Kate Sutton

City of Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf, and Lidia Thorpe MLA (pictured above with Nick Rose of Sustain and Ange Barry of the Melbourne Food Hub), joined locals this week to tour the Melbourne Food Hub site in Alphington to learn about the project’s progress and hear from the team behind the Food Hub.

Guests were also treated to a grazing lunch featuring over ten different producers from the Melbourne Farmers Markets.

The emerging food cluster at Alphington (managed by Melbourne Innovation Centre) is continuing to build momentum. In addition to Melbourne Farmers Markets, other food social enterprises now operating including Farmwall, a start-up aiming to help cities become food producing ecosystems, and LifeCykel, which transforms coffee waste into mushrooms using shipping containers.

A weekly highlight is the Sunday Alphington Farmers Market, operated by Melbourne Farmers Markets, attracting up to 2,000 people per week who purchase delicious local and seasonal produce from 35 Victorian producers and food businesses.

In July this year, the MFH team organised the first Wicking Bed Workshop, as part of our mission to make urban agriculture a major component of the Food Hub activities. Co- hosted with Very Edible Gardens (VEG), the sold-out event was the first step in our plans to make the space edible and abundant. Participants learnt the principles of wicking beds and built the first four beds that are now growing a variety of species and are dotted around the site.

The next key development will be the building of the community and production kitchen. An existing shed will be transformed into a functioning commercial kitchen, available to local businesses and community members in order to produce anything from ready to eat meals to a diverse array of fermented products. The MFH team will work closely with Global Sisters to support cohorts of local migrant women develop their food business ideas ito market ready products that can be tested and sold at the Alphington Farmers Market and beyond. This project has been funded by the Inner North Community Foundation.

‘We were very excited to open the doors to the community this week and share with them all that is happening and all that is coming’, says Ange Barry, Business Development Manager of the Melbourne Food Hub.

‘Over the spring and summer, locals will notice more infrastructure beginning to appear as we get closer to realising the vision for a space where community can meet, learn about, grow, make, eat and source fresh local produce’.

The establishment of the Melbourne Food Hub is supported by a two-year Innovation Grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Learn more about this exciting project on our projects page.