We are a small but resilient bunch of humans who want to make lasting changes. Farmer Incubator is run by an ambitious and creative group of farmers/farm workers based around Melbourne Victoria. Our working group is small and currently predominantly volunteer based. If we aren’t in the fields, we are nose deep in books about soil health, watching the latest released enviro docos while processing garlic, or putting together workshops so we can all learn together !
Co-founder / visionairre
Paul has a career background that spans from working as a market gardener, health professional, and in management at the South Melbourne Commons, a social enterprise initiative between Friends of the Earth Australia and the Father Bob Maguire Foundation. He recently draws from huge experiences of learning on the job and is committed to environmentally responsible food security. In 2014 he was busy landscaping with Very Edible Gardens and Simon Marshall Horticulture, while also volunteering at Kinfolk cafe. He has completed a Diploma in agriculture (organic production), cert II in carpentry (building and construction) and looks forward to building on the farm (when he gets time).
In 2015, Paul established Day’s Walk Farm in Keilor, which has recently gained organic certification.
Co-founder / strict budget guru & advocate
Per’s background in IT, environmental consulting and horticulture and his love of nature, food and drink has lead him organically to wanting to be a (garlic!) farmer. Already a small-business owner with a desire to improve the quality and variety of foods available to all eaters, his analytical skills and deep desire for the country life made contributing to the Farmer Incubator a natural fit, and he is helping develop various project management aspects of the enterprise.
Brainstormer & Do-er
Ryan DeCoite joined the folk at Farmer Incubator as Programs Administrator for the 2019 PUGF program. Budding Organic Farmer Ryan has worked at Days Walk Farm in Keilor with Paul, and more recently is working at market garden in Don valley (Timbarra Farm) and helping out a a Biodynamic kiwi farm in the Yarra Valley. With a background as a chef, outdoor and environmental educator, Ryan is passionate about creating inspiring pathways beyond sustainability. After thoughtfully tending to his backyard vege plots Ryan is ready to take things further and contribute where he can to the regenerative agriculture movement.
Keeper of deadlines & gets it done
Julia lives in Melbourne with her two top kids and works on a farm. Her love for good food at every stage of its existence and profound awe and respect for the planet has led her on lots of adventures. She has a family farming background and has worked with many great people on fair food, research and ag projects around in Australia, Vanuatu and Latin America and is generally happier if she is outside. Julia has recently started her new venture Sporadical City Mushrooms, a mushroom farm built within shipping containers located in the prominent food district of Alphington, Melbourne.
Photographer & makes things digital
Tracy has a new found passion for growing food, and is enjoying how the slow philosophies that harvesting, cooking and sharing with others is taking a humble and frequent presence in her life. With a background in Industrial Design and the automotive industry, this has been a 180 degree spin, towards a healthier lifestyle, closing the food loop, and doing something local!
Beck’s love of learning for learning’s sake has taken her on a pretty windy path, eventually leading her to farming. With a background in hospitality, Beck helped to establish Patricia Coffee Brewers in Melbourne with some very inspiring people whilst completing her studies in Anthropology and Arabic. She completed her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2014, fuelling an open-ended WWOOFING trip in 2017. It ended prematurely when she landed at her second stop, Day’s Walk Farm, and didn’t want to leave. She now works as a Farm hand there as well as working for Farmer Chloe at the Keilor site of Somerset Heritage Produce.
Her desire to farm comes from her desire to understand country and the stories it has to tell as well as the shared passion of those she works with to build a more resilient, regenerative food system.
Pop-Up Garlic Farmer
Nattie is passionate about the connection between food and community and the ways that food can bring people together. For 7 years she worked as a Horticultural Therapist at the Stewart Lodge Wellbeing Garden in Brunswick for seven years and also helped with the annual olive harvest at Lentara Olive Grove in the Tamar Valley, Tasmania. In 2010, she completed her PDC at the Southern Cross Permaculture Institute in Gippsland, and later studied Urban Horticulture at the University of Melbourne.
After completing the PUGF program in 2019, she is back as Program Administrator in 2020! When she’s not with Farmer Incubator, she also works as the Sustainable Food Officer at Darebin Council, volunteers at the Reynard Street Community Garden Coburg as Social Media Coordinator, and runs the Coburg Food Swap.
Big Thanks To Recent Team Members
Georgia was a Director and site facilitator with Farmer Incubator. In 2015, she was introduced to growing garlic through the inaugural Pop-Up Garlic Farmers Project, and fell in love with the process and the team so much that she helped to run the course in 2016. Georgia also works as General Manager at The Community Grocer. Georgia loves growing food, particularly in the urban environment where space is limited but people are aplenty! She has an ever expanding backyard garden that helps feed her friends, family and neighbourhood. Georgia’s spirit vegetable is the zucchini, with its never-ending bounty and many shades of green! Georgia completed her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015.
Emmy joined the Farmer Incubator team in 2016 after participating in the inaugural Pop-Up Garlic Farmers project in 2015. She spent her childhood roaming the hills of her grandparents’ beef cattle property in Northern NSW, and after 18 months of WWOOFing overseas in 2013/2014, she returned with a strong passion for sustainable agriculture and strengthening community. Emmy worked as a farmhand at Days Walk Farm, and was Farmer Incubator’s first Programs Administrator. Emmy loves bringing people together through the sharing of food, and the door to her home is permanently open. Her spirit vegetable is the potato; resilient, oddly shaped and a little bit dirty… She completed her Permaculture Design Certificate with VEG in 2015.
ALICE L’ESTRANGE & LEILA ALEXANDRA
Who did so much of the leg work to get Farmer Incubator started.