Creating a sustainable future
UrCommunity Food Forest and local community gardens will be used to source the majority of the produce required as the raw ingredients to make the delicious meals that appear on the café menu.
UrCommunity Initiatives Pty Ltd,has commenced promoting the Business Food Forest� to relevant businesses to lower their operating costs, encourage greater use of affordable organic produce which is also non genetically modified and create an ongoing relationship to bring them in as part of UrCommunity and then ensure opportunities for further engagement inclusive of the volunteer program.
We will then promote the Backyard Food Forest � to the wider community and through relevant community groups to assist in promoting greater self-sufficiency, improving dietary intake of fresh produce and overall health, increasing fresh food access, lessening household food costs and hopefully promoting this to future generations by involving all ages in the program.
In conjunction with the other projects will be the development of the UrCommunity Farmers Market. This will operate either independently at sites around Melbourne as the extra produce is developed over time but will initially join in as part the current regular Farmers Markets Scheme operating around Melbourne. Again opportunities will be there for volunteers to join in and be trained in new skills and be part of the community.
There will be an opportunity for relevant engagement of our volunteers in this program. We will train them in how to grow more than enough produce for themselves as well as contribute to what is required for the café(s) and also provide a potential secondary income source.
In keeping with sustainability the next project will be the creation of natural gas, using the waste food-scraps coming from the café(s), in order to provide both the gas to run the electric generator and the stoves in the kitchen. Those who participate in helping the café become self-sufficient will all be considered as café staff and enjoy all benefits listed for café staff.
UrCommunity is also working on the establishment of a "Community Supermarket(s)" which will be a cooperative owned by those participating and provide significant savings on everyday household goods between 20 - 40% depending upon the buying power developed through membership. Members will participate in a volunteer program to operate the service in all areas and UrCommunity will manage the overall operation. This will be an exciting first for Australia and is based on models operating in New York (15 Years) and London (3 years). We are excited about developing this model as a social enterprise with other interested community organisations or business organisations.
This Food Forest Systems utilises the latest in Aquaponics, Hydroponics and Permaculture technology to maximise yield. Over time, it is envisaged that all the produce required by the café will be provided by the community via these backyard food forests.
At the heart of the system is a 1,000 litre water tank which houses around 35 trout or silver perch at any one time, as these species adapt well to Melbourne's weather. Once a quarter the fish are harvested to minimise the possibility of overcrowding and to help maintain a balanced system. The fish will also breed in the system and continue the cycle.
The Food Forest Systems Hothouse offers the urban home-gardener or Business aneffective solution to growing veggies and nursery plants out of season. The hothouse is larger than standard home hothouses, at a full 2.74m wide and comes in four lengths 4m 6m 8m and 10m.
The hothouse is proudly Australian made anduses the very same quality grade greenhouse film "Hortiplus" that is used on commercial hothouses. The frame is made from sturdy steel tube and comes with a door at both ends and vents above each door which can be pre-set to automatically open when the temperature reaches between 18 to 25 Degrees Celsius inside the hothouse.
The end result of the Backyard Food Forests' innovative design is that we are able to achieve:
- Controlled high-density growth within a confined, urban backyard setting
- Automatic watering and fertilising
- Plants that are never under or over watered
- Year-round production of delicious organic, fresh fruit and vegetables, grown without the use of harmful pesticides or herbicides.