Sharing a kitchen bombs out at FERN

CHARITY group Food Not Bombs is without a kitchen following an internal dispute at the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network.

The organisation turns donated food into weekly meals which are handed out in Kings Square or Pioneer Park, but they’ve taken a reluctant hiatus while looking for another kitchen to do their cooking.

They had been sharing a space with Heaven Cafe, a privately-owned vegan enterprise at FERN, but a clash of personalities saw that deal fall apart.

New FERN co-convenor Simon Peterffy says after the bust-up FNB were offered a smaller kitchen but declined.

“I’m the new co-convenor of FERN, there’s a whole load of cool positive stories…it just makes my blood boil that you’re digging up negative stuff”, Mr Peterffy let fly at the Chook.

“As far as I’m aware they have not left…we’re currently negotiating about other opportunities.”

FNB chef and FERN board member Carl Wilson said there were attempts to get them into a commercial kitchen in a nearby Foundation Housing complex, but members would need food handling certificates, which was against the organisation’s open-to-all philosophy.

Food Not Bombs member Kurt Miller says FERN’s losing it’s grassroots feel.

“FERN is starting to operate as the cafe now…it’s not a community space when people are being attacked, when groups can’t operate,” Mr Miller said.

Heaven cafe owner Karen Bartz says some in the group were getting too political to work with.

“I pay rent to FERN and FERN requires that income to survive,” says Ms Bartz.

“Frankly, based on their behaviour at FERN I don’t think it sat with us as a community space.”


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