What we’ve learnt so far

Food Forests are a human right as is clean water and a home.

Panania Free Rangers

When we started planting edibles in public spaces we thought that what we’d learn would be about which edibles can cope without everyday pampering and about which positions they do best in – like is it better to plant those herbs in the shade so they can do better without regular watering or will they grow faster if given more sun, despite drying out more? Is it better to plant things closer together in ‘groves’ so they protect each other, or do they need to have their own space to do well?

The not-so-surprising things we learnt:

  • clumps of purple perilla are surprisingly hardy (given their large, soft leaves), thrive in part shade (especially when protected from western sun) and are incredibly beautiful.


  • the subtropical ice-cream bean can survive a hot Sydney summer with only a couple of light waterings (and even double in size) when planted under the shade…

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