It’s been a busy six months at PttP HQ on The Farm @ Burnie High

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
  •  AMP Tomorrow Fund dollars went into opening this hub
  • 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.

small tractor silhouette 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

small tractor silhouette 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? small tractor silhouette

School’s back and that means….

PttP heart green white only

We are in for a huge first half of 2014 with a mammoth 20 schools to receive vegetables on a weekly basis, vegetables grown, gathered and given by awesome North West Tasmanian farmers and backyard growers, and let’s not forget Golden Grain Bakery in Burnie who give us bread three times a week, AND Woolworths where we collect from three, soon to be four supermarkets at least once a week.

That makes for a lot of food that might have gone to waste going to Primary School and now some Secondary School students.

We will be keeping up our Vegetable Garden program in seven Primary Schools as well for term one, and we plan to have some farmer visits to schools in May. Hopefully small animals will be involved!

Thanks to a small grant from the State Government we are also about to take ownership of a lovely trailer which means we will be able to cart a whole lot more veggies in one trip saving fuel and kilometres!

Of course we are back to the same old same old looking for funding that we seem to do every financial year.

I urge anyone in the Braddon electorate to contact prospective and sitting members of Parliament and  tell them why you think they should continue to support projects like Produce to the People.

I also invite any of those running to contact me – you might like to come on part of a veggie run, or shoot the breeze over a coffee. I’d love to talk with you about equity in regional funding amongst other things. And what a great photo opp for you!

Murray the wonder volunteer

Our fabulous volunteer Murray has left the NW for the North which means we are down a driver. We love Murray so much and wish him the very best on his new adventure.  If you are interested in giving up a day a week or fortnight, or month and have a valid manual licence, a decent sense of direction, can lift crates of veggies and have or can obtain a school safety clearance give us a call or send us an email!

Whilst on the subject of volunteers, I am thrilled to have a new one on board, Jenny, who is sourcing gorgeous recipes that will be posted here on a weekly basis.  Woop! I’m excited.  First one will be up soon.

That’s it for now.

Remember to grow, gather, give and love the one you’re with xx