Food is one of the basic essentials of human life. Not only does it fuel, nourish and grow our bodies, it also tastes pretty darn amazing. For many of us, our lives revolve around food. It’s a social and cultural thing – it’s something that brings people together. Sharing a meal with your loved ones is one of the simplest and purest joys in life.
Chances are, you’ve never had to worry about or wonder when your next meal will be, or if you have enough food to last the week. Yet for some people, accessing quality food – or food of any kind – is a daily struggle. No one should ever have to know what this feels like and that’s something Wine n Dine’m’s Event Manager, Nick Steiner, wanted to change.
Nick had always been interested in the idea of urban environments and the ways they could positively impact environmental sustainability. He also wanted to help those in need in his community access healthy and quality food. And that’s how the Mini Farm Project was born.
THE STORY BEHIND THE MINI FARM PROJECT
The initial idea for the Mini Farm Project (MFP) came about in July 2014, however it really took off a year later after Nick enrolled in a permaculture design course. Inspired by everything he’d learnt about growing and maintaining produce, Nick set up a small garden in his backyard and started cultivating his own food. After harvesting his produce, he donated it all to Caboolture Community Action.
What initially started as a one-man effort has grown into an important project that helps those in need get back on their feet in a meaningful and positive way. The Mini Farm Project’s mission is to transform urban spaces that are not being used into flourishing inner-city farms that are environmentally sustainable and most importantly, develop social well-being.
These days, Nick is no longer running the MFP from his backyard, but from their latest project site – a land share by Timber Tots Child Care Centre, in Camp Hill. The MFP are land-sharing 800 sq. meters and are using the space to cultivate a range of fresh produce that is managed by Nick and a team of volunteers, and then harvested and donated to charity.
HOW IT WORKS AND WHO IT’S HELPING
The MFP works to help socially disadvantaged communities in Brisbane by providing access to quality and nutritious food. How? The first step is creating ‘garden pods’ through a land-share program. A group of MFP volunteers plant things like veggies, greens and various herbs. When the produce is ready to be harvested, MFP volunteers gather the crops and donate it to charity, with their current charity being Caboolture Community Action.
WHY WINE N DINE’M LOVE THE MINI FARM PROJECT
At Wine n Dine’m, we live for food (after all – we are a catering and events company!). We know how fortunate we are to always have access to healthy, nutritious and quality food, and we want everyone to have the same fortune. That’s why we are one of the Mini Farm Project’s key sponsors and will continue to be for a long time to come. We love the ethos, the vision and the mission of the MFP and are excited to be a part of its journey as it continues to grow.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
So now that you know all about the amazing work the Mini Farm Project does, you’d like to be involved, right? Good news – you can be! The MFP are looking for volunteers on Saturdays to help plant and harvest their garden pods. Head to www.mfp.org.au to get in touch and register as a volunteer or visit www.facebook.com/theminifarmproject to check out the incredible work they do.
Pssst – looking for the ultimate Christmas present for your loved ones? Why not give the gift of a tomato tree, for example, by donating through the Mini Farm Project! All proceeds go to creating gardens pods to feed the homeless and those in need. We wholly believe there’s no better gift this Christmas than the gift of charity!