Eco Guardians (Buckley Park Community Farm) Case Study

Buckley Park Community Farm.

Sector:Community composting
Equipment: A900 Rocket Composter

The backstory

Not-for-profit Buckley Park Community Farm is located in Fish Creek, Victoria, Australia and is driven by the idea that “a community should be able to grow enough food to feed all those who live in it.”

There’s a team of volunteers who run the farm – growing produce and looking after the soils – with Marg Watson heading up the operation.

To set the wider scene, according to OzHarvest, 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Australia. In response, the government launched its ‘National Food Waste Strategy’ in 2017, to take action and halve annual food waste figures by 2030.

Armed with a ‘Pick My Project’ community grant from the Victorian Government, Buckley Park Community Farm was searching for a way to further close the loop on the locality’s food and green waste. And that’s how its composting journey began…

The challenge

The residences surrounding the farm were generating between 200-300kg of food and green wastes per day, all of which were heading to landfill. But this wasn’t aligned with the ethos of the not-for-profit, it sought a solution that would enable it to process the community’s wastage and create a valuable resource – in the form of compost.

With local people at its heart, Buckley Farm also wanted the solution to be able to involve everyone in playing their own part in closing the organic waste management loop.

The solution

Working together with us and our exclusive Australian distributor, Eco Guardians, Buckley Park Community Farm invested in an A900 Rocket Composter.

The equipment travelled over 17,000km from the UK to Fish Creek, to be installed on the ‘Rail Trail’ near the farm – where it started its life as a ‘community composter’.

Local residents and businesses pay a small membership fee to supply their organic waste – such as plants, food scraps, and coffee grounds – which is then fed into the composter, alongside a dry source of woodchip, by the farm’s team of volunteers.

This not only helps to divert waste away from landfill, but also create a nutrient-rich compost resource for use in the community gardens across the region – including Buckley Park Community Farm, Fish Creek Community Garden, Manna Community Garden Foster, and Fish Creek Primary School.

Alongside food waste, agapanthus heads were also a troublesome problem in the community before the arrival of the Rocket Composter. When locals were composting their own materials, this was causing the weeds to spread, so it needed a community-based approach to help eliminate the issue.

The Rocket is not only great at processing residents’ organic wastage, but it’s also solar powered – making it highly energy efficient too.

The only way is up for the Fish Creek Community Composter project, with Marg and the rest of the team of volunteers aiming to recruit more individuals and businesses to take part in closing the food and green waste management loop. The group has also been approached by a local university about taking part in a research study, to further analyse and document the success of the project.

We’re so proud of this project and can’t wait to see further developments over the coming months and years.

“We’ve been operating for over three years now, and our ethos has always been that a community should be able to grow enough food to feed all those who live in it. With the help of the Rocket, we’ll be able to produce high-quality compost for use on our cultivation plots.”

Marg Watson, Buckley Park Community Farm volunteer