The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a stone’s throw from my home and only a few kilometres from the centre of Melbourne. The Farm was established in 1979 by a community committee and relies heavily on donations and volunteers to run. There are range of animals on the farm including goats, sheep, horses, ducks, pigs, chickens, guinea pigs and a donkey.
On the second Saturday of each month the Collingwood Children’s Farm hosts a Farmer’s Market. By the time I arrived this morning the market was in full swing. The sign on the front gate warning of a snake that had been spotted on the farm didn’t seem to deter anyone as families poured in through the entrance.
The walk through the farm to the market area is lovely with herb and vegetables gardens and animals peering over gates waiting to be patted. Nasturtiums grow like weeds along the fences and a rooster struts around greeting visitors.
The farm is surrounded by large trees and bordered on one side by the Yarra River and once inside it is difficult to believe that you are so close to the Melbourne CBD. There is no traffic noise and no visible external buildings.
The market is in a large open grassy area of the farm with stalls set up mostly around the perimeter. There are a few more stalls in the centre but the main attraction today was a Mexican chap with a large sombrero entertaining the children and their parents. The open spaces are perfect for children to play and chase each other while their parents shop. Everywhere you look there are countless prams, strollers and dogs.
The Market attracts regular vendors so each month you can be confident your favourite products will be available. There is much to choose from – fresh flowers, free range eggs, freshly baked bread, artisan cheeses, herbs, smoked trout, meat, fresh milk and yoghurt, butter, frozen orange juice icy-poles (popular today as it was very warm), lots of fruit and vegetables, meat, and so much more that I can’t remember.
Today I bought some beautiful bright red tomatoes, a smoked trout, pork and fennel sausages, a pot of basil, a loaf of grain bread, a croissant for tomorrow’s breakfast, some garlic, a bag of snowpeas, and some Goldrich apricots.
On the way out there is another opportunity to look at the farm animals and birds before strolling through the Abbotsford Convent gardens next door and then home. I feel truly blessed to have this inner city haven on my doorstep.