Farm My School extends veggie box service to local community

February 16, 2024 BY

After years of effort, the Farm My School team have opened their veggie box service to the Bellarine community. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

FARM My School, the regenerative farm pilot program located at Drysdale’s Bellarine Secondary College, has launched its veggie box service to the local community.

It has been almost 18 months since the Farm My School team first broke ground at the high school, transforming an unused soccer pitch into a thriving market garden.

Co-founder James McLennan said it was “surreal” to see the progress of the program.

“This is the point we’ve been working up to…Ben [Shaw] and I have been talking about it for the past six years.

“The whole idea of us doing the veggie boxes is really the crux of the whole program.”

Farmer Nina Breidahl at the Farm My School pilot location at Bellarine Secondary College in Drysdale. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS


He said the veggie box service was about accessibility.

“We want to make organic produce, and locally grown and seasonal produce, available to the community at an affordable rate,” he said.

“The price we’re selling these boxes at is cheaper than what you would buy conventional vegetables for at the supermarket.

The produce grown at the farm also offers the community considerable health benefits.

“The fact that we are literally harvesting the day before, or the day of, collection of the boxes means that this produce is as nutritious as it can be,” McLennan said.

“It’s literally nutrient-dense food that is going to benefit the community or whoever’s eating it greatly.”

Co-founder James McLennan with one of the veggie boxes now on offer to the community. Photo: FACEBOOK/FARM MY SCHOOL


Farm My School is offering 30 veggie boxes to families on the Bellarine each week, with plans to scale this up to 50 boxes by the end of the school term.

Each box comprises about 10-12 items of seasonal produce.

“At the moment it’s prime time and there’s such a bounty of beautiful produce,” Mr McLennan said.

“We’ve got tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, mixed lettuce, beetroots, carrots; there’s a whole range of beautiful summer/autumn produce.”

Veggie boxes can be purchased individually or as part of a weekly subscription which offer ten boxes for the price of nine.

Discounts are available to Bellarine Secondary College community members.

The veggie boxes are comprised of 10-12 items of seasonal produce. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS


But the ongoing success of the program relies on the support of the surrounding community.

“Our whole model is that the sales of the boxes means that we can actually pay our farmers,” McLennan said.

“To make it financially viable, we need to actually have the sales of the boxes.

“Unlike a lot of other programs…we don’t rely on funding. We need funding to get schools started or to start new projects, but at this point in the project, we are using all the profits from the boxes to put into our team and then future schools as well.”

For more information, or to order a veggie box, head to farmmyschool.com