The Kensington Farm Collective

Jacqui van Heerden

The Kensington Community Farm Collective was established in 2021 and is run by two local urban farmers who grow food across different sites in Kensington.  

The vision is to provide local and chemical free fresh food for our neighbourhood with limited food miles, packaging and waste.  

It was established to increase the amount of local food grown to help those that experience food insecurity, and to also ensure that this community receives fresh nutrient rich food and not food that is one step away from the compost.

Currently Kensington is in the top five food insecure neighbourhoods in the City of Melbourne.  

As land is limited in the inner city, the Farm Collective works with The Venny Inc., Unison and The Y and more recently the McCracken Street Food Garden (Kensington Neighbourhood House) which have access to land and this is where produce is actively farmed using permaculture principles.

The Farm Collective received a grant from the City of Melbourne in 2021, which enabled them to actively farm 60sqm of local land during COVID, producing more than 400kg of food over seven months. This food was distributed weekly to those people in Kensington who experienced increased hardship due to lockdowns.  

Post the grant, the Farm Collective’s activities have continued and they provide monthly about 50kg to the Kensington Community Fresh Food Market. This food is shared at the market and a donation is sought for some items.  

Any remaining fresh produce of the Farm Collective’s that is not distributed at the Kensington Fresh Food Market is contributed free to the McCracken Street Pantry.  

The Farm Collective harvests and grows as much as possible from local seeds saved. The urban farming work is mostly volunteer now as the funds received by donation go back into buying mushroom compost, mulch and seedlings for the farm. A portion of produce grown by the Farm Collective is shared freely with community. At the Venny, produce is harvested for programs, and directly by the community.  

“The establishment of the Farm Collective is a deliberate strategy of ours to become part of the globalised movement of relocalising our food. This will strengthen our community’s health and reduce the pollution, waste and social inequity which is being created by globalisation,” Alicia Rogers of the Farm Collective said.

The Farm Collective’s values are caring and supporting the earth and community with fresh grown food and working together for our local community. 

The Farm Collective’s vision is to find more local land to farm and become sustainable.  

The Farm Collective is looking for more urban farmers, if this vision speaks to you, please contact Jacqui van Heerden. •

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