Spoke and Spade is an urban farm growing vegetables for a hyper-local community.
As an urban farm, we grow a new story for people to eat and connect to the place they live and the farmer they purchase food from.
Our aim is to encourage connections through food. From farmers to families, neighbours to soil health and Nona's recipes and the grocery store - all upheld as an important part of life. We hope to create not just good food in the local economy, but a greater sense of place in community. As an urban farm pilot for profit in Melbourne, we hope to change, challenge and improve on food systems locally and abroad. We also support and champion the work of other business' working to change these systems like Ollie, who's started baking bread in Heidelberg and we sell his bread through our veggie boxes. Or alongside Paul, who I additionally work with 2 days a week growing a greater diversity of food on his certified organic Dayswalk farm - just a "days walk" from Melbourne CBD.
So we plant, grow & harvest or pack with a clothesline out the back and provide healthy, local, fresh produce. Following organic principles, Spoke & Spade hopes to celebrate farmers, food & community.
What methods do we use?
We follow organic principles and hope to nurture soil life to create to healthy food. We grow without nasty chemicals and prioritise Aus Certified Organic inputs. We are not certified organic. The urban farm has had its soil tested to check our garden's produce is safe from heavy metal contamination.
We use a range of techniques and appropriate market garden equipment seeking biological systems for organic production to create high yields in our small spaces.
Who works at Spoke & Spade?
When I say we, I mostly mean me (Simeon), but 'we' does have a nice ring to it...
- A good mate, Sam Shacklock who helps grow food at our Hurstbridge Market Garden
- You, as you participate in traditional and sustainable food systems
- Locals who entrust land
- Dayswalk Certified Organic Farm where I additionally work 2 days a week
- Friends who volunteer time and eat the freshest food it can trade
- Artists like Kelsey Reist who create and capture
- Farmers who mentor me
- The movement towards a more sustainable future
Why an urban farm?
When I see a lawn, I think, why grow grass when you could grow vegetables?
I want kids to know carrots grow in the ground and for small businesses to thrive alongside the people they serve.
I want to be part of creating resilient communities in the face climate change and provide healthy food for people.
My interests in sustainable agriculture, alternative economics & creating resilient communities inspired me to create Spoke & Spade. As life wanders, after about 9months working solo, I've now found myself working on another 2 sites to grow food with Sam (Hurstbridge) & Paul at Dayswalk Farm (Keilor). I now learn 3 different scales of market gardening and harvest the bounty from these sites to share with my local community. All 3 sites are some of the closest market gardens (excluding our friends at CERES Market Joe) that I know to the city! And we can't wait to support and champion for more urban farms to grow up on down the road!
Spoke & Spade produce is sourced from 3 sites* where I work at each site at least 1-2days per week (It's a busy & wonderful life growing food).
Urban farm in Heidelberg West
Hurstbridge Market Garden
Dayswalk Certified Organic Farm
*Sometimes produce is from the backyard figs of a customer, garlic grown by a friend and lemons given by my lovely neighbour. The village joins the farmer here to create community supported agriculture. Woohoo!
Steve Solomon (Tasmania)
Australian/U.S author writes about intelligent gardening, soil health and re-mineralising for nutrient dense food.
Also - Jean Martin Fortier (Book: The Market Gardener) & Eliot Coleman (Book: The New Organic Grower).
Curtis Stone (Canada)
A lot of my farm model is based from Curtis' work and content he shares on youtube, podcasts, courses and his book, The Urban Farmer.
And no, he's not the chef.
Transition Farm (Victoria)
I volunteered 3 months at this Biodynamic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in 2013 & then spent the next 4 years scheming how I would start my own ...
I live & work on what always was and always will be the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations.
I acknowledge the First Peoples, traditional custodians who nurtured and loved the land and waterways for thousands of years. I pay my deep respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and acknowledge that Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded.