Growing fruit and vegetables in Australia’s hottest town

Marble Bar’s temperatures are regularly in the high 40s, and a dry wind blows through the town sucking out any spare moisture in plants – and people. It’s in this distinctive rocky Pilbara setting that EON has been working since 2016.

The small school has around 20 enthusiastic children who work with our Project Manager Share Greenwood fortnightly. Access to a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables is limited in Marble Bar, so EON plays a vital role in exposing the children to healthy, nutrition-packed meals. Share is also lucky to work alongside Pilbara Population Health and Foodbank WA as they deliver cooking and nutrition classes once a term at Marble Bar.

The school garden is steadily establishing itself in the rocky, red dirt. When the country dried out in 2019, wallabies decided the garden was the best place to go for a feed. In temperatures up to 43 degrees, EON and Community Assistant Stephen Mason successfully fenced the area to keep out the veggie-munchers. This month an excavator is preparing the ground for more than a dozen fruit trees. After the fencing experience, Stephen says he isn’t digging holes in that rocky soil by hand again!