The Mulberry Group has opened a new cafe and chef-community farm an hour out of Melbourne
The team behind Liminal, one of Melbourne's most anticipated cafe openings of 2019, has now opened their latest venue, a cafe and community farm an hour out of Melbourne.
Common Ground Project is a fit-for-purpose community property where Melbourne chefs are invited to plant, harvest and collect seasonal, organic produce for use in their own venues.
The group, known for much-loved cafes Top Paddock, Higher Ground and Kettle Black, which were sold last year, has branched out to this new location with the aim to bridge the disconnect between the city's hospitality industry and the Victorian food bowl, providing a space where chefs and hospitality professionals can get back in touch with the land.
Common Ground Project offers a membership model: for $230 a week, its members send their chefs to learn and practise permaculture techniques on the property. In return, they get a share of all the produce grown.
All money raised for this project supports the use of regenerative farming practices, and improved access
to meditation, mindfulness, and mental health support for the hospitality industry.
The on-site cafe has also opened with a low-waste policy and a menu rooted in the farm.
Head chef Simon Pappas endeavours to source as much as possible from the 4 acre property, then look to neighbouring growers to create the dishes served in the cafe. The menu changes seasonally, with most ingredients sourced biodynamically within the local area, and everything from Victoria.
"Common Ground Project is a simple tool,” says Mulberry CEO Nathan Toleman. “It says we believe in the power of other people. It could be a movement; it could be replicated all over the world. It's not something that's hard to do, but it could be life changing."
Common Ground Project is now open at 675 Anglesea Road, Freshwater Creek VIC.