FareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford, will soon be carpeted by a novel crop of sweet potatoes.
The unusual planting of five varieties of sweet potato is part of a collaboration with Burnley Campus (University of Melbourne) and Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC) with support from SUSTAIN and the City of Yarra.
Sweet potatoes are particularly valued by some migrant communities and charities which FareShare supports with meals. They are robust plants and Burnley’s Dr Chris Williams is confident they will provide excellent ground cover as well as nutritious tubers.
The vegetables, which are not available commercially, were grown by horticulture students at Burnley and CNLC students as part of a University grant to provide horticultural training for propagating culturally-appropriate food.
The Novel Crops Project is exploring the potential of neglected plants for use in domestic, community and public food gardens. The varieties planted in Abbotsford come from PNG, New Zealand and America and should produce their first crop in about three months.