A genuine Farmers' Market complete with real livestock!
I’ve been to farmers’ markets held in sheds, showgrounds, urban city squares and parklands; surprisingly this is the first I’ve visited on a farm. While it’s not specifically a ‘functional ranch’, the constant din from mooing cows, clucking chooks and bleating goats adds to the country atmosphere at the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
While the farm mightn’t be as industrious as it’s more rural counterparts, the markets are exceptionally productive. The monthly Collingwood Children’s Farm Market is also accredited by the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association. That means no wholesalers, no big business and profits go straight back into regional communities.
Funnily enough, I stumbled upon this ‘experience farm’ a couple of days earlier, while making a hash of the hike around the Dight Falls Trail. I was later invited by my sister, who lives in the nearby suburb of Fitzroy, to meet them at the markets to hang with my two young nephews for the morning. Farmer’s market and family hangs; you had me at hello.
It was a vintage Melbourne winter morning; the promise of sunshine, the threat of rain and a low-hanging fog that cloaked suburbia. Fortunately, only the latter and the former came to fruition.
After paying the nominal $2 entry fee, I was left to explore the area by myself. It’s a well-worn West family tradition for at least one the offspring to be running late; for once it wasn’t me.
It wasn’t long before the fog lifted and the community-owned Collingwood Children’s Farm Market turned on the style. An expansive paddock, previously shrouded in a thick haze, unveiled itself with stalls upon stalls of enthusiastic producers spruiking their wares. So many delicious treats on offer, mixed with organic produce, live music and an all-round bubbly atmosphere.
Soon enough the rest of the party arrived. I was quickly transformed into a human pommel horse, with a particularly acrobatic nephew performing his routine on my back, as well as on some equally unsuspecting hay bales. I can understand his excitement; there is much to do at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, particularly for toddlers. Cow milking demonstrations, chook feeding, guinea pig cuddling and horse feeding are all part and parcel of the animal experience on the farm.
Overlooking the river at the scenic Yarra Bend Park, the not-for-profit Collingwood Children’s Market Farm paints a rural picture, whilst being located just outside a major suburban hub. If you’re travelling with kids and looking to introduce them to farm life, while visiting a community run market, this is the perfect place in Melbourne.
Get the lowdown.
Open second Saturday of every month, 8am-1pm
$2 entry fee for adults, children free
From the city, jump on the either of the trains heading to South Morang or Hurstbridge and jump off at the Victoria Park Station. From here it’s a brisk 10-15 minute walk east. You can find detailed direction via their website.