Where can I order?
How do I pay?
We just accept bank deposit for subscription boxes
Pick up day?
Thursdays 4-7pm (or by arrangement afterward)
Looking for specific answer - try using a keyword in the search box!
What's in the box grown by Spoke & Spade - Changes with season.
Greens: Baby Spinach; Lettuce; Rocket; Kale; Silverbeet; Spinach & Salad mix variations
Herbs - Coriander, Parsley, Basil
Roots: Beetroot; Spring Onion, Shallots, Japanese Salad Turnip, Green Onion & Carrots!
Summer fruits: Zucchini, Tomatoes, Cucumber
We prioritise growing crops that are easy to use and super tasty. We grow a rotation of items for the box so you can always look forward to next week too!
What's in the box from other farms or places?
Spoke & Spade mutually supports other farms or hobbyist’s to diversify our selection of 6 seasonal staple items that we don't grow ourselves.
We will buy biodynamic, spray free or organic and as local as possible: Carrots, Brown Onions, Pumpkin, Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Garlic, Oyster Mushrooms.
Fruit: Sim may forage locallly for fresh fruit occasionally (particularly if we're short on produce). This could be figs, lemons, oranges, grapes etc.
Tell me more about what is Community Supported Agriculture...
Here's a CSA charter that describes the relationship a bit more.
What's the Customer Sign Up Fee?
CSA's take involvement from the farmer to engage with customers and our local community and yet, we sell crops based on the price of that food without usually accounting for how a local farmer offers beyond this. To respect Sim's time as a CSA in starting and maintaining new members, engaging our neighbourhood community, offering farm tours & just doing accounting, we're suggesting a $20 minimum annual contribution with up to $80 optional sliding scale for customers who think annual membership is worth more. The contribution fee is relevant to customers starting and allows access to 3 produce over Spring, Summer, Autumn totalling up to 34 boxes.
It is likely we could make more money selling to high end dining, restaurants, cafes or even some markets, however, small scale farming with food accessible to locals and minimal waste is what we'd like to see and champion as a sustainable model that communities also want to be involved in.
Is there concession availability?
We currently just offer to waive our customer sign up fee for concession card holders.
Where's Urban Farm Spoke & Spade food grown?
Across three urban farm sites in Heidelberg West, Heidelberg & Ivanhoe. Check out photo feed to see the latest pics.
Where does the extra organic/biodynamic produce come from?
This varies for each crop. Potatoes are planned to come from Trentham because I have a farm friend connection, and they're really good potatoes. We'll prioritise food miles as locally as we can.
With respect to the CSA charter, we will inform customers which items are not grown by Spoke & Spade and where they are sourced from.
*How do I know you can deliver to me?
Each week I deliver up to a 3-4km radius for bike delivery from Heidelberg West, depending how big your hill is...
Possible car drop off point in Preston, Fairfield etc if you’re nearby on route to a weekly drop off in Brunswick.
How does a pick up point work?
One customer acts as a local pick up location to save time or delivery cost for other members.
Have you tested your soil?
Yes, we've tested soil for a general analysis and for heavy metal contamination at all three Spoke & Spade plots, and naturally, we only grow when the results come back positive to grow! If you'd like a reading of these, feel free to ask. We also take precautionary measures to further reduce any risks such as building up compost organic matter & washing produce. We still recommend you wash garden grown produce and scrubbing or peeling root vegetables, as these have the biggest concern for ingesting heavy metals via dirt and not via the vegetable itself.
Building healthy soil and growing healthy food is what we're all about so we've also tested with the excellent help of Longely Organic Farm's Soil Doctor Service to assist us build our soil to grow nutrient dense food and minimize waste from fertilizer and run off. If you'd like a reading of these, feel free to ask.
What do customers say?
“We love picking up our veggie box from Spoke & Spade. My daughter is always amazed to see how the garden has changed from week to week and loves eating the food Sim grows “only for me” she says. Having the option to buy directly from his little farm is just so special”. Lotta.
Is it organic?
More or less, I grow to say of course, yes! We are firm believers in sustainable & regenerative agricultural practices to grow and support people eating healthy food! Organic certification has complications our suburban block don't allow, so we grow with organic principles at the foundation and try do the best we can to grow "organic" food - chemical free. Extra farm produce will be bought if it is also grown organically or biodynamically produced.
Produce foraged or donated (i.e. fruit from a CSA member) has unknown factors to us, and we will still add these to the box if to the best of our knowledge are spray free etc.
What's the pricing?
We develop our prices by comparing farmer's market, supermarket conventional & organic and local grocery stores for each crop. We aim to be above conventional and below organic supermarket produce, and around other accredited Farmer's Markets small scale organic farmers. If you'd like the current price list, feel free to ask. We value and rate the quality of our produce and also the farmer's time/energy, and charge accordingly. We think it’s great value food.
Where’s your money going? What banking/energy/economy is Spoke & Spade involved in?
We want to be part of creating a sustainable & fair economy. We bank with Bank Australia - a carbon neutral and a customer owned bank. When I eventually pay myself superannuation... I am with Australian Ethical Super. We do not want to support investments in arms/fossil fuel/exploitive human labour. We purchase Green energy from Powershop, they're also carbon neutral. Otherwise, in spending, the business & I (Sim) personally try to purchase locally, use small business suppliers, sustainable sources and generally use money as a force for good - and try as we can. It's something we're passionate, excited and hopeful about. Woohoo! :)
What if I can't pick up my box or want to cancel?
12 week customers can raincheck credit up to 2 boxes onto their next purchased subscription (i.e. Anita misses one week during the Spring box, and so $30 can be used as a credit if she purchased the 12 week summer box).
However, fortnightly customers and in general, we’re not the supermarket…so maybe you're on holidays, or have too much food in your own garden, however, the box works as a collaboration between farmer and customer and I have planned for your long term taste bud support, therefore, you cannot cancel your box mid subscription when work for you has already been planted. So we encourage you find a friend to pick up your box or to buy the remainder of your subscription if you need to leave. Just inform us, so we can help the new person.
If for some other reason you're not happy with your box, please contact us and we can discuss reimbursement if it is fair and chat about what's going on for you.
I can also gift your box to locals I know nearby, who love fresh food, but cannot afford or commit to a box for their own reasons. Food Swaps & Lentil As Anything's "Inconvenience Store" in Thornbury would also happily receive your fresh food donations.
I think I'm looking for something else: If you want a veggie box to order weekly without subscription, we suggest you check out Ceres organic boxes ($6.75 delivery) grown from big farms all over Aus - it’s just not quite as … farmer direct.
What if I don't want an item, can I exchange it for something else?
We have a swap tub. Pick up customers may put one item in and take one item out. Otherwise we encourage you to gift excess to a friendly neighbour.
Will there be another veggie box when the current subscription box concludes?
Yes. With enough members, we will continue to offer a CSA box instead of attending markets etc. So tell a friend, ring Auntie Gretchen, put us in your school newsletter - community supported agriculture (CSA) is not just the farmer’s job - it’s local food sovereignty.
Any questions, email or call me. Easy.
Simeon (or Sim) Hanscamp