Veg Out Vows
The Veg Out Vows were written in a sense of fun but with the important purpose of providing the diverse people involved with some common principles to operate under.
- I pledge not to interfere with the rights and opportunities of others at Veg Out.
- The only conflict initiated by me will be with weeds and pests, which I will attack with biological means rather than chemical.
- If a dispute does arise, I pledge to settle it through calm discussion and goodwill according to the grievance procedures of Veg Out. If the issue remains unresolved, I will accept the decision of the Veg Out Committee.
- I understand that my involvement at Veg Out and the opportunity to use my garden is a privilege, not a right, and as such I must use it or lose it.
- When I use tools (where and when I swing them or leave them) I will always be aware of the safety of myself and others.
- I understand my participation at Veg Out is at my own risk. The City of Port Phillip, and members of the Veg Out Committee, are not liable for any injury to me, or to my invited family and friends, nor for the loss of any of my possessions.
- I appreciate the need for security of the Garden and the Artists' studio spaces and will lock the gate each time I exit through it.
- I understand that if I do not pay my plot fees (as set by the Committee) on time I will forfeit my right to use the plot.
- I will contribute to at least three working bees each year for general site maintenance and I happily agree to share what I can with the garden community.
- I have read, appreciated and will abide by the spirit of the Veg Out Charter, with the best of intentions for the greater good.
Veg Out Charter
To create a unique, safe and supportive haven within the City of Port Phillip for all citizens. To promote a sense of community where trust, effort, knowledge, skills and responsibility are shared; where creativity, quality and the environment are nurtured; and where equity and philanthropy can flourish.
Veg Out History
In October 1998, Port Phillip Council offered the site of the disused St Kilda Bowling Club as studio space to local artists. The Club buildings were quickly occupied on a month-by-month basis and a thriving artist colony began. However, the sorry sight of a former bowling green sprouting weeds drove several of the artists to turn the soil into what would become a series of plots and a community garden. The first crop at the gardens was 1,000 sunflowers, planted as a symbol of health, wellbeing and hope.
Local environment officer and EcoCentre coordinator Neil Blake, with the assistance of Joan Gibby, consulted with locals, gardeners and artists to enable the design of the space for the benefit of artists - a design based on hedge mazes (such as Lindisfarne) - to ensure tranquillity and shield the artists' space from everyone but the invited visitor. The design featured pathways running north, south, east and west radiating from the water taps. General gardening areas, a lawn area and a space for group gatherings were also included.
The growth and development of the gardens from this basis makes for a very special atmosphere. One only has to walk through the gates to feel a sense of peace, and as one wanders through the gardens, one comes across sculptures, paintings and installations integrated into the landscape. Many of the gardens themselves are works of art, and many of the gardeners are also artists.
Garden plots were quickly snapped up by locals responding to word-of-mouth and local advertising.