Sustainable Table Fund

Based on the success of previous years, in 2021 we expanded our Victorian Community Grants Program from the Casey, Cardinia, Mornington Peninsula regions to also include interface regions of the Bass Coast, Baw Baw/West Gippsland, South Gippsland and Frankston. The 2021 grants round was discretionary, with applicants invited to apply that were known to Sustainable Table through previous grants rounds. From a pool of incredible applications, we funded 10 projects, totalling $97,750 in grants. 


BAW BAW FOOD HUB

Delivered by Baw Baw Food Hub

No longer a little local veggie box scheme, Baw Baw Food Hub is ready to solidify, strengthen and scale up their operation. Funding will enable this brilliant not-for-profit to engage professional facilitation and knowledge support, developing their organisational and leadership structures while maximising social good. A key focus will be increasing staff capacity and autonomy, creating an internal culture that reflects their hopes for a bigger-picture paradigm shift.


DOWNS COMMUNITY FARM 

Delivered by Downs Estate Community Project

Trolley full of freshly picked veggies

The Downs Community Farm, based in Seaford, is a free and welcoming space for people to connect with each other, nature and food. Developing a market garden that showcases regenerative agricultural practices (while supplying training and food for community members) is the next logical step in their enterprise, and right up ST’s alley. Funding will facilitate pre-planning and key infrastructure to really get Downs’ market garden growing.


THE BRIARS FARM

Delivered by The Food for Change Foundation

3.6 million Australians seek food relief each year. Food for Change exists to fill that hunger gap by growing, rescuing and re-directing nourishment to where it’s needed. We’re so excited to support their new farm site at The Briars in Mt Martha, with funding for a mobile polytunnel. This game-changing piece of infrastructure will extend the growing season (more produce for longer!), allow them to raise their own seedlings (thereby reducing costs), and share these seedlings with the wider community.


FUTURE SEEDS NURSERY

Delivered by Living Learning Pakenham

Last year, we funded Living Learning Pakenham’s Future Seeds Nursery pilot. Now this social enterprise has taken root, offering indispensable support, training ops, and of course, organic seeds and seedlings to Cardinia and surrounds. We’re thrilled to supply a grant for professional business and social-enterprise services, allowing Future Seeds to articulate their strategy, create an in-depth business plan, and advance their goal of becoming a self-sustaining entity. The future looks bright!


MORNINGTON PENINSULA LOCAL FOOD FORUM

Delivered by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

A room full of people listening to a speaker at the front.

Good things happen when you get people together. Unfortunately, events can be expensive! Our Fund is supporting the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to hold a local food forum for farmers, producers and industry stakeholders, setting the scene for important and productive discussions (that have implications for us all). The forum will focus on three main themes of land activation & incubating the next generation, redefining food supply chains, and land stewardship & regenerative practices, calling on the experience and wisdom of those on the ground.


INITIATING LOCAL FOOD PROCUREMENT FOR INSTITUTIONS

Delivered by Second Nature Consulting + Gibson Concepts

Two women smiling with the beach and sea in the background.

Institutions like hospitals and aged care facilities get through their fair share of food, but where does it all come from? Just imagine if it was local! Second Nature Consulting and Gibson Concepts are digging into the barriers and opportunities around local food procurement for institutions, unearthing ways to make it work. From forging connections and contracts, to piloting fresh new models of procurement, we’re chuffed to be funding this extraordinary endeavour.


CULTURAL BURNING AS A LAND MANAGEMENT TOOL

Delivered by Trust for Nature

Burning sticks

Interest in cultural burning is increasing, and Trust for Nature is helping convert interest into application. There are so many landholders who want to learn more about cultural burning as a management tool, and with ST funding, Trust for Nature will continue to engage and support them. Wurundjeri elder and respected cultural fire practitioner Uncle Dave Wandin will lead a range of demonstration and training events, sharing his knowledge with farmers and the next generation of Bunurong/Boonwurrung Traditional Owners.


PHILLIP ISLAND BUSH FOOD GARDENS

Delivered by Trust for Nature

Yellow wattle

Since 1972, Trust for Nature has been enabling people to contribute meaningfully, and permanently, to conservation by donating money or land. Now we’re thrilled that our Fund can support their bush foods garden in Phillip Island, built by indigenous students (completing their Certificate III of Conservation and Land Management) on a donated property. Funding will go towards irrigation and protection for their crops, as well as equipment and volunteer costs.


REGENERATIVE GRAZING IN HIGH RAINFALL ZONES

Delivered by Western Port Catchment Landcare Network

Black and white cows grazing on a foggy day

Regenerative practices are context-dependent, and there’s a big gap in the research and advice for farmers who want to roll out regenerative grazing in Gippsland. This project delivered by Western Port Catchment Landcare Network aims to remedy that, with funding support from ST. It’s a 12-month trial that will explore the best regenerative grazing techniques for the region, comparing and contrasting various methods and contributing substantially to the current evidence base.


BUSH NURSERY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

Delivered by Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association

Two women wearing t-shirts and bucket hats, holding sticks in front of green plants

Willum Warrain runs an Aboriginal gathering place on the Mornington Peninsula, offering culture-based programs, community events and charitable support to members experiencing distress. It also provides employment for 16 people, and this grant will extend the employment of a part-time staff member working in the horticulture program in their bush nursery for another six months. Funding will feed into growing, harvesting and sharing food, as well as their regular Big Mob Cook Up community meals.