Tell us about your garden, your inspirations, successes & even your challenges.  We’d love you to be involved & share your story with the Farmhouse Community, so please email us with little about what you’re doing in your patch & a photo or two.  When we get to feature your story, we’ll send you a couple of packets of seeds as a thank you!

We’ll also be giving shout-outs to those organisations that are working tirelessly to help make their communities amazing.
Remember to nominate the star organisation in your local community on
the ‘Community Packs‘ page!

Warrnambool Community Gardens

www.wcg3280.org.au

Warrnambool Community Gardens – Facebook Page

The Warrnambool Community Gardens is a common ground where all people are welcome to come together in the spirit of mutual support and friendship to learn, grow, nurture, produce and share. 

The W.C.G supports around 150 members, 50 individual plot holders, a communal garden, a designated herb garden, a market garden, a ‘Chook Hilton’, a bush food garden with indigenous acknowledgement of the Maar (Gunditjmara) people as the original custodians of the land and a soon to be established Kitchen Garden Program for Kids. This space will provide a beautiful, productive edible garden that supports pleasurable food education for kids using environmentally friendly ‘Wicking Beds’ as a point of difference. 

Heather from the W.C.G. said they continually foster relationships with local business, organisations and schools by sharing resources and reaping the rewards of their generosity too. She said “as an example, we recently supported a new regional composting facility being built locally with our volunteers propagating and planting over 1000 native species around the walls of their newly constructed dam, in return a truckload of compost”. 

Three years ago, W.C.G. volunteers established a relationship with the Warrnambool East Primary School to ‘grow’ a School Kitchen Garden. They started the program on a shoestring budget working hard to gain donations from local business and community groups, to now supporting a program teaching 120 Grade 3 & 4 students in the seasonal cycle of growing and harvesting produce, culminating with their efforts in the kitchen to produce delicious meals to enjoy at a shared table. 

The W.C.G connects with the community through a midweek Garden Market, which is an important fundraiser. The Garden Market has been running for three years, supporting local producers and small business by providing them with a platform to showcase their locally grown food, produce and preserves.   

In 2020, two ‘Green Thumbs’ volunteers started raising seedlings using fresh, but leftover seed from the seed packets of other plot holders to avoid waste or out of date seed, selling seedlings to garden members and the general community through a small stall at the Garden Market. Before long, they had a thriving little enterprise which led to the expansion in 2021 of the growing ‘Green Thumbs’ team to eight, producing 1000’s of seedlings and propagating herbs and perennials from their own Herb Garden. Funds raised support the employment of a Garden Manager two days a week who organises maintenance and oversees small infrastructure projects. Previously, they relied on grants and philanthropic donations to pay wages but with our fundraising efforts now in place we are moving towards self sufficiency.  Heather mentioned “that cultivating that community spirit is important to us here, sharing knowledge with workshops, providing friendship and support when needed, giving care and attention to the environment and bringing inspiration and enthusiasm to all we do. We compost, recycle, reuse and repurpose and it just gets better and better”.

Mountain District Learning Centre

www.mdlc.com.au

Hi-Rise Community Garden – Facebook Page

Mountain District Learning Centre (MDLC) in Ferntree Gully, Victoria was established in 1974 as Mountain District Women’s Co-operative Ltd which remains the legal entity for the organisation.  In the early years, the “Co-op” focused on progressing the interests of local women by supporting the sale of hand-made craft items, providing an independent income for the women.  The Co-op offered access to local community education, making academic achievement a reality for many women.

Today, the Centre provides opportunities for men and women, young and old to access programs for education, skill development, friendship and enjoyment.

The Hi Rise Community Gardens provide a welcoming space for the community to reconnect in a safe, friendly environment.  Currently they have several hi-rise garden beds with a range of fruits and vegetables, citrus, plums and apple trees all under the shade of their heritage Pin Oak trees.  Their social support groups have given the garden a lot of personality and distinct quirkiness with decorated bottles, wind chimes and signs.  In this beautiful space, you’ll even see their chickens roaming around the gardens and entertain the visitors.

We commend their work and connection to their garden space by embracing the beneficial bug’s by making it a pesticide free zone.  A caring community that actively embodies ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’ as a major part of the ethics in their garden.

Please visit their website or Facebook page here to see what they are doing, to get involved or support their great efforts in our community!

Community Stars – Food Is Free Inc.

www.foodisfree.com.au

We have been following Lou and her team of volunteers at Food is Free Inc for a number of years now and we are so happy to be able to offer a Farmhouse Seeds ‘Community Pack’ to this amazing organisation.  Food is Free Inc has two distinct arms to it’s operation.  Firstly, ‘The Laneway’ (an actual Laneway) is a space in suburban Ballarat, Victoria where people can drop off or collect surplus nutritious food including vegetables, fruit and herbs as well as seeds, cuttings and seedlings.  All for free. This drop off and collection space provides a wonderful opportunity for members of the public to connect and share, often with others with whom they might not usually have the opportunity to do so.  Secondly,  ‘The Green Space’ – is a food growing hub literally connecting the community and volunteers by focusing on growing nutrient rich food while celebrating and embracing sustainable practices such as composting, recycling and seed saving. They also run regular workshops and are actively engaged in local revegetation projects.

With over 70 volunteers on the go, they have a focus on people who are experiencing disadvantage, this not-for-profit group is run by the community of Ballarat (Victoria) to promote food security, community cohesion and inclusion. What can be better than that?

Visit their website for more information on what amazing community work they are doing or to get involved.   

Community Stars – Shannon’s Bridge

www.shannonsbridge.com

Located in the beautiful Central Victorian town of Creswick, Shannon’s Bridge is working tirelessly to make life a little easier for those who are facing end-of-life by connecting them with relevant services and often much needed support networks. Shannon’s Bridge continually connects and trains volunteers in rural towns on how they to can support those in their communities that are facing these tough times.

Drawing on volunteers and community members, Shannon’s Bridge recently turned a long held dream and vision into reality by creating a wonderful large scale sensory garden in the old grounds of the property.  ‘The Sensory Garden’ will provide a beautiful and calming place for everyone to enjoy!   We are proud that with your help, our seeds will be a part of this amazing project.

Please visit their website to find out more about this wonderful organisation or to get involved.

We look forward to watching this beautiful garden grow.

Your Stories – Nafez & David from Yandoit

David and Nafez are from Yandoit in Central Victoria, a beautiful rural location between Daylesford and Castlemaine. Over the recent lock-down period they have expanded their vegetable garden substantially, converting an old large water tank into 4 large garden beds, including a dedicated wild flower bed – a perfect way for this old tank to see out its days.

We also love to see egg cartons being used to raise seeds such a great secondary use of a product and one that be composted once seedlings have been transplanted.

How great are these raised garden beds – Many hours of wheel barrowing compost and soil we are told.

Your Stories – Paul & Kel from Williamstown

Paul and Kel from Williamstown in Melbourne sent us some pictures of their vegetable growing journey.

Having always tinkered with growing, over the lockdown period they have really ramped up production in their courtyard garden. We think they are doing a cracking job. They also let us know that after having had so many lettuce seeds germinate they have on-potted them into tubs and will be giving them away as gifts. This makes our heart sing as this is what Farmhouse Seeds is all about – growing a bit too much and sharing and with neighbours, family, friends and the community.

Paul and Kel have a lot growing in their courtyard garden including, lettuce, tomato, beans, bunching onions and carrots. How good do those lettuce pots look!

Thanks Paul and Kel for sharing.