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Farm fresh and local

The Maple Street Co-op in Maleny is celebrating their Year of Local, aiming to turn the spotlight on the fresh produce grown here using healthy horticultural practices.

The community garden behind Maple Street Co-op is attracting both expert and beginner gardeners to learn and share skills.

“We are building on decades of work by other volunteers,” says Co-op Assistant Manager, Fi Emberton.

Sophie Hickey, a local horticultural student has been helping create a revamped demonstration garden, adding her knowledge and flair to the planting and signage to encourage visitors to better understand their food and medicinal use.

The plot will be a Garden for Wildlife, a program run out of Barung Landcare, and will optimise the ‘food forest’ approach in the garden.

The team of volunteers has also created a work farm to turn kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost.

“We are aiming to hold events in the garden to highlight the importance of local food for our community’s resilience and its food security” says Fiona.

“Many of our members like to buy the Certified Organic food we source, and also value our local produce grown naturally. Our local growers go through a vetting process to ensure the plants are raised free of harmful chemicals.

“The local produce sells out fast, my favourites are the heritage tomatoes that are bursting with flavour and the cherry tomatoes from Co-op member Brigitte and crunchy zucchini from Ketakii.”

The abundance of fresh local produce fills shelves and baskets – a welcome sight as soon as you walk through the Co-op doors.

They also stock fresh eggs from the Tin Shed Farm, a 100-acre property, just 19km from Maleny, which applies holistic farming methods.

The owners, Caron and Carl von Bardeleben, are first generation farmers, and they produce pasture-raised poultry (which gives the Co-op these delicious pasture-raised eggs) and pasture-raised and finished beef.

As Caron explains, “We are passionate about the wellbeing of our animals, the land and our dedicated conscious consumers of our pastured produce. We do not use any chemicals on the farm and go to great lengths to sourcing only the best sustainable feed for our livestock.

“Our motto at Tin Shed Farm is ‘they taste so good ‘cos they eat so good’.”

If you are keen to join in and learn about some organic and regenerative techniques, contact fi on For more about the Tin Shed Farm’s sustainable, regenerative methods, visit

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Maple Street Co-op Manager, Charlotte, accidentally colour-coordinating with the fruit and veg! (Main pic) - image Victoria McGuin

Caron and Carl von Bardeleben of the Tin Shed Farm supply the Co-op with pasture-raised eggs


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