Another awesome week on The Farm with much growing, gathering and giving. We broke our last week’s Tuesday record of Emergency Food Relief visitors with 73 through the door on Tuesday! Lots of new faces including many young men currently couch surfing or living in cars. We are very pleased that we have been able to create a space that welcomes all.
Work began on the prototype for our new chook house. Give a man with imagination a pile of old tyres and be amazed. We can’t wait to see the end result.
We are also seeing the first berries and strawberries in the garden…..the birds and one particular team member have been enjoying the first spoils. Snooze you loose!
We had Farm visits from the folks at the Wynyard Adult Day Centre and Waterbridge Food Co-Op who came for very different reasons and left with much to think about. We LOVE showing people around our space. If your organisation would like to visit, please do get in touch.
THIS is what we’ve been up to in the past 6 months… In the Food Hub:
over past 6 months, being open just 3 days each week we have had just under 3000 individual visits to the Food Hub. Many take food for other families so actual reach of the food that is grown and gathered is much higher. Some days we see 60 people through, other days it might be 30
an additional 4000 people have accessed food over the 6 months via our outreach food donation programs
In Burnie alone we gathered 180 dozen eggs, 1967 loaves of bread, 3022 bags of rolls, 5718 kilos of veggies, 48 litres of milk as well as other pantry items such as pasta, cereal, uht milk and a few other bits and bobs.
If you were to go to your local supermarket to purchase what we have gathered you would have to spend around $95,000
Since taking over The Farm we now have:
260 metres of ground under veggie production
another 550 metres planned
we have Burnie High School students involved in chook raising, plant propagation, food hub volunteering and plan to do exciting things with the science class like using a refractometer to measure the nutrient content of the food we grow.
If you are new to our world – here is a little bit about us today… Produce to the People Tasmania is on a mission to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits us all. Set on 2 acres within the grounds of Burnie High School in Cooee, North West Tasmania, we operate a diversified, four-season farm and an education center that will host thousands of visitors each year. We are a social profit organization and our ethos is “grow, gather, give”. The work we do includes:
Providing a free food hub where the community can access locally grown produce that might otherwise have gone to waste (via Tasmanian Government Emergency Food Relief funding)
Hosting a Work for the Dole Project offering work experience to unemployed in the region
Experiment with and improve sustainable farming practices.
Training potential farmers in resilient, regenerative farming techniques.
Helping children discover the sources of their food while preparing them to steward the land that provides it.
Increase public awareness of healthy, seasonal and sustainable food.
You can head over to our about page to read more of our history
Something we should have done A LONG TIME AGO is take financial destiny into our own hands. Now we have a base and have had a bit of time to get used to the place here are some of our social enterprise notions:
Sell what we grow which might include “pick your own box” direct from the gardens.
Sell what we grow into local cafes and restaurants.
Sell various grafted fruit trees – we have triple grafted cherries available at the moment
Develop a range of food products value adding some of the fruit and veg we grow
Engage other Schools in food education by offering tours of our Farm
Running workshops – we have a fruit tree pruning workshop on Wednesday!
All of these things, topped up with grants from time to time will enable us to continue the free food hub and the educational components of farm life. We want to have secure financial future. No more of this being beholden to changing governments and their policies and the bureaucracy, oh the bureaucracy! Part of all government funding now is a requirement to show you will become financially independent. So WE HAVE TO make money to survive. We want to be able to pay the people who work for Produce to the People an appropriate wage for their skills and create further employment opportunities. SO, YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD…. We are going to try to get 4000 people to donate $25 that will mean we can develop these social enterprise ideas which will mean the Free Food Hub can continue its good community work. If you are unable to invest in us online you can always come and see us on The Farm @ Burnie High. Will you be 1 of the 4000?
We’ve been on The Farm at Burnie High for six months or so now. Time has flown and we feel like we have done some really good stuff so far. But it is also time to ask you – the people who come to visit us – a few questions. Firstly because we really want to know a little bit more about you, but also to see where we might add more value to the community.
The survey should only take a few minutes and if you can’t access it here we are happy to have a conversation with you at The Hub next time you come visit us.