10 facts about Perth City Farm
Former degraded industrial site
Before the City Farm crew moved in, the half-acre plot was a disused and degraded industrial site. The soil was so contaminated that 1.5 metres of it had to get carted off and replaced, and volunteers spent years remediating the site. In 2004 Perth City Farm gained organic certification for produce grown there- a massive achievement considering how degraded the site had been.
The first organic market in Perth
Their Saturday Farmer’s Market was the first organic market to be established in Perth in 2004, and still enjoys a cult following of people seeking the best produce available in the city. City Farm sells their own produce and provides space for other farmers to sell their wares- fruit, vegetables, honey, bread, microgreens, eggs, meat, olive oil and grocery items are available plus a revolving range of handmade items like soaps, jewelry and gifts.
1999 - The first wedding
The first wedding to happen at Perth City Farm occurred in 1999 and celebrated the love of Founder Rosanne Scott, and long term volunteer and staff member Thom Scott who met at City Farm. They chose a ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ theme, had guests arrive in costume and were wed at the strike of midnight! Since then this urban oasis has become an extremely popular place for couples to say ‘I do,’ with three weddings each weekend in summer.
Although it sits in an extremely urban location plenty of native creatures make use of habitat provided by City Farm. Volunteers have spotted colonies of native bees, boobook owls, hawks and even a snake.
1,300kg a year of produceAs well as looking pretty and providing a great spot to connect to nature, the gardens there produce over 1,300 kg a year of organic fruit and vegetables. This produce is sold during the Saturday markets, into the onsite café, and shared with the volunteers who helped grow it. East Perth residents can’t get ‘local food’ much more local than that!
Supporting early careers of big namesIn the early days City Farm was well known for its youth and art events, with a bit of a reputation for being quite wild at times- many a dance party occurred, street artists cut their teeth and a little bit of squatting may have occurred! City Farm supported the early careers of artists such as John Butler, Eskimo Joe, Beaverloop, The Drones, Stormie Mills, Richard Walley, Junkadelic and Tessa McKay who all created or performed art here.
Supporting thousands of unemployed people
2460 unemployed people have participated in training programs over the years at Perth City Farm, learning skills such as welding, stonemasonry, agriculture, animal husbandry, building and catering.
A farm wouldn’t be complete without animals! Bees, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and guinea pigs have all called the farm home over the years. At one point there were plans to acquire camels to conduct tours of the Perth CBD… that would’ve been quite the sight!
43 other community groups deliver programming or hold events at Perth City Farm each year, making use of resources like fully equipped commercial kitchens, food gardens and large warehouse spaces. In a typical week you’ll find Unitingcare West running cooking classes, Food Not Bombs cooking up a free community dinner, the Sambanistas’ practicing their drumming and the Koondarm Choir singing in the Noongar language.
Seeds throughout the City
They spread the seeds of their community food growing skills throughout Perth too. Staff and volunteers from Perth City Farm installed and maintain to this day the Urban Orchard and Wetlands in the Perth Cultural Centre, and the QMunity rooftop garden at the QV1 building.
- 05 Sep '19