Creating a sustainable garden

August 23, 2023

Some residents at the Haymarket Foundation’s crisis accommodation facility are digging into a new hobby!

Several residents have been involved informally in gardening over the last year – and now we have had some support to help to co-create a sustainable garden.

The Haymarket Foundation has won a grant through the City of Sydney – and will work with residents, staff, sustainability expert Michael Mobbs and staff with the Botanic Gardens – to bring the garden to life!

CEO Gowan Vyse, a keen gardener, hopes to make this part of a larger suite of activities to improve the organisation’s environmental sustainability.

“Our residents sit outside a lot and we want to do some landscaping to make the space more welcoming and restful,” says CEO Gowan Vyse. “Gardening is also very calming for everyone, particularly for people living with mental illness.”


The Haymarket Foundation is working with neighbour and sustainability expert Michael Mobbs to grow some food and reduce waste.

The organization plans to purchase food composters (pictured), which are also used for seating and planter beds.

“I love Chippendale and sustainability, so it’s really great to be able to give back to a really grassroots and valuable, local organization,” he says.

“One local café has reduced its food waste by two-thirds using these compost seats – and we hope that it will make a big difference to the food waste and cost savings for the Haymarket Foundation too,” he says.

He predicts the food waste for the shelter could be eliminated.

Michael Mobbs has also offered to conduct gardening workshops with residents and to give seeds to grow vegetables and staff members with the Botanic Gardens are also planning to help design the garden and provide plants and guidance.

The chef, Phil (pictured, left) will be involved in helping make sure food scraps are used in the worm farms – with residents and other staff members will also helping ensure the garden thrives!