In January, Wine & Dine’m Catering became the first corporate sponsor of The Mini Farm Project. A not for profit organization that uses a land share program to develop various sized garden beds, or pods as they are called. The produce harvested from these pods is then distributed to local charities with kitchens that can create cooked meals to feed those in need.

It’s safe to say 2016 has been a very successful year for The Mini Farm Project and we are honoured to be a part of their journey. We were lucky enough to sit down with the brains behind the project, Nick Steiner.

Q: What are some highlights for The Mini Farm Project in 2016?

A: Some of our main highlights so far are that we are surrounded by a great group of supportive people helping us move towards our goal. Also having 4 existing pods and being able to now deliver produce to The Caboolture Community Action organization. We have also signed up for the Market Gardening Course to learn more about SPIN farming which will help us in our planned expansion.

Q: How many pods are you currently looking after?

A: We currently have 4 pods that we manage and have started to produce food.  As they are smaller pods we only produce a small amount intermittently.  Each of the existing pods have a different production method. Our Annerley site is a raised garden bed, our Woolloongabba site is a self watering IBC tank, our Caboolture site is a self watering rain gutter grow method and our Burpengary site is a built up on ground method, similar to SPIN.

Our next pod we plan to look at the SPIN or Small Plot Intensive gardening to be able to produce more food on a larger piece of shared land and really get into some exciting production.

Q: You recently celebrated the collection of over 2 tones of food scraps. Can you explain what it’s used for?

A: Wherever we go in South East Queensland we need to look at soil integrity and nutrition. Most soil is depleted so we must add high quality soil at the time of creating a new pod.  Bringing in compost costs a lot of money so, as a cost saving exercise we make our own by collecting green waste from Wine & Dine’m Catering and Top Spot Fruit Mart.

This also goes to feed our worms and the chickens on the Burpengary Pod.

We hope to secure a specific piece of land in Brisbane where we can only produce compost and expand out collection to more food businesses.

Q: Can you please explain the process from start to finish?

A: In a nutshell, the main process we work to is, sourcing the land, once we have the land we plan our beds and what to grow, then we look at planting, maintaining the beds like weeding and watering, then harvesting and distribution.

Q: What do you see the future holding for The Mini Farm Project?

A: We are in the final stages of securing 30 acres from a farmer to grow a mixture of cash crops and produce.  Our strategy is to be self funding where possible so this size pod will help.

We are also on the look out for land in the Brisbane or North Brisbane Area from 100 sq meters. It can be on residential land, commercial or industrial land sites.

Q: How can people get involved?

A: People can get involved in a number of ways such as sharing their land for us to grow on, volunteering on planting and maintenance days or by donating to our registered charity. Visit our website for more information.