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Pop Up Garlic Farmers Program 2021

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Event description

Farmer Incubator's Pop Up Garlic Farmers program is a great way to try farming in a risk free and supported environment while building skills, knowledge and networks as you go. You'll get the opportunity to meet experienced farmers, visit established small-scale farms and hear from experts across a diverse range of fields. Then you can put your new knowledge into practice by taking a crop of garlic from seed to market using organic and regenerative farming practices. 

  • PUGF runs over nine months from 20 February to 6 November 2021. 
  • The course includes 8 workshops, events and farm tours.
  • You will work at one of 5 partner farms to cultivate and grow your own crop of garlic. Each site will have a Site Facilitator to support you at each step of the way and at least 3 other fellow Pop Up Garlic Farmers to share the experience. 
  • Time commitment: You will be expected to spend at least 1 day a month at tending to your crop in addition to taking part in the 8 workshops and tours. (Note: this is just an estimate and there might be months you need to visit your farm more and times when you'll visit your farm less)
  • We require all participants in the program to grow without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Furthermore, most of our partner farms are either certified organic or biodynamic and we strictly adhere to these standards.

Bulleen – Heide Kitchen Garden: A once in a lifetime opportunity to be a garlic farmer at the breathtaking Heide Kitchen Gardens! Formerly a neglected dairy farm, this stunning heritage-listed garden was created by Sunday and John Reed who moulded Heide into a personal Eden, connecting art with nature and creating a nourishing environment for the artists they championed. The Heide kitchen gardens are lush and productive, with seasonal organic produce being used by the Heide café. Please note: the plot sizes available are smaller than the other sites and you might need to fit some garlic elsewhere - this is your challenge if you choose to accept this site. (2 spots available)

Fawkner - Fawkner Food Bowls:  Having transformed an unused bowling green into an urban food paradise, Fawkner Food Bowls is communal market garden where members can learn about, and contribute to, growing crops that are then sold to support the running of the garden. In recent times they started growing more intensively and created a food distribution hub with Fair Share Fare to provide fresh affordable food to the local community. (4 spots available)

Greensborough - Beales Road Farm: Grow your garlic at Beales Road Farm hosted by urban agriculture crew The Veggie Empire! This wonderful urban farm grows seasonal veggies and food plants while supporting its two team members with disability to develop farm skills through an approach that buddies them with young farmers and horticulturalists. The team can be found selling their veggie and herb seedlings fortnightly at Alphington Farmer’s Market. They also sell veggie boxes to local supporters between February and May and supply a local Earthbound Bolton. (5 spots available)

Keilor - Days Walk Farm: Days Walk Farm is Paul Mirgaliotta's picturesque, certified organic farm. You will be right inside a buzzing farm atmosphere and meet farmers as they go about tending their crops. The Maribyrnong River runs along the border of the property and is a great place for a swim after a long weeding session! (5 spots available)

Yarra Valley - Silvertine Farm :  Grow your garlic at the dreamy Silvertine Farm nestled in the Yarra Valley. ECOSS is a not-for-profit community organisation and permaculture designed farm. On this beautiful property ECOSS demonstrates sustainable living solutions including beyond organic & biodynamic vegetable farming. (4 spots available)

Seaford - Downs Estate Community Garden: This beautiful site sits within Seaford Wetlands, with plenty of bird life, bike trails, and native plant species to surround you while farming. A forty minute drive from the CBD, it is also accessible by train and bike and can be visited any day of the week. The lovely community of gardeners is friendly and welcoming and also host Melbourne University students researching native edible plants. (4 spots available)

BONUS SITE!!! Keilor – Koroneos Farm: Keep the farming tradition alive at Koroneos Farm! After leaving northern Greece to settle in Keilor in 1939, the Koroneos family expanded their farmland to this site in the 60s for use as a market garden for producing food and raising livestock. While the family no longer work the fields they still produce vegetables, fruit and eggs for their family. This site is a short walk to the Maribyrnong river. (5 spots available)


The full program costs $1390, which includes the following:

  • 8 x workshops & farm tours
  • your garlic seed (approx 500 seeds)
  • land use & access for 10 months
  • water, mulch & compost 
  • a copy of Penny Woodward's 'Garlic' book (also known as the Garlic Bible!)
  • Crop Enterprise Budgeting planner 
  • 4 x lunches, and tea/coffee available at every workshop
  • new friendships/community connections/business partnership opportunities
  • your own crop of organically grown garlic at the end of the year to sell, give away or simply keep for yourself :) 

Course Schedule

Here is the list of fantastic workshops you can be a part of as a Pop Up Garlic Farmer. Please note that dates are subject to change. Final dates and locations will be confirmed and emailed out to all participants 2 weeks prior to start date.

  • Workshop 1: Introductions & Planning
    Sunday 28th Feb, 9:30am - 1pm, Days Walk Farm, Keilor
  • Workshop 2: Soils & Agronomy
    Sunday 7th March, 10am - 2pm, Fawkner Lawn Bowls
  • Workshop 3: Planting & Cultivating
    Saturday 10th April, 10am - 2pm, Beales Road Farm, Greensborough
  • Workshop 4: Weeds, Pests & Diseases
    Saturday 1st May, 10am - 2pm, Yarra Valley ECOSS
  • Workshop 5: Farm Tour
    Saturday 7th August, 10am - 2pm, Remi's Market Garden
  • Workshop 6: Co-farming and Accessing Land for Your Future Farm
    Saturday 4th September, 10am - 2pm, Harcourt
  • Workshop 7: Marketing Your Product
    Saturday 9th October, 10am - 2pm, Neighbourhood Wine, Fitzroy
    (**Please note: this event is held at a restaurant and a vegan meal using local produce is available at $30 per head, this cost is NOT included in PUGF registration price)
  • Workshop 8: Harvesting and Decision Making
    Saturday 6th November, 10am-2pm, Days Walk Farm, Keilor

**Interested but can't commit to the whole course? Or growing garlic yourself and want to get the most of your crop? Book in to join us for 4 of our PUGF workshops later in the year!  

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Refund policy

-Registrations close 14 February and the course commences 28 February. -Cancellations up to two weeks before the course start date will be refunded minus a $100 fee. Cancellations between two weeks and one week before the course start date are 75% refundable. -Cancellations less than one week before the course start date are 50% refundable. -Cancellations after the course has commenced will not receive a refund. -Registrations are transferrable to someone else until the course start date only. -In the event that your selected farm site cannot go ahead (due to low numbers or other reason), we will work with you to swap into an alternative site OR will give you a full refund. -In the event that the course is cancelled prior to commencing, we will give a full refund. -In the event that the course is cancelled after commencing, we will give you the option of carrying over your registration to the next year, or give a partial refund proportionate to the amount of course that has been completed.