Writer: Catherine Calder
I would like to say that I was new to Melbourne and that I was exploring the bottom half of Footscray Nicholson, when I first discovered Grasslands Organic, but that would be one hell of a lie.
I don’t know what made me stop and stare, but I’m glad I did. After working a few shifts at Grasslands Organic as a volunteer, I saw that not many people walking passed actually entered the store. It tends to attract tons of onlookers though; the kind of people that like me would stop and stare. As Nicholson Street’s little shop of organic fruit and veg, it is a little pricey, unlike its competitor, Footscray market. But who hasn’t in their lifetime paid a little extra for their leafy greens? Stepping inside is worth the effort and here’s why.
The shop has been running raw since 1997 and the profit made is fed back into the very market that the produce comes from. The Australian growers of fresh and healthy produce use the profits to help restore every inch of this deprived land of ours.
We also have strong links with the Aboriginal community, and attend regular state wide rallies to stop the Australian government taking over community land and using it as waste dumping sites. So every penny you spend goes to support a great cause. The fruit and veg are hand selected and boxed for your convenience. We don’t want to run on empty, but if we have to, in order to make a difference, we will, because we don’t like enticing you to buy things you don’t really want. We are flexible, sustainable, and economically friendly — from the vegetables, to the faces that put them into boxes.
Jemila Rushton has been a volunteer at Grasslands since 2013, and now helps co-ordinate the business services. She has recently completed her studies in International Community Development at Victoria University. She was involved with SLUGG, Victoria University’s first home-grown garden establishment, located at Footscray Park Campus.
Since Grassland Organics opened its doors back in 1997, it has offered students volunteer opportunities. It’s a playground for developing lifelong skills and a pleasant way to spend your time and effort. What more can I possibly say, other than that it is a gem of a stone to stop by? Help us help you, why not get involved at some capacity? If you find you have a pocket of plenty, you might just find a few nickels and dimes of your own. For more information on selection of Fruit baskets, visit the website or simply drop in.
Catherine studies Sociology at Footscray Park.