The never-ending story of farmers, grocery makers, Food Hosts and goings on at the CERES Fair Food warehouse.
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Why I farm - Emily Connors, Joe's Market Garden

The first instalment in a series of Fair Food's farmers and grocery makers talking about why they do what they do.

I am driven by a desire to build resilience in my self and my community. This stems from the political, however I am constantly seeing how farming has spiritually enriched my life.  

By being a farmer I can't help but be hopeful, I see it on the faces of the people that come through the farm gate each Saturday, the Fair Food workers at the warehouse, and the increasing popularity of CERES Fair Food. They all support their local farmer because they intuitively understand that the dominant food system is broken and buying clean fresh produce direct is another way - an age old way that feels natural and good.

I farm due to a political urgency - by 2050 vegetables grown in Victoria's food-bowl will diminish to 20%, currently it sits proudly at 80%. With a diminishing food bowl comes at a huge cost to our communities and environment. Melbournians will rely even more so on big agri-business to feed ourselves, increasing carbon food miles, decreasing variety due to a need to grow food that stores well for transport and increasing prices due to the added costs of cooling and transporting these fresh veggies. So, Joe's Market Garden is not only a site to grow vegetables, but a site to grow farmers. We are attempting to reverse the current trend by providing the community with inspiration and know-how to show that farming is a viable employment opportunity in the future. 

The more I farm at Joe's Market Garden the more I see how tangible it is to break my community's reliance on corporations that exist only to profit at the expense of people and the earth. The strong community anchored by Joe's Market Garden has shown me that along with feeding a community healthy clean food comes feeding their souls. It feels so powerful to be able to feed yourself and others food and knowledge. There are kids who live around the corner from the farm who only know life with a Farmer Emily and Vince down the road. They only know life with that constant connection to where their food comes from, this feels so natural. How can I not be hopeful?!

In an age of peak oil it is more necessary than ever to relearn old skills and strengthen community ties; that is why I feel an overwhelming joy when I see homesteading skills handed down the generations and across cultures from Joe Garita's wonderful family (that's some of them below), from the local kids asking me questions about fava beans and endive. What I see happening each week is my community getting stronger, I'm baring witness to the soul enriching qualities that come with feeding a community and it feels so empowering that I can't go back. 

You'll find Em selling her produce with a few extra bits and pieces every Saturday morning at Joe's Market Garden Farm gate - on the Merri Creek bike path between Edna Grove and Harding St, Coburg  Read more about CERES Joe's Market Garden here.

CERES Harvest Fest Giant Veg Competition


The CERES Giant Vegetable Growing Competition is taking place at next year’s CERES Harvest Festival. 

Celebrating giant gourds, giant pumpkins and the odd shapes vegetables can turn into, that make us laugh and bring us joy.

The competition has three categories:

1. longest snake/bottle gourd
2. biggest pumpkin (circumference & weight)
3. most unusual vegetable (a funny one you find in the garden)

If you want to get your hands on seeds from CERES Nursery's giant gourd from last year read on...

Hope everybody had a great time krautsourcing around Melbourne yesterday check out some of the early pics and have a great week




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