While I love living in the city with all the conveniences, cafe culture and amenities I also love the wide open spaces, home grown vegetables and getting back to nature. For a little bit of country in my city I like to head to Northey Street City Farm at Windsor. I first came across the Sunday organic farmers markets where you can buy a range of produce, get a great coffee or chai tea, have some delicious food or buy a range of craft items. You can also wander through the gardens and see all sorts of food plants growing. This is a great thing to do with the kids. It was on one of these rambles, coffee in hand, that I discovered that there was more to Northey St than just the markets.
Image courtesy of Northey Street City Farm Website
The farm is set in four hectares of land and has over 1500 different types of plants growing. The aim is to show people how permaculture works and to this end there are free farm tours, weekly gardening and cooking activities such as Planting for Pizzas and a children's playgroup that meets on Fridays. There are also a range of workshops covering keeping chickens in your backyard, composting and worm farming through to vertical gardening. If you are really serious you can do a Permaculture Design Course over several months. They also run one off events such as a Winter Solstice celebration which I vow I will get to this year.
My second experience with Northey St City farm was when we decided to start a worm farm at home and we needed worms. The farm includes Edible Landscapes Nursery and amongst the seedlings and plants you can also buy worms. The staff were very helpful explaining how to settle our worms in and care for our fledgling worm farm. They also had a wild raspberry bush that was producing more fruit than they could keep up with so they encouraged us to pick some to take home. This was a really lovely experience for all of us but especially my three year old. I am also happy to report that getting the worm farm is one of the best things we have ever done.
Image courtesy of the Northey Street City Farm website
So you can be like me and let your inner hippy out every so often with a visit or you can get more involved. The farm offers allotment gardens for those who don't have their own patch of soil. You can also volunteer to help out at Edible Landscapes Nursery, become a member for just $10 a year or just help out when you can.