Urban Food Garden


Welcome to the Urban Food Garden website.

Many people dream about living on a few hectares in the country and growing their own food. Yet in reality the majority of us live in an urban environment, over ninety percent of Australians do so and most are unlikely to ever to move to the country. The aim of this site is to help and encourage people to grow at least some of their own food where they live and are always likely to live, in the cities, suburbs and towns that dot our wonderful planet. It is not meant as a complete manual covering everything to do with food production, nor do I claim to be an expert on gardening matters. What I hope this site does is:

  • Provide some basic notes on how to grow fruit and vegetables based on my personal gardening experiences.
  • Give hints and advice in areas where I have developed techniques that I believe are not covered in other gardening books or websites.
  • Offer planting and garden design information that is specific to the Ballarat and surrounding district climate.
  • Provide reviews of gardening products on the market that I have personally used; though please note there is nothing for sale on this website, just plenty of free advice.
  • Display my garden through images online to give the viewers ideas as to what they can do in their own gardens.
  • Be a contact point for others who share my interest in producing food in their own backyards.

So please enjoy this site! And if you have any gardening hints, stories of successes or failures, or simply like what you see  then please feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!



This website and the garden it is based on was created my myself, John Ditchburn.  It is based on a lifetimes experience of growing fruit and vegetables and being involved in the food gardening community.

I first began to grow vegetables at the age of sixteen.  Since then, apart from a year spent travelling, I have always grown vegetables in one form or another. The garden featured on this website was set up in 1988.  As well as running the Urban Food Garden Website I have been involved in a number of gardening activities.  They include:-

  • Secretary of the St. Kilda Community Garden in the mid 1980’s.
  • Running Ballarat Organic Growers (affectionately known as BOG) for four years in the mid 1990’s.
  • On the steering committee for the Ballarat Community Garden between 2003 and 2005.
  • Since the mid 1990’s I have given numerous talks and workshops about urban food gardening to a variety of groups, including the Australian Conservation Foundation, BREAZE (Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions) and the Ballarat Community Garden.
John Ditchburn

I also work as a freelance cartoonist.  Examples of my work can be found on my website at or type INKCINCT into Google.


Individuals and community groups are welcome to download information on this site and publish it free of charge in community newsletters or websites. People wishing to use information from this site in any form of commercial publication must first obtain permission from the author; John Ditchburn.


The original Urban Food Garden Website launched on the 1st January 2003 using first Microsoft’s FrontPage, and then Microsoft’s Expression Web.  This new site was launched on the 29th July 2020 using WordPress.  The benefits of this new site over the old one is that it is phone friendly and fully searchable.  The old site is still active as it will be some time before all the information on it is transferred to the this site.  Information still on the old site can be accessed via a link on the main page of this site.

Interested in supporting Urban Food Garden?