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The Power of Urban Farming to Bring People Together


Baileys Fertiliser


1 August 2023

We met Sophie James- Ross one of the Directors and Volunteers of North Fremantle Social Farm at Perth Garden Festival this year.  She invited us down to have a look at the farm recently, we meet the volunteers and had a chat to Amy Warne the Head Farmer.  

Baileys: Well, my first thought is you have this gorgeous garden bed but you've got 200 members that can come and pick as much as they want each month! 

How do you manage that? How do you rotate the crops, make sure people aren't overpicking? That seems like a mind blowing task to me!

Amy: When you put it like that, it seems like a lot of work. So there's the gardening side, which takes a certain skillset, but in terms of managing what people pick we just try to have something available to harvest at all times.

 Members can let themselves in the gate any time. And really it's a lot based on trust. So people just pick for their own families and their own households. So far no one's abused that.  People have a really sharing culture that is working so well, for instance if they're picking a cauliflower they'll say 'who wants to half the cauliflower with me?'

 In terms of what's available, I just try to mix up the crops as much as I can.  I think the last list I made there was about 50 different varieties of veggies that we grow over the year. I try to mix it up as much as we can so that there's a variety of things e.g. there's not always going to be silver beet, but maybe there'll be kale instead, you know, that kind of thing. We kind of make it up as we go, but it seems to be working pretty well.