By Casey Neill
Will Green is transforming a Bangholme block into a thriving farm.
The 32-year-old former chef worked in city kitchens before studying a food science and nutrition degree at Deakin University.
He landed a research and development role at Chelsea bakery Temptation.
His drive to work led him past the Harwood Road site he’s now in the process of transforming.
“This block came up for lease,” he said.
“I’ve always been really interested in gardening.
“I’ve always wanted to do my own thing.
“I thought I’d give it a go and see if I could build a market garden based on permaculture.”
“Permaculture is permanent agriculture.
“You interplant. I’m inter-planting with fruit trees and permanent berries and perennials and I’m putting my annuals in between.
“They all support each other.
“They all take away different bits of the soil and they all give bits back.
“They work together and they improve the soil rather than just taking out of the soil.”
Will said he’d always been a pretty keen gardener.
“My target market is going to be cafes and restaurants, because my background is restaurants,” he said.
“I can grow specifically for a chef if they want me to.
“Most of the suppliers, they’re not the ones growing the crops. They’re just wholesalers.”
He’s got a community share program in mind for down the track.
“You can buy in and get a box of vegetables every week,” he said.
“I’m starting to organise that now, through Facebook and stuff.
“Once I get big enough, I’ll try to sell to some of the smaller supermarkets.”
He also hopes to involve volunteers and school groups, to share the farming experience.
Will wants to turn the farm into his full-time job.
“It’s very daunting,” he said.
But a Greater Dandenong Council business grant is helping him along.
He plans to put the $8000 towards a cool room.
“I have submitted a planning application for a shed, the cool room will go in there,” he said.