At the Collingwood Children’s Farm, a few kilometres north of Melbourne, chickens scratch for worms while sheep and goats alike graze placidly.
This not-for-profit community farm stretches over seven hectares of grassy land along the Yarra River. It’s quite unusual to find a slice of the (almost) countryside so close to the city.
Visitors can milk the cows and bottle feed young lambs, which makes this a great place for families to bring their children. It’s the Year of the Horse, after all, so why not sneak an apple for the gentle mare in the field?
And the barnyard animals aren’t the only ones that get fed; for those who skipped breakfast in their hurry to get here, there is an attached café housed in the former dairy where one can grab a bite. Aptly named the Farm Café, this brunch spot is a labour of love.
The owners, Pip and Tom Hay, met at the farm as student volunteers and eventually got married in the paddock. (One wonders if there were more four-legged wedding guests than two-legged ones?)
From humble beginnings with a coffee cart and serving scones on weekends, the menu now offers wholesome and sustainable fare to farm visitors.
Fresh, ethically-sourced produce such as beetroot and cauliflower are paired with nutritious quinoa and free range ham. Fans of Dr Seuss can go for Green Eggs (sans green ham) — an emerald platter of poached eggs served with spinach, herbs, parsley aioli, crispy fried onions, broccoli and almond pesto.
Those who have heartier appetites may happily engulf the popular Farmer’s Breakfast — this time, the poached eggs are paired with Berkshire bacon, smoky pork & fennel sausage, fried potatoes, and house baked beans on toast. Easily a meal for two, if one isn’t altogether famished.
Our flat white and cappuccino are made using beans roasted by the redoubtable Five Senses Coffee, a homegrown specialty roaster based in Rockingham, Western Australia. (A familiar taste for regulars of Top Brew Coffee Bar in Kuala Lumpur.)
Imagine having eggs and toast surrounded by paddocks, orchards and barns. Instead of jazz or slow rock, the only soundtrack is the quacks, bleats and woofs of creatures both feathery and furry.
Now who would want to miss a brunch like that?
卻有著那麼一個佔地七公頃的社區農場 – Collingwood Children’s Farm 。
The Farm Café
18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Victoria 3067, Australia
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat & Sun 8am-5pm