Another attraction in Bendigo must be the PepperGreen Farm. Described as a place ”Where food and heritage collide” it is farm which surprises tourists and local alike as it is very central to the town.
It is a not for profit social enterprise about growing and producing produce and show casing the diversity unique in Central Victoria. The site was originally established by Chinese settlers as a brickworks in 1859. In the 1880s Chinese market gardens were planted and apart from a short time in the late 20th century farms and nurseries have been operating since. The Chinese Joss House still stands and more recently a rare Chinese brick kilm was unearthed.
These days the farm is fostering skills development and has a volunteer programme offering opportunities for those interested in supporting local social enterprise. There is a community market, art gallery and studios, educational activities. Visitors can purchase fresh produce from the market garden. There is a worm farm, a plant nursery and a beehive. One can take a picnic lunch on the village green though the cafe offers some delicious fare too. Pizzas, sandwishes and soup are available and coffee and cake. A recent adddition is a farm catering business with frozen or fresh meals which for a fee can be delivered.
The farm currently provide supported employment and skills training for 95 people with a disability. In fact my coffee was made by one of the training staff.
A gorgeous old Melbourne tram which now is in retirement in the garden and can be booked for special functions or even a devonshire tea. Think Agatha Christie. It is a delight into yesteryear.
If you have family or friends visiting from overseas or interstate I would really recommend a visit to PepperGreen Farm as there is something for everyone here.