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Using small plots of disused land, FareShare Kitchen Gardens are growing our own vegetables to supplement rescued produce.

Get Involved with FareShare Kitchen Gardens

Donate Funds

You can help us grow healthy food for people in need by supporting our kitchen garden program. Our costs include rostering and supporting more than 200 garden volunteers, substantial water bills, tools, seeds, mulch and fertilizer.

Donate Garden Materials

FareShare Kitchen Gardens welcome donations of materials and services. We currently need seeds. If you have a garden donation, please contact us today.

Volunteer in the Garden

Our kitchen gardens are tended by an enthusiastic community of hard-working volunteers. It's tough but rewarding physical work which includes weeding, propagation, planting, harvesting and composting. You can also book a garden corporate volunteering shift.

About our Kitchen Gardens

In order to cook nutritious meals at scale,  FareShare needs a constant supply of quality ingredients. Sourcing enough fresh vegetables in Melbourne to meet the growing demand for cooked meals from food relief charities is one of our biggest challenges.

FareShare’s kitchen gardens tackle this problem head on by growing our own vegetables on three sites in and around Melbourne to supplement rescued produce. We aim to grow at least one third of the vegetables we need for our Abbotsford kitchen with our garden manager working closely with our chefs to optimise the flow of healthy ingredients. Download our Garden Manual to see how we do it and for tips on growing veggies in Melbourne.

The vast bulk of FareShare’s vegetables are grown on the Baguley family farm in Clayton South with the generous support of experienced horticulturalist Les Baguley. FareShare has also created vibrant community assets on pieces of disused land at Moorabbin Airport and Victoria Park.  Watch how we started on Gardening Australia and see our trial sweet potato planting on Landline.

Our Kitchen Garden locations

Baguley Farm, Clayton South

Commercial flower, herb and vegetable grower Les Baguley has provided FareShare with the opportunity to grow vegetables at scale on his prime farm land in Melbourne’s outer fringe.

His family farm in Clayton South enables FareShare to grow a wide range of vegetables with a focus of generating yield. In 2020, the farm produced  more than 55 tonnes of vegetables for the kitchen. The top crops were cauliflower, carrot, capsicum and celery.

Volunteer shifts operate on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and require a good level of physical fitness. There are immediate volunteering opportunities on the Baguley farm.

Victoria Park, Abbotsford

FareShare has created a large kitchen garden in the heart of Melbourne on VicTrack land close to our Abbotsford kitchen.

With initial support from RACV and Gandel Philanthropy, FareShare has transformed a former dumping ground between Victoria Park railway station and Victoria Park oval, into a productive urban vegetable patch.

The kitchen garden now grows a range of vegetables on 70 beds tended by volunteers.

Due to its proximity to the FareShare kitchen, this garden is particularly valuable for growing crops with a short shelf life such as herbs. In 2020 basil, thyme, parsley, sage and oregano were grown alongside zucchini, eggplant, celery and carrots.  

Volunteer shifts operate on Mondays and Wednesdays with a long waiting list for new volunteer opportunities.

Moorabbin Airport

A disused plot of land on one of Australia’s busiest airports has been donated by Moorabbin Airport Corporation and the Goodman Foundation to grow vegetables.

The kitchen garden, located next to the Australian National Aviation Museum, comprises scores of raised beds which have been planted with a range of vegetables, notably eggplant. The garden also grows root vegetables, greens and herbs. 

Volunteer shifts operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

How to grow veggies in Melbourne

Interested in growing food in Melbourne? The FareShare garden manual could be just the tool you need.

FareShare’s kitchen garden program has shared its experiences of urban food production at its three Melbourne garden locations – Abbotsford, Moorabbin Airport and Clayton South.

The 74-page manual covers everything from crops grown and yield, to soil, composting, integrated pest management, crop rotation and companion planting.

You can download the publication here.

Latest News from FareShare Kitchen Gardens

Working for Victoria with purpose

Nav Gill was working as operations manager for an events company before Melbourne’s lockdowns effectively shut down his industry. He took up the role of warehouse supervisor in April just as the amount of food we were handling sky-rocketed.   “Warehousing and logistics are in my DNA,” says Nav, who

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How Les turned crisis into vegetables for FareShare

Back in 1999 Les Baguley was working a 100-hour week for Australia’s biggest flower growers in Melbourne’s Southeast. Born into a business started by his parents, horticultural legends Frank and Isabel, Les could scarcely have imagined how his life would change when aged just 47 he suffered a catastrophic stroke.

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Nutrition is key says garden volunteer Marnie

Marnie Dixon decided to volunteer with FareShare because she witnessed first hand the benefits of our meals to struggling women and their families. The garden volunteer worked for more than 21 years as an outreach community nurse and midwife supporting homeless women and families in inner-city Melbourne. As a first

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Summer harvest in full swing in kitchen gardens

The beginning of the year marks an exciting time for FareShare’s kitchen gardens as we move into our most productive growing season. Following last year’s spring plantings, we are reaping the results of our garden volunteers’ careful tending and hard work over the past few months. We are now regularly

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Making the news with our urban kitchen gardens

Gardening Australia was one of our first visitors

Our work to convert disused land into edible gardens has attracted a lot of attention.

Gardening Australia’s Jane Edmanson reported from our Abbotsford garden in our first growing season.  Find out what she made of the experience which included an inspection of vegetable preparation in our kitchen. 

Kitchen gardens deliver bumper sweet potato harvest

The first harvest of Melbourne’s largest planting of sweet potato took place in our kitchen gardens in 2017.

The cultivation of a global staple, rarely seen in Melbourne gardens, is part of an innovative partnership between FareShare and the Burnley Campus of the University of Melbourne.

The low GI, versatile and easy-to- prepare sweet potato is a welcome ingredient for FareShare’s nutritious meals. It also enables FareShare to better support migrant groups and develop more culturally-appropriate recipes. The sweet potatoes are  being used in a variety of FareShare dishes including curries and soups.

Fareshare turns a vacant city plot into a bountiful urban farm

IN A country as big as Australia, it’s hard to understand why you would squash a farm between a rail line and an inner-city parking lot. But, that’s just what has happened alongside Victoria Park train station in central Melbourne, and for good reason. Nothing more than a dumping ground for old mattresses and broken bottles 12 months ago, the land is now a 3000 square metre garden supplying vegetables to Abbotsford’s Fareshare kitchen, where one million meals a year are cooked for charities.

FareShare Kitchen Gardens acknowledges our generous supporters