Our first event for 2020

We were delighted to participate in this bushfire fundraising event at the Collingwood Children’s Farm on Sunday 2nd February. We baked, preserved, and a had a fabulous raffle and made $972.85 for BlazeAid. 


It was a lovely day at the farmer’s market at the Collingwood Children’s Farm on Saturday 14th December 2019.

We had so much fun at our stall chatting to people and selling our homemade cakes and biscuits, chutneys and jams, and not to forget our special edition seville and tangelo marmalades made from fruit grown on the farm.  Our handmade hemp kitchen cloths and scrubbies were popular, and of course the classic CWA tea towels and cookbooks.

The star of the stall was Trish’s beautiful gingerbread house. The very happy raffle winners were Veronika and Zara. Looked like it was going to a very good home…

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We were delighted to donate $800 from the takings to the Indigenous Garden Project at the Farm.



What a party at Collingwood Children’s Farm! 

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We had a great day celebrating with our friends at the Collingwood Children’s Farm on their 40th birthday on Sunday 3rd November. We sold homemade cakes and slices, and it was great to have produce made from the fruit of the farm. We had jars of gorgeous seville orange and tangelo marmalades and fresh fruit sodas. As usual we also sold our sustainable household products – hemp cloths and scrubbies, and tote bag kits made from  repurposed coffee bags and feed bags.

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A Yarn Yarn in the Barn

We had a lovely afternoon with some new knitters in the barn at the Collingwood Children’s Farm on Sunday 15th September. Stay tuned for the next in our series of Barn Yarns. 


Learn to Knit Barn Yarn


Monday 29 July 2019, Collingwood Library.

We heard about what we need to do urgently to protect a resilient and sustainable Melbourne foodbowl for both farmers and consumers.

largeA new report outlines a vision and roadmap for preserving Melbourne’s foodbowl for current and future generations as a fundamental building block in a healthy, resilient, sustainable and fair food system.

We were delighted with the turnout at our July 29 meeting to hear Rachel Carey, one of the authors, talk about the crisis facing our foodbowls and what must be done to protect agricultural land as it comes under increasing pressures.

This issue is very much at the heart of CWA values and interests.

The roadmap was developed through a collaborative process involving a wide range of stakeholders. Five key areas of policy action underpin a resilient and sustainable city foodbowl – farmland protection, farm viability, water access, nutrient recycling and sustainable farming

  • Farmland should be permanently protected on Melbourne’s fringe by maintaining Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary, mapping agricultural land and introducing a new agricultural ‘zone’
  • Promoting the viability of farming in Melbourne’s foodbowl is as important as protecting farmland
  • Farm viability should be promoted by investing in infrastructure that enables small-medium scale farmers to gain greater control of supply chains, ensuring that peri-urban producers are able to access relevant funding streams and applying local government ‘farm rates’ to all actively farmed land
  • Water reuse for food production should be increased to address water scarcity in a warming climate
  • Water reuse should be increased by adopting an integrated water management approach to managing water assets in farming areas, developing integrated assessment frameworks to cost delivery of recycled water and investigating options for greater reuse of storm water
  • City foodbowls offer opportunities to close the loop by returning valuable nutrients from city organic waste back to the soil
  • Nutrient recycling on farm should be promoted by preventing contamination of organic waste streams, collaborating with farmers to develop ‘fit for purpose’ compost products and establishing a Melbourne Nutrient Recycling Network
  • Sustainable farming should be incentivised in Melbourne’s foodbowl
  • Sustainable farming approaches should be incentivised through local government rate rebates, direct payments and extension services aimed at peri-urban farmers
  • A diverse range of sustainable farming approaches should be promoted to increase the resilience of the city’s food system, including regenerative and agroecological approaches as well as sustainable intensification and closed-environment agriculture

We hope to help highlight this issue throughout the CWA of Victoria and the wider community.


Bonfire Cupcakes,  22 June 2019

We sold hundreds of freshly-made cupcakes and chocolate fire crackles at this year’s Collingwood Children’s Farm Solstice Bonfire Night.  It was another great night.  This is a wonderful annual event.

We love partnering with our friends at the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

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Collingwood Food Swap

We had another successful food swap on Saturday 20th July at the front of the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Maybe see you next time on Saturday 20th July? We’re there from 10.30 until 11.30. Just come along with whatever you’ve got surplus from your garden to swap…



CWA runs Preserving Fruit Workshop at Collingwood Children’s Farm

March 16, 2019 

Trish did a fantastic job planning and hosting this event.
Her expertise ensured that everyone came with equipment they would need to each take home several jars of preserved fruit. 

Importantly participants also left with the confidence and know-how to preserve large and small quantities of fruit using domestic equipment at home.

We bottled plums and nectarines and experimented with some mango, pineapple, and strawberries.

Our summer meeting room at the Collingwood Childrens Farm – ‘No 18’, offers  room for food preparation and demonstration and the workshop was a friendly and fun small group exercise.

Everyone enjoyed the bonus morning tea Trish provided – some of the best hot cross buns in town and scrumptious toasted fruit bread.

We marched with #ClimateStrikers calling for urgent action on climate change

March15, 2019

What an inspiring day to be amongst tens of thousands of young  people demanding action on the most pressing issue of our time.

Their messages were clear, clever and determined.

Their sentiment was concern and hope for humanity globally. 


As our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to the rising generation committed to a sustainable future we baked hundreds of biscuits to sustain the young marchers along the way. 

It was great to fly the CWA sustainability flag and members were continuously engaged with interested marchers thrilled to meet us there and find out about our concern for this important issue.  

Thanks also to passers by Pippa, Amy and Teresa who sent us pictures for our files.

New members are very welcome.

Mitchell Group half yearly conference and AGM

February 16, 2019

Collingwood members hosted members of ten CWA branches making up Mitchell Group for this meeting.

More than 60 women gathered at the beautiful venue above the library in Fitzroy North -‘Bargoong Nganjin’.


Our members organised a collection for our partners at the Collingwood Children’s Farm Community Garden, the community based Playing Our Part network.

Playing Our Part’s ‘Purple Cloak Program’ assists people returning to mainstream accommodation and opens a space in the homelessness system that will move another person off the streets.

Last year we began putting together ‘Welcome Packs’ for this program.

We gathered our preserves, jams, aprons, carry bags, hand-towels, dishcloths, scrubbies, potted herbs – indeed anything made for the kitchen with love and in the spirit of friendship, as a gift to someone transitioning from homelessness into stable accomodation.

We invited Mitchell CWA members to contribute to our collection to continue this valuable community working thank all contributors.

All gifts will be given to local residents of social/community housing through Playing Our Part.

State CWA Christmas Fare, Saturday 1 Dec – Umina, Toorak


Our last event for 2018 was our stall at the annual Christmas Fare held at CWA Vic HQ in Toorak. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was a lot of interest in our handmade, plastic-free craft.

We sold our beeglad, hemp scrubbies, hemp dishcloths,  repurposed feedbag totes, Xmas bunting and other handmade Xmas items.

Thanks to Amy for organising the stall and everyone who made things and helped on the day. Special thanks to Rach for massive Xmas bunting effort!


If you bought some of our crafts and are looking for the instructions to make yourself or to find the materials. Click through to our Earth Bag page.

As part of the week of action for a First Nations Voice (4-10 November 2018), we handed out copies of the Uluru Statement From the Heart.

Saturday 10th November,Collingwood Childrens Farm


The famers market was a perfect opportunity to hand out around 300 heart shaped biscuits made by our members and give away copies of the ‘Uluru Statement From the Heart.’

Our lovely CWA stall enticed many interested people to stop by for a chat about this campaign as well as talk about our CWA branch. Our band of volunteers was kept busy until stumps – just before midday, when the last heart shaped biscuit was snapped up.

See more pictures in our photo gallery.
Thank you Conor and farm staff.  We had a fantastic spot in front of the barn under the peppercorn tree where we captured the attention of everyone both coming or going. Even the cow, chickens and peacocks dropped by over the morning!
Thanks to our local MP’s Richard Wynne and Adam Bandt for printing Statements and posters for this successful day.

In National Childrens Week, a book launch ‘Jumbuck’s Misadventure’ by Sally Nowlan

Thursday 25th October 2018, Collingwood Childrens Farm Barn, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

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This is a book with a message that young readers care deeply about – animal welfare.

It’s now available at the Farm Office and at Readings kids books Lygon St.

As a pet lamb, Jumbuck learns to do a lot of things that most sheep don’t; like opening gates, squeezing through fences and swimming with the sheep dogs. 

Jill has raised him from a baby on the family farm, but when she has to go away to boarding school, there’s no one to keep an eye on her naughty pet.

Jumbuck starts roaming around and is accidentally loaded onto a truck with sheep that have been sold for the live export market. A short time later, he finds himself on a ship headed to the Middle East.

This part of his frightening Misadventure is both terrifying and sad, and Jumbuck will have to use all the tricks and things he’s learned to survive. 


Barn Yarn – Sharing Our Surplus, October 2018


This Barn Yarn brought local gardeners and community members together to find out how community food share works and hatch a plan to set one up at the Farm.


We’re looking for enthusiastic locals with a vision. Imagine being able to trade your broad beans for a bag of lemons…or, if your persimmon tree is loaded, harvest it and donate excess to the Farm for fundraising.

Speakers were Peta Christensen from Urban Harvest who talked about how the food swaps she’s worked on are set up, Peter Barber a community gardener at the Collingwood Children’s Farm,  who is already  sharing his plot produce, and Conor Hickey, manager of  the Collingwood Children’s Farm with Kieran Dickson, representing CCF Committee of Management both sharing their vision for a local food share based on the farm and the opportunities it provides.


The Collingwood CWA team – Jimena, Alison and Belinda are preparing a summary of the discussion which will provide a Blueprint for this great initiative.

SisterWorks workshop – Wednesday 3rd October 2018, Richmond


Rach, Lyn, and Margot traversed  Richmond loaded with satchels of hemp (yarn and twine) to demonstrate how to make the stars of our sustainable EarthBags – our famous dishcloths and scrubbies.

We met women from all corners of the globe keen to find out how to knit and crochet and our two hour workshop saw many beginners get the knack of the classic crafts.

It was definitely a two way exchange and we also learned some different basic knitting techniques in casting on and handling the needles.

A follow up session is planned and SisterWorks invites CWA members who would like to act as tutors one-on -one at times arranged to suit.

Call  SisterWorks to arrange on 9972 5039

Gender Equality

Guest speaker for our September 2018 meeting was – our own CWA member, Paula Hanasz. Paula participated in a jury of more than 100 Victorians who gathered to discuss the Andrews Labor Government’s proposed Gender Equality Bill.

The draft of the Gender Equality Bill proposes “that Victorian Government departments, public sector entities like hospitals and TAFEs, and local governments plan, promote, set targets for and report on gender equality.

The Citizens’ Jury is being asked to consider a critical element of the Bill –the setting of quotas for women in public sector leadership positions. The Jury will recommend what gender equality quotas are fair, and how they can best be implemented.”

For those interested in the Victorian government Citizens’ Jury on gender equality, or who missed Paula’s talk here is a summary Paula wrote for Women’s Agenda:

We also commend the article  on quotas by Chris Wallace from ANU in the Conversation.


The dynamic Luz Restrepo from SisterWorks in Richmond was our guest speaker at our August meeting.  Sisterworks is a not-for-profit that exists to help women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. The social enterprise currently supports 171 women from 55 countries, including 88 ‘Entrepreneurs’ – who create and sell their wares  with the remaining sisters supporting this effort behind the scenes.


Collingwood CWA was delighted to make a $1800 contribution to their work from the proceeds of our recent cupcakes and crackles stall at the Collingwood Children’s Farm Solstice Bonfire.

Consume Cake Not Clothes – Barn Yarn

It was a fabulous afternoon on Sunday 12 August, 2018 at the Collingwood Children’s Farm  for our very first Barn Yarn.

The fire was lit in the barn and the hay bales laid out. We baked all morning and put the kettle on. Our talented member Marley and two of her fellow fashion design students gave a fascinating presentation on sustainable fashion: Consume Cake Not Clothes.


It was another great group effort that brought KC, Jimena, Pia and Matt, Amy and Margot together in No 18 Farm House to bake up a storm of scones.

The table looked great with home made jams, scones and sweet delights created by our members including Pia, Lyn, Marley, Jimena, KC and Margot.


Each of the presenters – Marley, Tara and Hannah talked about their work on display.

Max documented the event with her remarkable “graphic recording” which she made as the presentation unfolded.


Thank you Collingwood Children’s Farm for providing the most atmospheric venue in the city and so generously assisting us with furniture, sound and for stoking the essential fire and urn.

Thank you Collingwood CWA members who, as always, rally to support each event and make them so enjoyable and successful.

Thank you Marley for bringing together such a wonderful group of inspiring women. You all – Tara, Hannah and Marley, offered a rich insight into how an industry, and we as consumers, can contribute to a more sustainable world.

You can listen to Marley’s interview on why sustainable consumerism matters on the Victorian Country Hour Podcast

Local Somali Weavers

At our June 2018 meeting it was such a pleasure to welcome some talented local ladies. Muhubo demonstrated Somali weaving techniques and shared her stories.


2018 Winter Solstice Bonfire

We had a marvellous night with everyone at the Collingwood Children’s Farm Winter Solstice Bonfire on Saturday 23 June, 2018.


We baked all morning at the Yarra Council kitchen at Womin Je Ka Room Studio 1 in Richmond, and had 46 dozen cupcakes Bonfire Cupcakes and 30 dozen Chocolate Fire Crackles to sell. We sold the lot! The proceeds of $1800 were donated to Sisterworks in Richmond to assist them to help women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia.


Standing room only at our Night of Cake and Community Action

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In May 2018 we had a marvellous Night of Cake and Community Action. It was standing room only! Inspiring speakers, delicious supper, so many conversations. We were absolutely thrilled at the enthusiasm and interest from people who want to work together to make their communities better for everyone. And eat cake.


Big thanks to our speakers and special guests, Dennis Ginnivan, Taryn Lane, Helen McGowan and Cathy McGowan who travelled to Collingwood to generously share their stories of community action.

Our aim was ambitious but we had fantastic support from our community.

Thank you City of Yarra  for the Small Project Grant we received towards mounting this community building event.

Also thanks to the Collingwood Children’s Farm for offering us a garden plot and workshop space, farm produce to preserve; and to its apiary for donating local honey.

Our state and federal local members – Federal MP Adam Bandt, and State Member for Richmond, Richard Wynne, assisted with printing.

Plumage Salona unique salon in Kew has a focus on sustainability. Thank you for the gift voucher for our raffle.

Find out more about the inspiring work of Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Hepburn Wind. See more pictures of the event on our photo gallery.

Bunnings Stall

Saturday 24 February 2018. Our first fund-raising stall for the year at Collingwood Bunnings on Victoria Parade was a big success! We sold loads of homemade cakes, biscuits and slices, preserves, Earth Bags, and garden produce. We met some lovely locals and hopefully some new members!



Market Stall

Saturday 9 December 2017. Our first appearance at the Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers’ Market. We showcased our new Earth Bags and brand new sign.


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