Join the local food revolution

By The Growing Abundance Project Inc

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A little bit of context

The Growing Abundance Project is about local food. We are an essential element in a growing, vibrant, and interconnected food system.

Our new café, The Local is based in Castlemaine, the beating heart of the Mount Alexander Shire. We’re all about:

  • growing and eating delicious and healthy local food
  • harvesting from orchards and backyard sharing and the produce we harvest with the community
  • being intimate with where our food comes from
  • growing the food economy through supporting our local growers
  • feeding our children in local schools through the canteen
  • sharing our skills and knowledge through workshops, and…
  • we really do love to cook good food (and of course, eat it).

But there’s a problem

A typical Victorian ‘food basket’ travels over 70,000kms, or the equivalent of travelling nearly twice around the circumference of the Earth (40,072 km), or travelling around Australia's coastline three times, before it reaches our table. Yowsers! This food might be ‘cheap’, but it is actually costing the Earth. And that’s not all….

In Australian homes we chuck over 4.9million tonne of food ‘away’ every year, and now we know that there is no ‘away’. If we add commercial food waste, that's another 3 million tonne, or $8-10 billion worth of food. Yikes!

Here’s what we’re doing about it 

The Local cafe is building on the fruitful and wonderful relationships with local growers we’ve made over the past 6 years.

Our cafe demonstrates what is possible at a local level. It actively supports local growers in addition to showcasing the amazing food of our region.

We are totally committed to using as much local produce we can get our hands on. We use seasonal produce that's tree and plant ripened, picked and cooked so that it’s chock-full of nutrition and we are obsessive about minimising waste….

We like nothing more than creating a tasty way to enjoy beetroot greens, garlic scapes and even carrot green bits, so we have just a little left over to go into the backyard to feed the chooks or the compost to make lovely, rich soil…to grow more food…thus the cycle continues….

We are loud and proud about what we do and hope that when others see what we're up to, they’ll want to do it too.

100% of our profits go back into supporting our Harvest program and other ethical food initiatives.

We don’t rely on government handouts, monthly donations or bequests.

Our social enterprises are wholly owned and operated by The Growing Abundance Project Inc. There are no impact investors, secret shareholders, or dividends paid to directors.

You can join us

We need to raise $25,000 to buy equipment for the café and to give us a kick start so that we can start putting profits back into our community activities and keep the revolution rolling…

Here’s what your money will fund for Growing Abundance @ The Local:

Chairs and Tables, Crockery, Glassware, Café interior construction (labour & materials), Fridge for the kitchen, Under-counter fridge for servery, Vita-mix high-speed commercial blender (smoothie heaven), Online Ordering System for our Tiffins/Community Supported Dinners (CSD), a mural for our wall that outlines and promotes local growers in our region (it’s a tribute really!).

And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without:

$15 – a warm glow

$25 – a warm glow, and a coffee

$40 – a warm glow, a coffee and cake for two

$70 - NEW! Keep cup including a coffee!

$75 – lunch for two people

$150 – 2 x Tiffin dinners for two

$500 – 2 x lunches, 2 x Tiffin dinners and 2 places at a Growing Abundance workshop of your choice

$1000 – 10 friends for a 2 course dinner in our cafe

$5000 – Local Catering for your next dinner party of up to 50 people  

$7500 – Local catering for your corporate event/launch for 50 people and your logo/website on our thank you page

$10K Fully catered Event in our café just for you and your 60 friends


If you need tax deductibility for your donation, please email Nikki at A tax deductible donation does mean that you are not eligible for perks with this campaign. Thanks for donating! 

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Team Members

Nikki Valentini

Sharyn Robinson