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.

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