seeds and the flowers. It’s eaten widely around the world, especially in the Middle-East.”

We’re in a small, typical park in Brunswick. Mr Grubb, from Very Edible Gardens, runs regular edible weeds walks, in which he traces an extraordinary, wholly overlooked fact.

“The vast majority of herbaceous annual weeds – the most common plants that pop up without invitation – are edible. And a lot of them are medicinal,” he says.

Read more at The Age online

Guide to the Good Life

On Saturday 27th August Very Edible Gardens was featured on Channel 7's Guide to the Good Life with Dan from VEG and one our friends, former client, and now VEG teacher and garden mentor Kim Glasgow showing off her garden!

We're running our Intro to Permaculture course and Intro to Organic Vegie growing courses at Kim and Clive's place -- check out the upcoming courses page.

Here's the bombsite from before the garden was implemented, check out the clip above to find out how it looks now.



What a nice video!  Thanks to Katrina, Claire and the City of Whitehorse for bringing us in for this project, and together organising a great day back in April.  If you just want to check out some photos, there's some below:


More information and photos over on the City of Whitehorse website.


Update: You can now watch this movie online, pay-per-view style, or order a DVD.

We hope you can make it to a preview screening of Anima Mundi, a new documentary which features Adam and Dan from VEG, interviewed at a permablitz, along side some big names in the sustainability movement.  It's on Friday, 24 June 2011 at Ceres in Brunswick East.  David Holmgren and Adam from VEG and permablitz will be there with filmmaker Peter Charles Downey on the night for discussions at the end. We hope to see you there!

The Merri Table & Bar open from 6pm.
Film start time 7.30pm

David Holmgren – co-founder of Permaculture
John Seed – Deep Ecology
Stephan Harding – Gaian Ecology
Vandana Shiva – Human Rights
Michael C Ruppert – Peak Oil (as seen in the movie Collapse)
Michael Reynolds – Earthships (as seen in the movie Garbage Warrior)
Noam Chomsky – Activism
Dr Mark O’Meadhra – Integrative Medicine
Dr Christine James – Psychology
Permablitz – Permaculture

"This is an unbelievably enlightening, refreshing and inspiring look at our immediate world from a Gaian viewpoint. The crises and challenges of our time are seen from the perspective of a living planet, then woven with compellingly clear explanations and insights from a broad, global palette of writers, thinkers and activists who show us that Mother Earth is indeed a living thing and that she will respond when treated as such." Michael C Ruppert.

David Holmgren and Adam Grubb will be available for discussion at the end. /trailer/

Tickets available from CERES Visitor Centre (9389 0100) $10/$8 conc.

Adam Grubb with Aleisha McCormack and Chrissy Swan

On Friday, Adam made green smoothies from wild edibles (weeds) for Aleisha McCormack and Chrissy Swan live on Channel 10's The Circle!

Click here to check it out on

Verdict: They liked it!

Come along to Adam's Edible Weeds Walk in Brunswick on Oct 30 to learn how to identify those weeds.

Adam went into the ABC 774 studios this morning to make Red Symons a weed filled Green Smoothie.

Despite giving us the gong there at the end, Red went back for seconds.

You can listen here:

Here's some clarification on liver helping herbs:

St Mary's Thistle, or Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) ( has been proven to help a number of liver complaints.
These two related plants are easier to find and have traditionally been used for liver complaints.
With its teeth like leaves, and single flower on a stalk.  One of the most nutritious plants in the world!  All parts are edible.  The roots can be slow roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Sow Thistle also confusingly known as Milk Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus and Sonchus asper)
Looks a bit like dandelions with a trunk.  A tasty salad green.  Eat the flowers, seeds, young leaves.

We were amused when two local newspapers in Melbourne's East simultaneously printed articles on VEG's Dan and the green smoothies we love.  Check out the Footscray Star's article here and the Maribynong Leader's article here or read them both in that order below...


A weed bunch: presenting the Yarraville smoothie


Dan Palmer with a `weed smoothie'

22 Sep 10 @ 11:44am)

STINGING nettle is not everyone’s cup of tea but Yarraville’s Dan Palmer is out to make it everyone’s smoothie.

The former psychology academic turned his back on “convoluted words games” after taking a permaculture course and eventually setting up a garden design business - Very Edible Gardens - one and a half years ago.

He will feature in the Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo converting sceptics to a more organised and productive garden layout and his green smoothies made of weeds including dandelion, sow thistle, wild onions and stinging nettle.

Mr Palmer told the Leader the smoothies were “liquid sunshine” packed with health benefits and offered some advice for any doubters.

“The prickliness of the nettle is totally gone, there’s no way it can hurt.

“The reason it has prickles in the first place is because animals want to eat it because it’s delicious,” he said.

“The nutrient density and health benefits of many of these plants is actually greater than spinach

“It’s like the green eggs and ham story - you just have to give it a try!”

Mr Palmer suggested mixing up the smoothies with a fruit base, or adding herbs or honey. But take care before chomping up your backyard.

“It’s definitely worth identifying your weeds,” he said.

“Fox glove is poisonous and you have to be careful the weeds haven’t been sprayed.”

With his permaculture garden design work more and more in demand, Mr Palmer said the industry had definitely turned a corner. “We’re battling on the edge of mainstream now,” he said.

“It’s about integrating everything in a garden.

Often we’ll turn up to a house and the husband will say ‘What’s this hippy stuff’ then be really happy with the result. It’s not about hugging trees but about solid design,” Mr Palmer said.


Dan’s a real smoothie

By Charlene Gatt, 21st September 2010 12:30:30 PM

FORGET your traditional greens like lettuce and spinach.

Yarraville’s Dan Palmer will be spruiking the benefits of wild edible weeds in a smoothie he will be serving up at next month’s Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo.

The smoothie is made with an array of edible weeds, including dandelion, sow thistle, mallow, amaranth and stinging nettle.

Mr Palmer, who has run permaculture design business Very Edible Gardens (VEG) for the last 18 months, said some weeds had more vitamins and minerals than other vegetables.

“It’s like wheatgrass juice, but better,” he said of the smoothie.

“In all traditional cultures anywhere in the world, they have an intimate knowledge of weeds for their medicinal and nutritional properties. It’s something that our culture has lost.”

Mr Palmer spent 11 years at university and turned his back on a promising career as a psychologist to start reinvigorating people’s backyards, permaculture-style.

He then set up VEG 18 months ago with partners Nathan Edwards and Adam Grubb.

“I stumbled out of uni with three degrees and was feeling a bit disillusioned by it all, and had a need for something more,” Mr Palmer said.

“We’re all about re-localising food production by helping people grow food at home in a way that’s really integrated and beautiful.

“Every month in Melbourne, more and more people want to get serious and start growing food, so not only are we becoming better known, but demand is increasing all the time.”

Mr Palmer will be serving up his green smoothie at the upcoming Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo, which will run at Caulfield Racecourse from 1 to 3 October.



A lot of people are talking about this great new publication from Earthgarden, CITY PERMACULTURE Volume 1.  It includes a feature article by Adam from VEG, and lots of other great articles.  It's for sale through VEG for $19.95 (plus $9.50 delivery in Australia).


From the publisher:

"Have you ever wanted to keep chooks, grow some of your own food, bake your own bread or harvest your own rainwater . . . but assumed that was only for people with large blocks of land? Think again: city living and city growing are perfectly compatible, with 'City Permaculture' to guide you along the path to urban sustainability. Learn how to choose the right species to plant, the right time of year to plant food, how to prepare your courtyard, balcony or even nature strip so you can enjoy the buzz of growing your own food. You don't need to go bush to enjoy the delights of collecting your own chook eggs. 'City Permaculture' is packed with real life information from urbanites living the good life in the middle of town. Instead of reading the theory of how to do it, why not read about the real and practical experiences of people who are at it right now? Once you get the city permaculture bug, the sky's the limit."


Here's the start of Adam's article...

A new suburban dream. Reflections on permaculture design experience in the city.




Adam Grubb

American commentator James Howard Kunstler has called the suburbs of the western world the 'greatest misallocation of resources in human history'.  But for whatever other challenges they present, socially and environmentally, the suburbs do, at least, have yards.  As permaculture co-originator David Holmgren has pointed out, the suburbs have roughly the population density of some agrarian south-east asian societies, which provide for almost all their own needs.  While much of our growing surfaces are paved or covered by buildings, in a dryer climate like Australia, this can be to our advantage – it allows us to focus the water resources where they are most needed.  The city draws in huge quantities of organic matter and with them the potential of building extremely rich soils, perfect for food production.

Personal, professional and community experience has shown me that highly productive, beautiful and edible gardens can be created in ways that improve health and lifestyle, reduce food bills, build better suburban community, local resiliency, and begin to provide working models of a future low resource-use suburbia.

Read the rest and lots of other great articles in CITY PERMACULTURE Volume 1


The Melbourne Times





Saturday, 14 February 2009 18:58

Permablitz and VEG's Adam Grubb were featured in a front page Melbourne Times story from Feb 2009. Opening line:

"If you're thinking about creating a more ecologically sustainable backyard, talk to Adam Grubb."

Permaculture is about having your environment and eating it too.

Check out the full article. (PDF 1.5MB)