Sunday, 29 January 2012

Kew locals supporting local farmers in the Year of the Farmer

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release
 
Transition Town Kew Food Co-operative
 
Kew, Victoria, Monday 27th February 2012
 
Over the past year and a half, the white Green Gully Organics Farm van has become a familiar sight outside the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre (KNLC) on a Thursday evening.  Each week, Shelley Heppell, whose husband Craig runs the Green Gully Organics Farm, drives from Macclesfield to the KNLC with her van full of vegetable boxes for the Transition Town Kew Food Co-operative.  
 
The Co-op provides an opportunity for members to buy their vegetables direct from a local certified organic grower at a central community hub.  Boxes come in two sizes, small (for 1-2 people ) and large (for a family), and contain an assortment of freshly picked mixed organic seasonal vegetables.  
 
Initiated in 2010 by the sustainability group Transition Town Boroondara, the Co-op was covered in a story by Bianca Carmona and published in the Progress Leader on 10 August 2010.  "We were bowled over by the huge amount of interest from the article; we had over one hundred people express interest and sixty individuals come along to our information session’ recalls Michelle, a member of the steering committee.  Since then the Co-op has seen a regular group of members form who are now quite familiar with one another, where some singles share boxes, while other members pick them up for each other.  
 
A welcome impact of the membership for some members has been a noticeable increase in their intake of vegetables.  "As the week comes around again, I find myself trying to use up the veggies left in the fridge to make room for the fresh ones coming on Thursday"  remarks says Kirsten a regular co-op member "where before I used to try and stretch out what I had until I had time to go to the shops again". 
 
Part of the uniqueness of the arrangement is the fact that the box contents are a surprise each week with members receiving what is fresh and in season from the farm.   Another member remarks "as the seasons change, the farmer brings along different produce.  When spring came around, farmer Shelley had asparagus in our boxes of vegetables; eaten with fresh parmesan, a poached egg and a little olive oil, it was such a treat.  Not only were they so easy but they tasted so delicious."
 
To find out more join us on a Thursday evening during one of our pick up evenings, these take place every Thursday from 5:15 - 6:15pm at the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre (2-12 Derby St, Kew).  
 
 
 
A photo opportunity may be arranged to include our farmers Craig and Shelley at the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre during a veggie box pick up evening by contacting Shelley Heppell 0413 596 329.

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