FareShare rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and cooks it into free nutritious meals for people in need. In Melbourne, with the help of 900 regular volunteers, it cooks around 5,500 free meals a day (i.e. around 1.3 million meals a year) for charities such as soup vans, homeless shelters, women’s refuges and community food banks. Its rescued food comes from supermarkets, wholesalers, farmers and other businesses (they have eight vans that collect produce from Woolworths stores and others). By avoiding food waste, and diverting surplus, edible food from landfill, it also reduces greenhouse gases. Its Melbourne headquarters is in Abbotsford.
Fareshare is a charity which relies on donations. Donate now.
Sourcing enough fresh vegetables to add nutrition to meals is one of FareShare's biggest challenges. It now has three sites in and around Melbourne where it grows its own vegetables, harvesting around 40 tonnes per year. One of those sites is in Abbotsford, which was previously disused VicTrack land but now grows a range of vegetables on 70 beds tended by volunteers, who are overseen by a Garden Manager. The choice of vegetables grown is dictated by the needs of the kitchen, which means that there is a focus on capsicums, carrots, celery, eggplants, leeks, parsnips, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turnip and zucchini.
FareShare has written a manual to share their experiences of urban food production. Subjects covered include: crops grown and yield; soil; composting; integrated pest management; crop rotation; and companion planting. Click here to download.
Fawkner Food Bowls is a resident-led group growing food, sharing skills, and socialising in a family-friendly space. It is based on a communal market garden model where members can learn about, and contribute to, growing crops that are then sold to support the running of the garden. They have a range of memberships, with general membership being $25 pa (see their website); this entitles people to discounts on produce, events and seedlings. Membership is open to anyone.
Work on the garden began in 2017 with the help of Moreland City Council, Fawkner Bowling Club, and the Neighbourhood Project. They have since received grants from Moreland City Council, CoDesign Studio, Moreland Energy Foundation Inc. and the State Government. The starting point was a disused lawn bowls green. Since that time, they have created social garden spaces, a children's play area and vegetable growing rows. They are now developing more space for people to bring and share seeds, seedlings, plants, food, and ideas plus they have plans to construct a shelter. Fawkner Food Bowls is an incorporated group.
A number of events, workshops and celebrations are organised at the garden including: soil, composting and companion planting workshops; the Fawkner Lane-way Festival and Fawkner Festas (where tomato seedlings are given away); passata making; and winter solstice celebrations.
The garden is open on Sundays for working bees, market stall, and socialising. On the second Sunday of each month, there is a food swap from 10.30am to 12.30pm. On the other Sundays, the garden is open from 10am to 1pm.
The garden comprises 10 large garden beds, a compost exchange scheme, and a seed library.
The main purpose of the garden beds is to grow food to give away. Once harvested, the vegetables are put onto 'food is free' shelves which the public can access. People can also donate vegetables for these shelves.
The purpose of the compost exchange scheme is to turn kitchen scraps into usable compost. People drop off a bucket of kitchen scraps and take away an empty bucket to fill again. They can also take away compost - anyone can order up to three buckets of compost at a time by phone (9428 7668) or email.
The aim of the seed library is to encourage people to grow food at home. People are welcome to take, share or donate seeds.
Someone is in the garden every Monday from midday to 1.30pm - feel free to drop in for a chat, seek gardening advice, pick up some compost juice, or pick up some worms. There are also regular workshops.
First Choice Gourmet Catering is a full service catering company, operating throughout North East Melbourne. It focuses on providing high quality food for both private and corporate clients at commonsense pricing and with highly personalised attention to detail. Its owner, Emmanuel Buchanan, has been in the catering business for 35 years.
The Reservoir site was established in 2015 so that local gardeners with surplus produce have a place where they can easily share it within the community. All you need to do to contribute is drop off any surplus home grown food/seeds/seedlings to their sharing crate (on the nature strip) at any time. Please provide a label if it is not obvious what the items are.
Note that Food is Free Reservoir is taking a break during the Winter of 2017.
People leave surplus fruit, veggies, herbs, seedlings and seeds. Other people may then take them, at no cost. There is no fee, membership, opening hours, or obligation. Donations of garden produce are very welcome, but also small envelopes or ziplock bags, seeds, labels, glass jars for fresh herbs, etc. Everyone is welcome to get involved.
For the Love of Lamb is a 150 acre farm 85Km north of Melbourne. Their lambs are Australian White Marbled (wagyu style of lamb); the marbling renders during the cooking process and results in a sweet and tender experience. All their lambs are paddock raised and grass fed. They are Australia's first producer of commercially available lamb bacon.
Freeland Pork is a farrow-to-finish free range pig farm which prides itself in ethically raising its pigs and in engaging in sustainable farming practices. Its pigs are free to wallow and graze in a paddock/crop rotation. All pigs are fed a vegetarian-only grain mix and are free from hormones and meat meal. Its fresh and smoked pork cuts include: roasts, steaks, sausages, belly, cutlets, chops, mince, bacon, ham, smoked hocks and kabana.