Member feature written by Meg Baresic

After watching an episode of the adored UK show River Cottage in 2010, Nick Steiner thought to himself, “Wow, I want to do that!” What began as a backyard farm in 2014 has now developed into a fully-fledged and thriving charity known as the Mini Farm Project. Currently based between Loganlea and Samford, the Mini Farm Project is a charity that works to build farms and grow fresh produce, with the goal of supplying fresh food to families in need throughout Australia.

Kirsty, Shane, and Natalia who help at the Mini Farm Project in Loganlea

Speaking to the prevalence of food insecurity in Australia (being limited or uncertain access to nutritious food), Nick notes that 3.7 million Australian households (1 in 5) are currently experiencing food insecurity. When I ask Nick why he believes so many families are struggling, he is quick to posit that COVID and the cost-of-living crisis are two of the main factors impacting upon a family’s ability to both access and afford quality food. Such statistics speak to the vitality of organisations such as the Mini Farm Project and the importance of ensuring they have sufficient volunteers to continue their meaningful work.

Using a variety of growing styles in order to farm fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs and bush foods (among other things), the Mini Farm Project relies heavily on both corporate and individual volunteers. On volunteering days, volunteers can expect to help plant, harvest, wash, and pack fresh vegetables, while also assisting with bed maintenance and the planting of seedlings. Such vital assistance greatly benefits the team of paid employees at the Mini Farm Project, with Nick emphasising that “the more volunteers we have, the better run the farms are”. Nick further notes that “we love having any help and support that the community can provide”, be it by way of joining as a volunteer or donating to the Mini Farm Project. Any help, in any form, is proof of our shared humanity.

Liam, one of Mini Farm Project’s farmers.

Before I finish speaking to Nick, I ask him what he finds most rewarding about his role at Mini Farm Project. “It’s just when people get it,” he says. “I love that it gives people an opportunity to give to and support other people. I see the Mini Farm Project as a platform that encourages and enables people to step in and help each other.”

Watching River Cottage in 2010 planted a seed in Nick’s mind (pun intended). 14 years later, Nick’s organisation has helped thousands of Australians who are living with food insecurity. The Mini Farm Project is a noble pursuit and one that deserves more recognition, for in providing Australian families with fresh and nutritious food, the Mini Farm Project is arguably feeding the future. If you enjoy being outside or simply want to try your hand at gardening, the Mini Food Project is a wonderful organisation to learn from and volunteer with.

Please get in touch with Nick Steiner at the Mini Farm Project to volunteer by emailing or contacting them through their website.  You can also view current volunteering opportunities at

About Meg

Meg Baresic is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Journalism at QUT. When she’s not drinking coffee or catching up with friends, Meg loves chatting to and learning from inspiring and interesting people.

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