Australian Fair Food Forum

Experienced Market Gardener Looking for land, Clunes Area

I am an experienced organic market gardener, I have been working for someone else for the past 51/2 years. But would love to run my own farm. I’m looking for 5-10 acres near Ballarat that I could rent from someone long term, happy to pay for water, public liability etc. Contact me at I have enough money to pay for all the capital costs, but not to buy land. Can anyone help ?
For further reference, I plan to buy somewhere in the Ballarat region, (ideally looking at Clunes at the moment), and that would be my base, with Seedling production, coolroom, packing shed. I also sell to the wholesale market and a couple of people in Geelong, so needs to be under 2 hours to Melbourne. I’m not really sure what would be an acceptable distance to drive, under 30 mins would be ideal ?
I have a detailed business plan and lots of experience, just cant afford to buy land and invest the capital, so renting would be ideal. I’ve had a number of offers, but they didn’t work out, so please help me get back to what I do best. Currently working in Melbourne maintaining rich peoples gardens, it pays well but its not broccoli. The land must have water, either mains or a bore. Thank you. Would also consider a collaboration with someone with land but no experience.

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hey @robert - can you check with Richard whether his brother had any interest in this idea? @Lilyflax - @serenity and I have this on the radar and will ask whenever someone from Ballarat / Clunes crosses our path :slight_smile: as we did last week with someone visiting their brother’s farm near Ballarat . .

@carolyn - has anyone crossed you path in relation to ORICoop that might be interested in this :point_up:?

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Hi Richard

Hope your have recovered from last weeks 'Melbourne Intensive’ :slight_smile:

Kirsten has a request for you below about something your brother may be interested in.

I’ll let you talk amongst yourselves about it


We have spoken to Katie … one of the farms that ORICoop would be suitable (growing wise), but think it is outside of Katie’s geographic radar.

Keep us posted - and if anyone sees a community/collaborative piece of land - ORICoop could consider please send to me!

Will check with Katie Finlay also (near Harcourt) … again don’t think it is the right area?

Hi Kirsten,

Indeed, that did come up when I visited Ross. His property is near Talbot
on Ballarat/Maryborough Rd.

Ross told me about exploring an opportunity with a Katie Gillet who wished
to start a market garden in the area. Katie and Ross have had long
discussions and almost got to the point of proceeding to collaborate but it
turned out the water was a potential problem and show stopper. Ross’s water
source is two ‘Stock and Domestic’ bores and under that licence he is not
allowed to conduct anything outside domestic use and watering of stock.
That made ii non-viable for Katie to proceed.

Thank you for remembering about Ross. I also talked about our meeting with
you and Serenity; and about ORICoop; all in all we had an interesting
Thanks also to yourself and Serenity for the time you spent with me
briefing me on OFN software development. That was much appreciated.

Look forward to staying in touch.

Kind regards,
Richard Davey


thanks @Richard_Davey! Small world - how funny that the tenuous link we hit upon was already one that had been explored :slight_smile: Great to meet you last week too!

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@foodgarden @rob.fenton - don’t suppose you know of a farmer or landholder around Ballarat that might be up for this?

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Thought of asking Rod May or his brother Greg?

Or the Fawcett’s from Powlett Hill

And I know Ronald in Campbelltwon who has been looking for a partner to help run his market garden - can send details


The Food Garden
(eat well)

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Hi - just a quick suggestion to check in with Pru and Stacey at White Stone Farm in Clunes. They might have some contacts for you contact:

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Thanks guys for all your useful suggestions, thanks to Ross at Glen Grenach Farm, I put a post on the local Clunes facebook page and a couple who have a perfect block, flat, volcanic soil, free water, good aspect, etc etc have offered me a block to lease. I met them and they were lovely. I took along a friend who is a 78 year old market gardeners son from Daylesford, who gave it the thumbs up. It appears in my search for the perfect block that Ballarat has a thriving food system well connected and very friendly and helpful. Once I get growing it would be great to set up a food hub in Clunes/Ballarat so many great local producers. Like the one in Gippsland. I have so many ideas. But first to put up a fence and a gate. Thanks for all your help. Happy to help anyone with ideas on how I found my land. Basically NETWORK like crazy and don’t be afraid to ask.