Melbourne’s Monash University has allowed a group of students, headed by 23 year old arts-science student Ali Majokah, to use an empty paddock which they will turn into a community market garden. The students will need to prove they can run a viable small-scale farm but the university supports the concept and will harvest water from nearby office buildings for farm use.
Volunteering In Return For Food
The Monash University Community Farm will provide organic produce to students, staff and restaurants on campus. The students will volunteer in return for fruit and vegetables.
Other Goals For The Community Farm
One goal is for this urban farm to be a welfare service, as many students are quite poor and find it difficult to get healthy food.
The Monash Medical Centre could also use the farm as a therapeutic tool to help rehabilitate patients.
Modelled On The Yale University Farm
In 2003 at Yale University a group of students started a farm where they volunteer with staff and locals to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Monash students will start with herbs and leafy vegetables. They also plan to grow heirloom fruit trees and vegetables such as artichokes.
The farm’s design will draw on permaculture principles to minimise environmental impact.
The students will work with the local Notting Hill Residents Association to help manage the farm during university holidays.
Urban Farming – Community Gardens
Hannah says there are long waiting lists for plots at community gardens.
Landshare Australia brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food and connects those with land to share with those who need land for cultivating food.
The Landshare concept comes from the UK and has now grown into a thriving community of more than 57,000 growers, sharers and helpers.
Landshare is now in Australia, so get in touch if you:
- want to grow vegetables but don’t have anywhere to do it
- have a spare bit of land they’re prepared to share
- can help in some way – from sharing knowledge and lending tools to helping out on the plot itself
- support the idea of freeing up more land for growing
- are already growing and want to join in the community
Definitely a growing practice