Sustainable Chippendale

A Sustainable Suburb In the Making

Sustainable Chippendale is a community initiative setup to support the Sustainable Streets and Community Plan in Chippendale. If you are passionate about sustainability we'd love you to join us in getting behind this ground breaking project to establish a practical model for sustainable inner city living in Sydney.

Community Planting Event at Myrtle St, Chippendale

The City of Sydney invites you to a community planting event at Myrtle St nature strip in Chippendale.

When: Saturday 7 October 8am to 1pm.
Where: Myrtle St, Chippendale
What to bring: Sturdy covered shoes, hat, sunscreen and gardening gloves.

The ground will be prepared prior to planting and the council will be working with local residents and the Sustainable Chippendale group to replant bush tucker plants, native shrubs and grasses.

The footpath plants will include:

  • Mint bush
  • Lily turf grass
  • Mat rush grass
  • Rosemary
  • Grevillea
  • Banksia

These plants will green the street, provide edible plants and as well as encouraging more native bees in the inner city. 

The city staff will be on site to provide planting demonstration and safety talk. We look forward to seeing you there.

Joel Johnson
City of Sydney

Sustainable House Day Tours - Sep 17

Curious about how one can live off-grid int the middle of a bustling city? Come join us on  Sunday September 17 when Sydney’s very own Sustainable house, one of over 200 sustainable houses across Australia, is open for tours  in celebration of Sustainable House day.

Tours are $25 fee per person on the day. Money raised will be donated to Chippendale road gardens projects. The funds will be used to buy:  rotating compost bins, fruit trees, plants, gloves, mulch, and such. To enrich our lovely and much-admired road gardens.  When these are bought we can have a community planting day and anyone may choose what’s been bought to plant at their place.

  • What: Tours of Michels Mobbs Sustainable House in Chippendale
  • When: Sunday 17 September; 10 to 4 pm. Tours on the hour. (Maximum 25 people per tour)
  • Where: 58 Myrtle St, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
  • Cost: $25 with 100% of funds going to Chippendale road gardens project.
  • Booking: Just turn up on the day, no booking required.
  • Learn more


One FREE place in Michael Mobbs' Low Bills Living Course up for grabs!

Local sustainable expert Michael Mobbs' is generously offering one free scholarship for a Chippendale resident to the July / August 2017 course.  

The Chippendale resident may join the course without fees (a saving of $990) being delivered in Michael's Chippendale house over four days starting 22 July, finishing 6 August.

Details of the presenters and the course, which is over two weekends and is for a maximum of 9 people, can be found here:

To obtain the scholarship please email Michael after visiting his website: and let him know:

  • Why you wish to do the course and what actions and ideas you would like to achieve for yourself and Chippendale.

 Each submission will receive a reply and an opportunity to discuss whether the course is a good fit for you and your plans.

"It would be terrific to have a local who is passionate, engaged in our lovely Earth and wishing to take some actions to have a low bills life."

Michael Mobbs, Chippendale

Shepherd Street has new edible verge gardens!

This week Sustainable Chippendale residents and Sydney City Council planted, mulched and then watered new edible road gardens in Shepherd St, Chippendale.

Tip for the rosemary we planted which anyone may harvest: 
- keep and let the stem dry after you harvest the rosemary leaves and then use the stem as a skewer to impart a delicious flavour to your grilled Shish kebab vegies.

Weekly Report 29th November

By Jessica Tang

This week we have a new gardener, Jessica’s mother Amy, came to help in the community garden. Since Chinese students and their parents are volunteering in the community garden, this report will be translated into a Chinese version.


This week we have transplanted some young tomato plants and peas in the raised bed gardens, watering the plants with compost juice which made from composts, mulches and recycled water. Surprisingly, some seeds from compost has successfully germinated in the raised bed garden, and will be transplanted in few weeks.


The grapes at the backyard of Michael’s house are growing very well, they haved formed a lovely shelter for chooks. As the plants are bearing fruit, their stems are needed to be pruned to reduce the nutrients intake. To make the compost juice, we chopped the unwanted stems of grapes and soaked into water for 3 days. These grapes are given to a local cafe for it to make verjuice. (


The chili peppers in our community garden are ready to harvest. Healthy and delicious, these spice can be used fresh in salad and stir-fries. Having productive gardens on streets means it only takes you few-minute walk to get the fresh vegetables and fruit. It decreased the money spending on transportation and reduced the pollution from transporting and packaging. The plants also consume the wasted vegetable and fruit. Take the compost as an example, the ingredients of compost all came from unwanted food and plants which are full in nutrients. Instead of spending time and money to clean the waste, we make it into fertilizer for plants and they will provide us food as return. An example of a cafe which accepts surplus fruit and veggies from local urban farmers is Cornersmith:


Chippendale社区花园是一个富有特色的多产花园。我们将本地的水果、蔬菜种植在居民区街道上,利用雨水浇灌,打造了一片美丽的绿色街道,也为居民提供了健康环保又便捷的食物来源。在Chippendale, 我们提倡环保与废物再利用。我们将丢弃的食物与植物枝叶制作成混合肥料,并且收集雨水和废水,将其再次利用于花园的灌溉与施肥中。这样做不仅减少了清理垃圾与脏水的成本,还能够带来一定的生产效益。


作为一个开放性的公共绿色花园,我们欢迎所有热心的居民。这个星期,中国学生Jessica和她的母亲Amy, 还有Mia同学一同前来帮忙。在Michael的指导下,她们定期来浇灌植物,修剪枝叶,移植花草,制作混合肥料。在大家的共同努力下,社区花园得以良好的运作。我们努力将Chippendale社区花园打造成一个有教育意义的典范,希望有越来越多的人加入环保行动中来。

Late weekly report!

This was a WEEKLY REPORT, written by the lovely Jessica Tang on the 29/08/16, and somehow we missed publishing it! But better late than never, as this is all still very interesting and relevant! 

A Chinese proverb says ‘spring is sooner recognised by plants than by men.’ Although the chill of winter lingers in air during August, those tiny pink pulps of finger limes remind us that springs is coming. The finger lime Citrus australasica is the most well-known Australian native citrus. They are hardy and thorny, producing distinctive finger shaped fruit with small bead-like crystal pulps. Although those bright pink pulps look like flower buds, the finger lime actually blooms in late summer and autumn with white or pale pink, and fruits ripen through winter to spring. The fruit of finger lime is popular among top restaurants around the world, and it can be used in drinks, desserts, jams and as a garnish.

There are two other popular citrus trees in our community garden, Tahitian lime Citrus aurantifolia and Kaffir lime Citrus hystrix. They both have edible fruits or leaves. Unlike finger lime, Tahitian lime is thornless, the fruits are round-shaped, lemon-yellow with smooth thin skin. Kaffir Lime is native to Indonesia but wildly grown worldwide as a shrub for its aromatic leaves used in Thai cuisines. Kaffir lime is the shortest one among other citrus, which only reach 1.5m in height. They are easy to be recognized by their unusual double lobed leaves and knobby fruits with little flesh.

Remove the weeds

Remove the weeds

This week we also cleaned the weeds in some pots and planted with vegetable seeds. Here I would like to share some tips on sowing the seeds.

Dry seeds

Dry seeds

* Read the instructions. It is important to choose the right seeds in the suitable region and season. We decided to sow some peas at the end of August. Cooler seasons in the subtropics are the ideal time for growing peas. Luckily they are easy to grow, fast germinate in 7 to 10 days and they are productive.

* Removed all the weeds and roots, and mix the soil. Gently pull the weeds out and carefully remove their roots in soil. In fact, the best time to hand-pull weeds is after a drenching rains, or pre-sprouting the soil before removing the weeds. Weeds are valuable too. Some of the weeds are edible and may have medication values. Common edible weeds include: chickweeds (Stellaria media), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Wood sorrel (Oxalis), Nettle (Urtica urens). Weeds can be added to composts if the seed heads of weeds haven’t formed.

* Prepare a wick for pot plant with dark cloth. When placing the plot on vertical garden, the wick can water the plants from below and draw up the moisture through the soil.

Wicks made of shade cloth

Wicks made of shade cloth

* Fill the clean pots and press down the soil, sow the seeds and light covered it with soil. Cover the soil with mulches which help to keep the soil moisturized and warm. Some peas need beside trellis to support and direct the way they grow.

* Keep the soil moist but not too wet, and make sure they get enough sun. Our vertical garden faces north and south, which is a good position for plants to receive sun light.

Jessica with Miss Chook

Jessica with Miss Chook


More on citrus here. 

More on planting from seeds here. 

Read about weeds control here.

Grow Your Own Food in Water from Kitchen Scraps

By Jessica Tang

Sustainable Chippendale Community Garden

A video on Facebook inspired me to grow the leftover fruit and leafy green vegetables in water bottles. I have tried lettuce, kales, chives and avocado nut. The instruction is very simple, and you will see the result in few days!

You will need your plants, water, a knife, some plastic or glass bottles. The fruit seed such as avocado nut will need some upholder, for example, toothpicks or wires.

See video for growing lettuce here.

Lettuce that forms round or cone shape can easily regrow from its base. You will need to cut of the lettuce leaves and leave an inch-or-to stem, placing the head of lettuce in an inch of fresh water. Make sure the water covers the whole base and put it in the sunny window. Replace the water every few days.

You can also try to chives, kales, cabbages, onions and herbs in the same way. Choose different shapes of containers that can hold the plant steadily, and make sure the stem of the plant to be covered with enough water.

Be inspired here and here too.

Have fun with it!

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