Coolbellup: resident hopes to grow fresh food on road verge


Jodie Vennitti with produce grown from her garden.
Jodie Vennitti with produce grown from her garden.

IN six months’ time, Jodie Vennitti would love to be able to travel down Coolbellup Avenue picking fruit and vegetables and see others doing the same.

The Coolbellup resident is planning, if she gets the tick of approval from the local council and predicted rain holds off, to set off achieving that vision this Saturday with a “blitz” of her front verge, helped by volunteers from Fremantle Permaculture.

She wants her verge to feature fruit and vegetables, and trees to shade the area.

It is part of a ‘food is free’ push, which aims to make fruit and vegetables free to the community.

Those that like the concept can also take it on .

Ms Vennitti said Coolbellup was a tight-nit suburb where the concept could work.“Coolbellup has really high social capital,” she said.

“You still see the bloke pushing the lawnmower from one end of the street to the other, people catching up with their neighbours at the park, so it’s actually making sure that is retained.

“It’s also using the space to retain our canopy for the urban heat island affect, with recent rezoning encouraging urban infill.

“If you knock down all the trees, you’ll have no canopy.”

Because the work will be undertaken on the verge, Cockburn’s director of engineering and works said it must comply with the City’s verge improvement policy “as any allowable works will then become a precedent for other locations”.

“The City seeks to engage with any property owner with any verge modification proposal … to ensure safety and amenity for the community as a whole,” he said.

“The City does not wish to obstruct any ideas but must ensure the practicality and viability of any proposal before any approval is granted.”

For information visit Food is Free Coolbellup on Facebook.