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After colonisation, the land along the Merri Creek in Coburg became a hot spot for little 2 acre vegetable farms managed by Chinese and Southern European migrants.
Over time, however, all but one of these farms have disappeared due to rapid urban development and changed grocery habits.
On Monday the 6th of November, Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria took a group of adults with vision loss on a delightful walk along the Merri Creek to Joe’s Market Garden, the last remaining urban organic farm, and now heritage listed by Merri-bek City Council.
Sitting under a canopy of dwarf lemon scented gums, the group enjoyed a morning tea of cherries and shortbread while listening to tour guide, Asia Brownlie (Farm Engagement Coordinator), speak about the fascinating history and current use of this farm.
Highlights included learning about Joe’s special broad beans, the Saturday farm gate stall open to the community, and best of all, how couples are falling in love while weed dating, like speed dating – only you’re weeding!
After visiting Joe’s, the group continued their seven kilometre walk to CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick East. Next to the bok-bok of fifty happy hens, participants rested their tired legs while drinking iced coffees, eating vegan sausage rolls and socialising with friends.
Article written by Miriam Bilander, BSRV Program Manager.
A big thank you to BSRV’s five outstanding volunteers – Liz Denham, John Kenright, Rob Edwards, Darren McLelland and Alexandra Hotchkin.
Here are some comments on our day out.
Jermin: "Joe’s Market Garden was very nice. It reminds me of when I was a child in Egypt. My dad had something like this, but it was very far from where we lived so I could not visit it very often, but when we did, I loved it. He grew all these things, lots of herbs and fruit. So beautiful."
Stefan: "It’s was fantastic! The pace was good, not too fast or too slow and the level of description was not too much or too little. Fascinating history."
We thank Merri-bek City Council for all their support.