FareShare has enjoyed a record-breaking year in our Melbourne kitchen gardens producing 48 tonnes of vegetables this year – a 28 per cent increase on our entire crop for 2018.

With a total of 1.5 acres under production at our Abbotsford, Moorabbin Airport and Clayton South sites, FareShare’s 152 garden volunteers have harvested 15 tonnes of zucchini, 10 tonnes of pumpkin and 9.5 tonnes of eggplant, among other veggies.

Incredibly, despite the low rainfall in 2019, our homegrown produce has accounted for 44 per cent of the vegetables coming into the FareShare kitchen. Woolworths donate the bulk of rescued veggies to FareShare, while collaboration with SecondBite is also delivering fresh produce.

Garden program manager Sharni Jansen (pictured above left with volunteer Gill at the Baguley Farm), says this year’s success boils down to a number of factors.

“Our hardy garden volunteers have contributed enormously by tending to our gardens throughout the highs and lows of the growing seasons,” she said.

“We’ve also received huge support from Les Baguley, who owns the Clayton South site. Les has generously increased our growing space on his farm and ploughs the garden beds for us.

“All three of our gardens are supported by Boomaroo Nurseries, who have contributed over 25,000 seedlings for our winter plantings alone.”

FareShare’s winter crops are now in the ground and include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, leek, celery, carrot, turnip and parsnip.

“For chefs and kitchen volunteers, there is real pride in preparing the freshest vegetables straight from the garden to add nutrition to our cooked meals,” said FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho. “This year’s fantastic result is testament to the hard work of Sharni and our garden volunteers and the generosity of our garden donors.”