Our session at Joe’s had to be cut short due to unfavourable weather conditions, but we still recorded a wonderful interview with host Emma Connors. I am so glad to have included Emma and both CERES and Joe’s Market Garden in The Moreland Sessions. I couldn’t recommend them more highly. Khristian Mizzi and our crew moved the shoot to East Elevation in December, but we had to show you a bit of the beautiful work that Farmer Em and CERES do with Joe’s Market Garden.
34 Edna Grove
Coburg VIC 3058
CERES Community Environment Park
Cnr Roberts & Stewart Sts
Brunswick East, VIC 3057
Joe’s Market Garden is an offshoot of CERES Community Environment Park. Not far from Nicholson Street, it’s right on the Merri Creek, and tended by a pair of resident market gardeners. They provide deliveries of their own produce and you can order a weekly veggie box by phone or online. Saturdays they run a market at the farm gate on Edna Grove, and you can head down and enjoy live music while you browse. A musician herself, Emma Connors has a love of good tunes and a long list of great musicians to invite in. In 2018 Joe’s has teamed up with Neighbourhood Productions to provide live music events on Sundays, run by Lucy Wise and Mischa Herman (our sound engineer in Episode 2: Liz Stringer @ VICSEG New Futures Creative).
These days, Emma focusses on sustainable farming, but I first met her backstage at the National Folk Festival in Canberra where she jumped on stage to perform backing vocals ten minutes after we were introduced. It was a great, crazy show, with Leonard Podolak (Canada) and Sean O’Donnell (Battlefield Band) joining us for a number. I made a long trip to perform for Emma’s birthday party at the Lomond a few years ago, and it was my great pleasure to realise that we might include her farming project in AOQR. I consider her both a great mate and an impressive person of deep integrity, with a strong work ethic.
In 2003 CERES began farming here under the guidance of Joe Garita, whose father bought the land in the 1920’s. Previously known as the Merri Creek Market Garden, Joe’s Market Garden is our second certified organic farm growing organic herbs and vegetables….It is named for Joe. Family and friends remember him as a hardworking individual who was kind to everyone he encountered. His memory lives on in Joe’s Garden, which continues to flourish even after his passing. Joe’s wife, Jean Garita, believes that Joe would be proud of the work that continues in Joe’s Garden, as the garden continues to grow food and foster relationships, which were two of the most important aspects of Joe’s life.