Autumn 2021 Newsletter

We Need Your Help

This latest lockdown has been a disaster for so many. We had desperately hoped that after the prolonged trauma of 2020, the new year would provide the opportunity to come together and heal, especially for the people who rely on Collingwood Children’s Farm for Connection, for Community and as a place to spend time in nature and with animals.  

We know that for many this will be a time of great loneliness and isolation.

There’s no doubt too, that this extended closure will hurt the Farm. As a small non-profit that exists to support people experiencing adversity, the Farm’s ability to deliver inclusive programs and support will be heavily impacted financially by this closure.  

The hard reality is that to maintain our mission the Farm must remain sustainable.  

While the continued existence of community non-profits like Collingwood Children’s Farm can’t be taken for granted, the Farm will get through this and will continue to deliver upon its mission of social impact.

But if you can, we need your help.  

We know that for so many of you, this past year of lockdown and job losses has been disastrous and we would never ask you to donate. We  would much prefer that you keep what you have for your families.  But if you are in a position to make a tax deductible donation, we would appreciate it more than you know.  

As always, your support helps us to care for our animals, conserve these heritage farmlands and fund inclusive Farm programs supporting people experiencing adversity. 

Thank you.

Meanwhile down on the Farm…

Working for Victoria Program

Some  of our volunteers working on projects

The 14 new staff employed under the Working for Victoria program have now been onsite for more than 3 months and their impact has been incredible.  We’re building new inclusive community programs, developing new income streams, engaging more people and more community groups and sharing our space with a growing number of interested folk to continue to create and expand exciting new offerings.  

And just quietly, the place is looking incredible AND productive. 

These exciting new roles include a Volunteer Coordinator, Community Engagement Officer, Education Officers, Horticulture team members, Building and Grounds team member, Big Green Shed Program Officer, (top left pic – some  of our volunteers working on projects), Animal Husbandry team member, Administration Officers and an Events and Marketing Manager. Where on earth will we put everyone…?!

Danielle, Beth, Melina and Opal

World Bee Day

On Sunday May 23, The CCF Apiary celebrated World Bee Day!

To celebrate, the beekeepers welcomed visitors to the Apiary to learn all about what it means to keep and care for bees; visitors checked bees and hives, learnt about different tools and techniques, including how to extract honey and how hives are managed over the course of the year.  

The hives have been packed down for winter, but do still need to be checked regularly; they are inspected on the 4th Sunday of each winter month.  Remember to look out for our seriously delicious CCF honey at the Farm Shop next time you visit! 

National Volunteer Week

Wonderful Farm volunteers with a lovely morning tea

On Friday 21st May we celebrated our wonderful Farm volunteers with a lovely morning tea, held to coincide with National Volunteer Week. We can’t say a big enough thank you to the people that give their precious time to make Collingwood Children’s Farm the special and inclusive place we all love.  

We can’t wait to welcome our remaining community groups returning back on the Farm, early in Term 3!

The Market Gardens

fresh market produce

Can you believe that this was a paddock not that long ago?! The Farm’s market garden has almost doubled since the bottom area of the Barn paddock was ploughed and sown with a winter cover crop, ready for vegetable planting in spring.

In-keeping with our regenerative agricultural philosophy, eight different species of cover crop has been sown including daikon radish (to help break up hard soil), legumes for fixing nitrogen and grasses to add organic matter to help improve the soil.  


Some very, very sad news… Our beautiful Daphne passed away due to complications at birth. We are devastated and will miss her terribly but the pain is somewhat eased by the arrival of her calf to the Farm. He will be hand-reared and tamed to be able to meet safely with our lovely Farm visitors and so far, he is doing well!  He’s even started halter training!!

Finna, our Ayrshire cow, is away trying to get pregnant but if not successful, will come back to enjoy her daily brushing in the Barn, taking over from milking the goats, once the nannies are dried off. 

Speaking of goats, five lucky nannies are getting amorous with our buck Okeo for a new generation of kids. The ewes are hopefully all pregnant as well so we can all look forward to gorgeous lambs and kids frolicking at the Farm in Spring.

In other exciting news, an Equine Facilitated Learning Course (EFT) will be introduced at the Farm in the coming months. EFT is centred around letting the horse teach, rather than the rider. The program is intended to take the emphasis away from riding the horses to more unmounted activities, which will benefit more people. Watch this space

Trial Workshop at The Farm

Making the pasta

There were plenty of willing guinea pigs (other than the ones on the Farm!) to trial a pasta-making workshop at the Farm.

An Italian cook had the staff making the pasta dough and then the ravioli with a superb fresh ricotta filling (about 200 were produced!) and a perfect simple sauce to have with them. 

The resulting ravioli were cooked and served with the sauce and declared to be bellissimo!  The trial got the thumb’s up from all.

A Spring launch is planned for a whole raft of new activities to happen at the Farm. The workshops will include home gardening, waste minimisation and some CWA cooking classes (top tip, the CWA tomato relish is a winner).

Partnerships and Programs

We’re pleased as punch to let you know that Community Bank Clifton Hill – North Fitzroy (Bendigo Bank) has continued its wonderful community partnership support with another generous contribution to our Big Green Shed program.  

Community Bank Clifton Hill – North Fitzroy’s community partnership in 2020 was instrumental in creating this new program space and their continued support will bring even greater program capability.  We’re so excited to launch our inclusive Community Shed programs and deliver skills-based programs to people experiencing adversity.  

Keep an eye out for some truly beautiful timber items in our Farm Shop – all hand-made from ethical timber, right here in the Big Green Shed!

CCF was excited to participate in the Urban Ag Forum in Melbourne in April. The theme was ‘Care Farming and Gardening in the Climate Emergency’.

The Victorian Farmers Federation President and Vice President came to the Farm to see what we are up to and chatted about potential ‘meet the farmer’ talks, workshops and events down the track – watch this space!

VFF at the Farm!

The Farm has also joined the Climate Action group (an initiative of Yarra, Darebin and Moreland councils) to network with like-minded organisations and groups to address climate change. 

‘Building Climate Resilient Communities’ workshops coordinated by City of Yarra have also been attended and the Farm is committed to continuing our mission to support our community and tackle the challenges ahead caused by climate change. 

We’re with you all and promise to work towards a better future for our children, our community and our planet.