Perth City Farm

Design Feature
Type of Project
Western Australia

Perth City Farm is a not-for-profit organisation located in East Perth, next to the train line, and 1.8 kilometres from the Perth Central Business District (CBD). It includes an ethical farm and nursery, and is run by a team of dedicated workers and volunteers. Their focus is building relationships between people and the environment.

Perth City Farm is a Men of the Trees initiative, and was founded in 1994 on the site of a former scrap metal yard and battery recycling facility. This site underwent significant remediation and is now a thriving community garden specialising in small scale poultry production, permaculture (including organic produce and nursery items), and also acts as a hub for local growers and community, through venue hire and regular Farmers Markets.

Sustainable urban food production

Perth City Farm has become a Western Australian icon for environmental sustainability and community engagement, offering education tours to school groups and work experience (through the state’s Work for the Dole program) and environmental learnings to a range of community members. For more than 20 years, Perth City Farm has engaged with community, private and government sectors to promote PEACE, an abbreviation for:

  • Permaculture and the environment,
  • Education,
  • Arts,
  • Community and personal development, and
  • Enterprise

Perth City Farm is located on a site within the East Perth urban renewal area near North Metropolitan TAFE, and was formerly used as an engineering workshop by Mobil, a depot for Perth’s trolley buses, and an engineering foundry. The half-hectare site contained dilapidated warehouses, a courtyard and a vacant lot. Initially, the City Farm team secured a two-year lease from the former East Perth Redevelopment Authority for the site.

Perth City Farm engages the community with concepts of healthy food production. Photo credit: Lisa Nicole Imagery
Perth City Farm engages the community with concepts of healthy food production. Photo credit: Lisa Nicole Imagery

The brief for the initial design features included:

  • Incorporation of the environment, education, arts and healthy food all in the one place.
  • Transformation of the warehouses into an education Centre, a small café and coffee shop, and an art gallery.
  • Outbuildings to be used as a blacksmiths workshop and an artists’ studio.
  • Connections to buildings through an open courtyard and cultural square.
  • Contamination removal of heavy metal and chemical pollution.

Now almost 25 years on, the site has tranformed since its original inception.

  • Incorporating the environment into education is still a huge factor, as is promoting healthy lifestyles and low impact, sustainable living.
  • The summer Twilight Market series focuses on eco-friendly home and beauty products, upcycled and recycled artisan creations, and features a wide variety of organic, vegan and vegetarian food options. The Saturday Farmer’s market remains Perth’s longest running farmer’s market featuring biodynamic and organic sellers, harvest from the Perth City Farm gardens, local honey and eggs, organic pantry items and eco-friendly home and beauty products.
  • The warehouses are no longer art gallery spaces, but are instead hired out for events. Almost every weekend there is a wedding at Perth City Farm, connecting people from all over Perth (and often the world) to this beautiful space and creating lasting impressions in the minds of those that can’t believe a farm exists in the City! The spaces are also often hired by other nonprofit and environmental groups for fundraisers and expos, hired privately for art classes and workshops, theatre events, dance showcases, among other things.
  • The on-site Café is now a privately run business on the site specialising in healthy meals with organic and biodynamic produce, often from the Perth City Farm gardens.
  • The large open courtyard is still the perfect centre of the farm and serves as a space for community events, lunches, markets and many other things!
Perth City Farm is a community destination with a strong sense of place. Photo credit: Lisa Nicole Imagery

The site is now a thriving community garden and cultural hub, and has secured a 40-year lease with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (now DevelopmentWA). Through a management committee, staff and dedicated team of volunteers and workers, the farm is able to showcase permaculture and sustainable environments, run rehabilitation working programs, and maintains strong links to nature and the arts, through education and enterprise. 

Project Team 

  • Men of the Trees (parent organisation)
  • Community volunteers
  • Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority 

Project Cost 


You might also like