Two Feet Profile: Farmwall

In the countdown to our Two Feet Showcase, we are profiling some of the teams we’ve been working with over the last six months. First up is Farmwall – they are transforming our cities into food-growing ecosystems.

We sat down with Farmwall’s co-founder and chief communications officer Serena Lee about her experience.

What problem is Farmwall tackling?

Producing food for our cities causes a number of different problems, from climate change, to pollution, to deforestation. The inefficiencies in the way we produce food creates food waste and further waste from the plastic packaging it is stored in.

Within the hospitality industry, there aren’t a lot of options for herbs and microgreens, meaning there is a real lack in consistency and variety, and by the end of the week the microgreens served in our restaurants aren’t as fresh as they could be, and a lot of produce goes to waste due to improper storage.

What is your solution?

Farmwall is an urban agriculture company that aims to transform our cities into food producing ecosystems.

We have designed indoor, vertical farms for restaurants and cafes. Farmwalls produce microgreens that are picked on site, meaning our restaurant partners have the freshest produce possible. It only takes two minutes to go from farm to plate, drastically reducing waste, packaging and food miles.

We are also building an urban aquaponic farm that supplies naturally-grown, spray-free, fresh and delicious greens to the restaurant/cafe door while providing us with a base for delivering our social, educational and environmental programs.

Is there a highlight of Two Feet you’d like to share?

Hmm… this is such a tricky one to answer! We’ve been so lucky to have benefitted from the resources, expertise and connections that TDi has been able to give us along the way, it’s hard to pick a particular highlight.

That said, I think for myself and Geert (another co-founder) we really found the session on intent with Bessi (Graham) so inspiring. Working on that helped us frame our story as a team, and was a grounding point that we could continually go back to.

 

“We’ve been so lucky to have benefitted from the resources, expertise and connections that TDi has been able to give us along the way…”

 

What’s the big vision for Farmwall?

First and foremost we want to really establish ourselves in the market here in Melbourne first, but then we would love to take Farmwall to international markets. We’re also thinking how to expand beyond the hospitality sector, maybe into residential or aged care facilities.

We could even see us expanding the technology to have an even greater impact in communities that suffer from food insecurity. We’re just really excited by all the different possibilities!

Food is a real connector that binds us, and the Farmwall model is just the first step in our bigger vision for what this could be.

If you’d like to meet the Farmwall team in person, be sure to sign up to our public showcase.

Spread the love

Social Enterprise Christmas Marketplace

If you are looking for a holiday gift with a purpose, we’ve created a marketplace so that you can #shopsocialenterprise this year. 

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? Refugee Talent

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia. We’ve proudly partnered with NAB in a number of ways, one of which was the Two Feet Accelerator programs. These were designed as part of a...

It takes a village to grow an inclusive sustainable business

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia.

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? YEVU

This week we’ve been chatting with Anna Robertson from YEVU – a social enterprise clothing brand designed and manufactured in Ghana.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – Milne Bay Organics

“Coconut has been incredibly embedded in the Milne Bay tradition – from the food consumption through to the traditional dancing.” Last year, the YuMi pilot program took us to Alotau in Papua New Guinea, where we worked with difference maker, Rhona.

Indigenous tourism is key to economic recovery

Long-time friend, and associate of TDi, Ash Bartley has just started a new role with Visit Victoria.  We caught up with her recently to celebrate her new role and ask about the opportunity for Indigenous tourism in Australia’s economic recovery.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – VilLink Tours & Expeditions PNG

“With what I’m doing, I want to encourage the other young women out there, that they can also have the chance to make a difference.  Not only in earning money, but sharing what they know, and getting other communities involved.”

Flexible and responsive coaching is key to sustaining women’s economic empowerment during a crisis

While each business owner faces their own set of challenges in response to the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID-19, we are observing a series of consistent coaching requirements emerge.

When life gives you lemons… pivot your business model

Nemika Brunton is based in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We met her during the YuMi Tourism Partners Pilot program.  The program addressed starting small, testing and learning, and how to adapt and respond to market needs.  These lessons have certainly helped Nemika shift her business focus in response to COVID-19. Tourism is a key industry for the town and many of the local businesses were tourism based.  So, the impact of COVID-19 hit the town hard.  Many locals – including Nemika – have adapted quickly to totally new businesses and customers.

Supporting Social Enterprise during COVID-19

Following a tumultuous year of bushfires, COVID-19 and recent floods in Southern NSW, lots of small businesses and the families and communities they serve, are doing it tough.  One way we’ve seen people showing their support for these local businesses is through the #shoplocal #shopvictoria and #buyfromthebush movements.  We’ve been inspired by this and wanted to share a #shopsocialenterprise guide based on some of the businesses we’ve been working with over the last 18 months.