Our Awesome Farm in Leopold
The Paddock is Encompass Community Services’ 7-acre farm in Leopold that provides a unique setting and offers a fantastic opportunity for people of all abilities and backgrounds to explore new experiences and learn new skills.
It is a leader in horticultural therapy and passionately advocates a ‘paddock to plate’ lifestyle, encouraging zero or less food miles.
Produce at the farm are grown spray-free using organic principles and sustainable food production practices. The Paddock currently grows and supplies seedlings to local farmers; as well as supply seasonal produce to local cafes/restaurants. It also has a nursery that provides commercial propagation to several farms in the region, apart from being an accessible and inclusive space for skills development and community skill-sharing.
Regular ‘Pick Your Own Produce’ days run during the summer period (and intermittently for the remainder of the year), opening the farm to the public to pick their own produce straight from the ground. Vulnerable members of the local community also benefit from this activity; helping to alleviate some food security issues within the region.
In partnership with The Flying Brick Cider Co, the farm operates an apple cider orchard with 16 varieties of heritage apples. An exclusive Encompass cider is expected in 2019.
The Paddock hosts Encompass Options and Connections’ life skills and pre-employment training programs (‘Green Thumbs’, ‘Paddock to Plate’ and ‘Paddock’); as well as runs courses for the Encompass College of Education & Training. It also provides work placement/experience and volunteer opportunities for people interested in or skilled at farm work.
Farm tours and sustainability workshops are conducted from time to time.
Encompass purchased the property in July 2007; and since its purchase, has completed numerous site modifications to address various barriers such as access restrictions for wheelchair users or people with limited mobility.
The Paddock is a safe, friendly, and supportive environment where staff, program participants, students and volunteers are actively involved in encouraging and supporting each other; celebrating achievements – big or small. Personal sense of accomplishment and improved work satisfaction are some of the flow on effects of being part of The Paddock, apart from promoting social inclusion, boosting community engagement, and diversifying local economy.
At The Paddock, there are no barriers, only growth.
For more information, please contact the Farm Supervisor, Chris Evans, on 0409 496 187 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is available in multiple formats on request.