Pick My Project
Biofilta has three urban farm projects in the running for the State Government’s Pick my Project program. Pick My Project is a Victorian-first community grants initiative, with at least $1 million in funding available in each metro and regional area of Victoria. The way it works is that communities apply for up to $200,000 in grant money for their projects and people in the local area vote for which projects that want to see happen. Whichever projects get the most votes receive the grant money. Three communities in Victoria have applied for funding to install Biofilta’s state of the art urban farming systems to grow food for their communities.
First up is Athol Road Primary School. They are looking to upgrade their school garden. You might remember that we installed our FoodWall systems into their school garden back in March. Well, they were so pleased with the result that they’ve applied for grant money to deck out their entire garden with Biofilta wicking garden systems. These new systems will supercharge their garden’s productivity and reduce maintenance requirements so their environments teacher Bryan Hunter can spend less time looking after the garden and more time teaching. The school is also looking to include cooking classes in the curriculum so the students will be able to grow heaps of food in the garden and then cook it!
Holmesglen TAFE Mount Waverly campus is also looking to install a Farm-to-Table Education Platform. Their vision is to build an urban farm system on campus which will teach students and the broader community about sustainable food production. They are also looking to include elements of Water-Sensitive Urban Design into the project. The idea is to capture water off their existing buildings, filter it, and use it to grow food. This will also prevent the water from washing pollutants into adjacent ecosystems such as Scotchman’s Creek which runs parallel to Holmesglen. The whole project is aimed at being closed loop. The food will be grown on campus by students and then cooked at the campus restaurant ZEST. Any waste will then be composted and fed right back into the urban farm. The hope is for this education platform to promote interdisciplinary collaboration so that students will receive a more holistic understanding of their field.
The Cranbourne Turf club has also applied for grant money to build a community garden that will be an extension of their new function centre. The function centre will be serviced by onsite professional chefs who will have access to fresh herbs and vegetables grown to suit their menus. There will be a big emphasis on sustainability with water being harvested from the rooftops to use as irrigation and manure will be collected from onsite activities, composted and then used to grow food for the kitchen. The new garden will be visible to all patrons and will showcase local horticulture, sustainable business practices and demonstrates to others how to reduce waste by closing nutrient loops and growing food onsite.
If you live near any of these locations hop online and vote for these projects. The website is www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au. If you know anyone who lives near these locations spread the word! The more votes we can get the more chance we have of building sustainable urban farms that can produce fresh, healthy produce for communities.
Let’s get growing!