The Farmer’s Place started popping up in my Instagram feed a few days ago.
On Tuesday I saw it profiled in The Age’s Epicure section as a fresh eatery-slash-working farm-slash-farm gate market-slash-gathering place at Freshwater Creek on the Surf Coast. Best of all, The Farmer’s Market purports to be built on an underlying ethos of sustainability: fresh, local, seasonal produce + a culture of reuse/recycle + a built environment fashioned from recycled shipping containers, timbers and glass + solar power + reclaimed water + on site orchard, vineyard, veggie garden, livestock, free range chickens. I want to live there!
Today, I settled for lunch and a quick poke around the environs. Because you’re free to poke around. It’s encouraged. There’s room to move, to breathe, to interact with the setting. It’s an easy-breezy kind of big space that grows on you. You can wander amongst the rows of raised veggie boxes, meander through the newly planted citrus and stonefruit orchard or sidle up to the vine rows.
Inside, there’s plenty of upcycled eye candy in the airy space – giant craypot light fittings, recycled timber floors, mason jar pendants, pre-loved furniture. There are baskets of fresh, local produce lined up farmers’ market style and rustic chalkboard typography boasting prices and pointing out the features of the built environment.
The kitchen is open plan, the coffee bean roaster lives in a glass-walled cubicle and the sleek, stainless steel closed loop organic composter is front and centre doing its “circle of life” magic right before your eyes. Yes, The Farmer’s Place wears its ethos on its sleeve. A sense of transparency and truth runs deep.
From the website:
“The Farmer’s Place is all about getting back to basics. We believe deeply in the benefits of growing your own food and eating a healthier diet. We want our kids to understand where their food comes from and how much fun it can be to play in the garden!
We are passionate about the environment and adopting a ‘waste not, want not’ approach to life. Our food is sourced locally, reducing the associated food miles, and our menu is dictated by the seasons ensuring we make the most of what is abundant at the time. We are completely committed to recycling, using recycled materials wherever possible and to the demonstration of sustainable business practices (through our actions and by showcasing other businesses that are doing great things for the environment).
We feel community is important. We are a gathering place where, through good food and wine, we celebrate the best food and produce in the region. Our market acts as a consolidated farm gate, providing a central place to access, shop and support our local farmers and producers.”
If, like me, that resonates with you then I urge you to support this new-kid-on-a-16-hectare-block and enjoy the genuine “sustainable” experience. Opened just a few days ago, The Farmer’s Place is still finding its feet. It’s a work in progress in the way that all good sustainable things are. The kitchen gardens are newly planted out, the grounds are being finessed, the fresh produce stock is evolving.
Check the website to learn more about what goes on here and founder Robert Pascoe’s compelling story.
Today, we found a spot in the glorious sun, perched on stools crafted from vintage tractor seats alongside a rustic slab-top bar. The menu offered up half a dozen lunch options at reasonable prices.
I chose the chicken and almond baguette + coffee and Mr P settled on a beef burger and chips + local beer. Smile-laden staff served both orders (on wooden boards) quicker than we could name the herbs flourishing in the pots beside us. Our meals were perfect: fresh, filling and real. No pretence here, just good, honest, tasty food … and great coffee.
What I love most about The Farmer’s Place is its potential to be a hub for education and behaviour change around sustainable ways of living. It’s a place to take your kids and help them learn about food sources, recycling, farming and being mindful.
And a perfect place to refresh your own thinking on all those same things.
675 Anglesea Road, Freshwater Creek, Victoria
Open: 7 days, 7am – 7pm
(03) 9684 4600