HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Our Story begins in early 2014 when interest in the Jamie Oliver Pop-Up Kitchen competition was building momentum in the Dandenong Ranges.

Although the Dandenong Ranges bid did not ultimately win, it was clear that Hills locals were excited and ready for their own “food revolution” .

So three of the people who had worked on the Jamie Oliver submission decided to see where this wave of community enthusiasm would take them. They set about building a good food project of their own and thus The Hills Food Frontier was born

Community consultation was the next step.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Community Consultation – an essential ingredient
A community meeting in late May was the first step in taking The Hills Food Frontier from an idea to reality.The gathering resulted in four action groups:

Good Food Growing – schools, homes, businesses, community.
Good Food Eating – cafes, businesses, homes and local gatherings.
Good Food Learning – classes, sharing, swapping, meetings.
Good Food Promotion – data base, resources, mapping & newsletters

Brainstorming sessions led to strategies and projects that fall under the groups of growing, cooking, sharing and learning. Check out the “Achievements so far…” page to see those strategies come to life.

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS 2018-2019

The Hills Edibles Villages project continued throughout 2019 with funding from YRC enabling Christina Reeves, our Community Development Project Worker, to conduct consultations and work with the locals in Kallista Village. To date an Edible Kallista Action Group has been developed which meets regularly; monthly community dinners are hosted by this group; a community garden plan has been developed in conjunction with the Kallista Community House and discussions are being held with the local Uniting Church with a view to planting a community garden on their premises. This work will continue into 2020 with some further funding from the YRC.
Chris Saray from the Food Security Network worked for a second year with children in two schools (Upwey High School and Sassafras Primary School) to plant and grow highly successful school gardens, with the harvested food taken to those in need.
The FLAME Garden continues to grow and bloom. A new pathway and entrance from Burwood Highway has recently been added, as has a delightful and ever-growing crochet flower fence along the front of the garden. The espaliered fruit trees in the Food Forest have blossomed with the promise of fresh fruit to add to the Food is Free Cupboard in the not-too-distant future. Wonderful new signs have been placed in the FLAME Garden created by local student Jordyn and Frawley Signs, funded by Belgrave Bendigo Community Bank. This year we also had visits to the garden by groups of children eg Joey Scouts and Kindergartens, to see, touch, smell and taste the garden, and to check out the compost and worm farm with our “worm mother” Robyn.
Workshops including intuitive plant-based eating, hot composting, Queensland fruit fly prevention, bee keeping, mushroom log growing, introduction to permaculture, and shopping the food future we want, continued to be popular and well attended. Carols in the Kale, community dinners, public presentations, market information stalls and a Spring Family Fun day complete the picture.
Face Book Pages and Website these online services were supported by a team of THFF volunteers. Both the website and the 4 Facebook pages continue to grow and are used well by the Hills community. They have reached a combined total of over 220,000 people
The Good Food News Newsletter is well received seasonally and 100 or more copies are widely read around the Hills and many more electronically
A very wonderful Annual General Meeting attended by 20 people who enjoyed a vegan Sri Lankan Feast afterwards
The latest Annual Report was produced and circulated to our membership and interested organisations.

Over 3000 followers on Facebook!

Introduction to bee keeping

Holding Educational Working Bees

Hills Food Frontier - grow, share and eat good food.

Publishing a Monthly Newsletter

Connecting with local Good Food businesses

Establishing a Good Food Festival

Community Gardens

ANNUAL REPORT

The team at THFF Inc. is publishes an annual report each year.

If you are looking for a hard copy you can find one at Belgrave and Monbulk libraries or at the Shire of Yarra Ranges offices in Upwey. We hope you enjoy finding out all the things that we’ve been up to – you might even be surprised at all we’ve done!