“Gardening and sunshine”, that’s what gardener Brenton describes as his favourite things about working at PepperGreen Farm.
On a sunny November Friday afternoon, I could see exactly what he meant. Looking out to the farm, there were lots of people from the Bendigo area watching all of the gardeners at work, eyeing off fresh vegetables, chilling in the sun or just enjoying the buzz at the farm café.
I first visited PepperGreen Farm four years ago, as part of the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). One of the major themes of the meeting I attended was the importance of delivering activities that would connect with the wider community and hold up on their own, regardless of the group of people they were designed to support.
(Photo: PepperGreen Farm, November 2019)
Access Australia Group, who manage the PepperGreen Farm have embraced this principle whole-heartedly. Located a stone-throw from the heart of down-town Bendigo in North Eastern Victoria, PepperGreen has come to life.
Following a $500,000 re-development, the farm no-longer feels like a traditional employment service but a place where you want to hang-out. Behind the change is a desire to create an asset that can be used by the wider community, while still remaining true to its roots as a disability focused organisation.
I spoke with different staff, visitors and community groups at the farm to learn about this transformation. Have a listen:
Duration: 14 minutes
Address: 44 Thunder Street, North Bendigo
(Photo: Brenton at PepperGreen farm, November 2019)
(Photo: All the wonderful herbs at PepperGreen Farm, November 2019)