Several years ago at a market, I bought strawberries from a farmer. I absentmindedly popped one in my mouth as I walked away.
The strawberry oozed with sweetness and robust flavour; I inhaled several more. Soft and juicy, they dyed my fingers and teeth. I spun around.
“Why are these strawberries so delicious?” I asked.
“I pick them ripe,” the farmer replied.
I stopped eating fruit while living in London—it was tasteless, so pointless—after the magnificent strawberries, I began to eat fruit again.
Deliciousness can be a catalyst for change.
Yet over several years, Coles and Woolworths have destroyed the fruit and vegetables that Australias buy. Because of their sourcing policies and streamlined distribution, only a small number of massive monoculture farms grow the country’s crops. Marketing, transport, handling, shelf-life and appearance is prioritised. Flavour is forgotten.
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Successive federal governments are also responsible for the decline in food quality and the disappearance of small to medium sized farms. Free trade agreements opened the floodgate to imported produce. This produce may be cheaper because of economies of scale, the use of slave labour, questionable processing, or illegal dumping. Australian farmers, with their higher standards and costs, cannot compete.
The result? More synthetic chemicals are used to grow our food, nutritional value is lost, and energy is wasted during shipping and storage. Produce is tasteless and rots within days. In addition, the food system is now vulnerable in the face of the combined effects of multiple disasters, fuel price increases and large-scale pandemics.
We must cultivate small, local and diverse farms.
Listed below is a range of market gardens that sell direct, or through independent stores. They grow a wide range of plants using biological principles, to encourage beneficial micro-organisms in the soil, which in turn, creates healthy plants. They harvest in the morning or the day before so the produce is fresh, and lasts longer. Better still, it’s delicious!
Look for local and seasonal produce at farmers’ markets and independent stores near you. Taste the difference and tell your friends!
Support local farmers and eat delicious fresh food to boot! Check the other directories: milk, eggs, pork, fruit and vegetables, garlic, turkeys and chickens.
Contribute: Do you know a farm that should be here? Email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com for inclusion. Learn more about the directories.
Bellofoodbox distributes seasonal fresh food from growers within a 160km radius of Bellingen. They promote the local economy, encourage sustainable agricultural practices and contribute to a fair, connected and resilient community. Tip from @foodconnect
Boutique Garlic, Springside
Dougal combines many different methods to grow food, including conventional, organic, biodynamic, holistic and scientific. He specializes in garlic, but he also grows a range of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Brightside Produce, Captains Flat
Emily Yarra and Michael Kobier produce a range of heirloom vegetables on their small biological farm. They sell through weekly produce boxes, with an array of seasonal vegetables and eggs, delivered to a central collection point in Canberra.
Buena Vista Farm, Gerrigong
Fiona and Adam have a chemical-free market garden in which they grow garlic, asparagus, rhubarb and an array of seasonal vegetables.
Byron Bay Organic Produce, Ewingsdale
Janelle Johnston’s grandparents tilled the soil with a horse and plough, and used no synthetic chemicals to grow food. Janelle continues the family tradition using natural fertilisers, compost, beneficial insects, companion planting, crop rotations and planting by the Moon.
Caroola Farm, Mulloon
Operated by Penny Kothe and Paul McKinnon, Caroola Farm is a holistically managed permaculture farm. Depending on the season, they grow a variety of different herb and vegetable crops in poly-cultural settings. Their seeds and seedlings are either sourced direct from organic suppliers or seed saved.
Champion’s Mountain Organics, Mangrove Mountain
Michael Champion’s certified biodynamic farm specialises in unusual salad greens. Michael also represents biodynamic, organic and chemical-free farmers in the region to markets, vegetable boxes and stores.
Colin and Delilah Amos, Comboyne Plateau
Colin and Delilah Amos switched to fresh produce after dairy industry deregulation. They produce a wide variety of chemical-free fruits, vegetables and nuts including persimmons, feijoas, tamarillos, avocados, limes, almonds, walnuts and macadamias.
Common 2 Us, Dural
They believe healthy food is grown and distributed in ways that benefits the environment, the community and producers. They grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including heirlooms, for superior flavour.
Darling Mills Farm, Berrilee
Steven Adey grows a large number of salad leaves, herbs, micro herbs and edible flowers in mixed plantings. His methods include biological farming, permaculture and hydroponics. He uses compost to replenish the soil; sprays are used sparingly and are organically certified.
Fairweather Farm, Nymboida
Fairweather Farm is a certified organic producer of seasonal vegetables and herbs. Their solar powered eco-business is located in the untouched wilderness of Nymboida.
The Fairy Verona Market Garden, Verona
Sandra Gauld grows delicious chemical-free vegetables 30 minutes north of Bega. She sells the produce at local farmers markets, to stores and to box order customers.
The Farm Gate by Nashdale Fruit Co, Nashdale
John, daughter Katie and son-in-law Beau specialise in heirloom varieties of produce; most popular are their unwaxed apples and pressed juice. Their range is complemented with produce sourced from neighbours and friends.
Field to Feast, Catherine Field
Hapi and Cath Fiefa specialise in heirloom vegetables and herbs, as well as unusual varieties. Over the course of the year they grow approximately 150 varieties of herbs and vegetables. Each variety is taste-tested and grown without chemicals and pesticides.
Fig Tree Farm Wee Jasper, Wee Jasper
Rich Carey and fiancée Liz specialise in growing heirloom vegetables, salad greens and Barnevelder chickens. The produce is grown free from synthetic chemicals, harvested when ripe, reaching its CSA subscribers less than 24 hours after harvest.
First Farm Organics, Lithgow
Horticulturalist and landscape designer Fabrice Rolando has turned his hand to market gardening. He builds his soil with chicken manure, basalt rock dust, composted wood chips and dolomite, and makes his own compost. No synthetic fertilisers or sprays are used.
Fishbone Farm, Cobargo
Tim Stewart and Thea Constantaridis work the soil in their biological market garden – mulching, composting, applying green manures and good crop rotations – to produce delicious and nutritious seasonal vegetables and herbs for boxes and local markets.
Future Feeders, Mullumbimby
Lead by Joel Orchard, the small-scale farming co-operative offers young people opportunities for peer-to-peer skill sharing and mentorship in ecological agriculture. They manage a banana farm at Montecollum and a plot at the Mullumbimby Community Garden.
The not-for-profit cooperative supports local farmers and producers from the South Coast and Southern Highlands, and encourages sustainable farming practices by providing them a market. Tip from Sara.
Green Goddess Farm, Findon Creek
Rhys Minton and Sasha Welker grow up to 40 different kinds of vegetables, fruits and flowers on their 3.5 acre certified organic farm–everything from artichokes to zucchini and apples to zinnias.
Johnstone’s Kitchen Garden, Hawkesbury District
Tim and Liz Johnstone grow a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and edible flowers. To control pests they practice crop rotation, encourage beneficial predatory insects, use exclusion netting and organic-based sprays.
Kurrawong Organics, Bathurst
Lesley, Quentin Bland and son Alex specialise in brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. They also grow apples, stonefruit, herbs, kale, fennel and spinach. Their market customers enjoy freshly picked produce. Tip from @DairyGoodness
Mahbrook Organics, Albion Park
Brothers Chris and Adam Bridger, along with their families, have turned their passion for permaculture into a certified organic farm. They grow a wide variety of produce including leafy greens, lettuce, shallots, leeks, cabbages, broccoli, beetroot, herbs and garlic.
Mamre Farm, St.Marys
Refugees, people with a disability and youths grow produce under organic principles (pesticide- and chemical-free) and sell them to the local community. A variety of vegetables are grown from spinach to okra, to cassava and Asian greens.
Mayfield Farm, Dorrigo Plateau
A variety of seasonal vegetables are grown, including chemical-free potatoes. The orchard produces apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums and more. The fruit trees are sprayed annually with preparation allowed for organic gardeners.
Moonacres Farm, Fitzroy
Phil Lavers and his team grow seasonal vegetables on the certified organic farm, including kale, rhubarb, and potatoes, plus fruit like plums, apples and nashi pears.
Near River Produce, Mid North Coast
Andrew and Therese Hearne left Sydney to follow their dream of owning a farm and producing food for their community. They deliver boxes that include produce from six to seven organic (or in-conversion) farmers.
Ooooby’s profits are reinvested into developing local food production, whilst ensuring that all participants in the supply chain are rewarded fairly. This includes paying their farmers 50 per cent of the total retail value for the supply and delivery of the produce to the hub.
Old Mill Road BioFarm, Moruya
After four years of showing up at the local market with excess backyard garden produce, Fraser Bayley and Kirsti Wilkinson are well established as growers in their local district. They produce a range of seasonal mixed vegetables for their local weekly market, restaurants and cafes.
Piccolo Farm, Thirlmere
Lizzie and Gianluigi Buscaino are developing their market garden to produce a range of seasonal vegetables. They feed the soil, not the plant, as they aim to improve the quality of land through composting and organic input rather than chemical fertilisers. Coming soon.
Pocket City Farms, Camperdown
The non-profit organisation is a productive hub where the community can gather to learn about farming and food growing, buy super-local, chemical-free produce that is grown on the urban farm, participate in composting, and take part in workshops and events.
Popes Produce, Woonona
Popes Produce is a market garden based on permaculture principals; it is tucked in a suburban backyard north of Wollongong. They have a CSA where you can buy weekly edible bouquets with a smattering of edible flowers, a variety of herbs and vegetables.
Purple Pear Farm, Hunter Valley
Kate and Mark grow chemical-free produce cultivated in healthy soils. Their CSA members share the risks of harvest; during a difficult growing season, some crops or shares may not be plentiful but during good times, they may enjoy the bounty.
RAD Growers, Bungowannah
Erin O’Callaghan and Belinda Joy Sheekey grow a range of produce, using crop rotations and cover crops, to build a diverse and resilient ecosystem. They aim to keep their inputs as local as possible, making compost from café and supermarket waste, and manure from a neighboring beef farm and racetrack.
Rita’s Farm Produce, Kemps Creek
Rita grows pesticide-free vegetables, herbs and fruit. The soil is enriched with chicken manure from the farm as well as mushroom compost. Weeds are controlled by hand, with companion planting and crop rotation used. Tip from @DairyGoodness
Synchronicity Farm, Nana Glen
Josh and Tomoko Allen are passionate about growing, sourcing and supplying a diverse range of high quality seasonal food, produced organically, to the local market. They love heirloom vegetables, superfoods and unusual produce to surprise their customers who delight in trying new things.
Warrah Biodynamic Farm, Dural
Warrah is a registered not-for-profit organisation delivering disability services within a beautiful 30-acre rural site. The onsite biodynamic farm enhances the vitality of the soil and thus the plants and animals that feed from it.
Wynlen House, Braidwood
Bronwyn and Helen grow a wide variety of produce at their micro farm, focusing on a little of everything and a lot of a few things. The produce is picked and sold within 24 hours. They draw on a range of organic philosophies in their practice, including bio-dynamic, permaculture and biological.
2&5 Inc, Norlane
Run by Katie Drummond-Gillett and powered by volunteers, 2&5 Inc is a market garden with retail outlets including a shop, market stall and food boxes. They work to improving access to affordable, sustainable and healthy food in the Northern Suburbs of Geelong.
Adsum Farmhouse, Glenlyon
On a two-acre property, Edward Benedict and Fiona Buchanan grow seasonal fruit and vegetables for themselves, and sell the excess to the local community. Including the soon famous Glenlyon pickle. Tip by Justin Walsh.
Angelica Organic Farm, Daylesford
Tim and Deri-Anne Wyatt produce certified organic vegetables, tomatoes, garlic and herbs, summer through winter, many being heritage varieties. They champion regenerative agriculture and transparency of all farm/food production inputs. They believe it is vital people reconnect with how their food is grown, the food producers and how to cook.
Blue Tongue Berries, Seymour
Nick Bray and Cynthia Lim produce blueberries and vegetables, chutneys and preserves. With a view to self-sufficiency, they produce their own food, power, water and fuel for heating. They’ve recently completed a strawbale house, open as a B&B. They also run the local farmers market and the food exchange.
Captain Creek Organic Farm, Blampied
The May brothers and their families grow certified organic fruit and vegetables in rich volcanic soil. Revegetation, reorientation and resilience characterize the multi-generational farm; the box schemes service local and metropolitan markets. Tip from Justin Walsh.
CERES Fair Food, Northcote
CERES is a non-profit food delivery service that pays local growers a fair price. First, they sell what they grow on the CERES Organic Farm; second, they buy from backyarders; third, local farmers and fourth, they carefully source from wholesale agents.
Crisp Produce and Preserves, Bendigo
Simone Lukacs is a market gardener, hobby orchardist, artisan preserve maker, and sourdough adventurer. Her micro CSA feeds eaters with an array of vegetables and freshly baked bread.
Daylesford Organics, Musk Vale
Bren and Kate run a certified organic mixed farm focusing on sustainability and biodiversity. Working with the seasons, they produce up to 40 varieties of apples, hazelnuts, berries, and a range of vegetables, often with several varieties of each. Tip from Justin Walsh.
Day’s Walk Farm, Keilor
Just a day’s walk from Melbourne, Paul Miragliotta grows vegetables in alluvial and volcanic soil. The crops include broad beans, Asian greens, broccoli, leafy greens, radish, herbs, beetroot and tomatoes. Young and full of beans, he co-founded Farmer Incubator, to grow new growers, and Pomodoro People, a pick-your-own heritage tomato farm.
Deep Rapture Farm, Strathbogie
First generation farmer David Chun has begun a small market garden, organically growing a range of salad greens, baby kale, edible flowers and more.
The Greenacre, Apollo Bay
Jodie Lawson supplies local eaters with veggie boxes containing washed salad greens, a bunch of herbs, and a selection of seasonal vegetables grown using organic methods, picked and delivered at peak ripeness and freshness.
Greenwood & Grogan Produce, Allan’s Flat
Tamsin Greenwood and Matt Grogan run a biodynamic market garden in North-East Victoria. They market through a CSA box, providing good food to locals. They are passionate about soil health, cultivating community and renewable energy.
Glenora Heritage Produce, Korumburra
Andrew Wood and Jill McCalman began growing vegetables in their kitchen garden; they now supply farmers’ markets and 40 restaurants. All the produce they grow is seasonal and grown organically; varieties are non-hybrid, and where possible, heirloom.
Grow Lightly Connect, Korumburra
Gil and Meredith Freeman provide weekly boxes of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables to South Gippsland. They encourage local food production using organic methods and by facilitating distribution, thus reducing food miles. Tip from @Pennyfay64
Grown and Gathered, Tabilk
Matt and Lentil grow seasonal, organic vegetables and fruits and deliver to their customers in Melbourne. On the trip back they fill the van with other peoples’ waste that would otherwise go to landfill. They compost it, putting back in the soil, the nutrients they pulled out.
Gunghoe Growers, Harcourt
Sas Allardice and Mel Willard leased land from Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens to create a small, diverse, intensive market garden. They supply fresh and vibrant produce to the local community.
Little Feet Farm, Gladysdale
Stu Ryder and Luna White grow heirloom vegetables in their market garden, picked on the day for their CSA subscribers. They cultivate healthy soils with careful tillage, diverse crop and animal rotations, green manure crops, compost and compost tea and organic fertilizers.
Local Organics, East Brunswick
During a visit to the country, Marcus and Angie ate from their friend’s and neighbouring properties. They exclaimed, “This is how an apple should taste!” Back in Melbourne, they discovered that organic alone wasn’t enough; the secret was seasonal locally grown food.
PEACE Farm, Yarra Junction
Permaculture, Education, Art, Community, Enterprise is a small permaculture farm. Join the CSA to receive a veggie box containing a diverse range of vegetables, for money or labour. You can partake in farm activities, seasonal celebrations and other events.
Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens, Harcourt
Hugh and Katie Finlay’s certified organic farm has small plantings of more than 90 varieties, providing an extended season of fresh fruit off the tree for almost six months. They use biological farming methods to produce peaches, plums, nectarines, apples and pears. Tip from Justin Walsh.
Mount Franklin Organics, Mount Franklin
Florian Hofinger grows heirloom tomatoes, culinary herbs, berries and a range of vegetables. He drip irrigates the gardens and fruit trees using passive solar power. Tip from Justin Walsh.
Peninsula Fresh Organics, Baxter
The fifth generation market gardeners specialise in heirloom vegetables, picked the evening before market to ensure freshness. Some of their specialties include the heirloom carrots, beetroot and radish.
Save Our Soil, Kyabram
Mark Rathbone’s father started one of the first biodynamic dairy farms at Kyabram in 1965. In 2009 Mark decided to diversify into herbs and vegetables instead, which is what he now grows. He is keen for people to discover the taste and quality difference.
Somerset Heritage Produce, Seymour
Robbie Keck believes in keeping the soil healthy to grow healthy plants. Vegetables grown range from Japanese turnips to purple carrots, kale to peas, about a dozen different heirloom tomatoes and staples like garlic.
Speckled Hen Farm, Lyonville
Speckled Hen Farm, a family-run farmhouse, grow organic heirloom fruit and vegetables to sell at the farmgate. Tip from Justin Walsh.
Spring Creek Organics, Navigators
David and Lisa Tatman produce a variety of vegetables: spaghetti squash, leeks, parsnips, swedes, daikon, tomatoes, and more at their A.C.O. certified organic farm. They regularly attend farmers’ markets and also sell at the farmgate.
Timbarra Farm, Yarra Junction
Chris Brock grows a wide range vegetables and fruit – carrots, beetroot, radishes, beans, basil, cabbages, zucchini, spring onions, strawberries, redcurrants, Brussels sprouts, Kiwi fruit, tamarillos, pumpkins and more – and sells them at farmers’ markets and through seasonal boxes.
Transition Farm, Mornington Peninsula
Over 150 varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown on the farm. Peter Carlyon and Robin Koster-Carlyon’s methods build the life of the soil with biodynamics, composts, green manures and livestock. They supply produce in a weekly box, delivered within a day of harvest.
Choku Bai Jo, North Lyneham and Curtin
The Pentony family have been selling chemical-free vegetables in Canberra for over 10 years. They have a passion for selling fresh produce direct and so have established the shop as a farmers’ market six days a week.
Also look at NSW producers.
Food Connect, Brisbane
Robert Pekin’s initiative supplies local, sustainably produced food to the community in South East Queensland. The produce comes from farmers living within a five-hour radius of Brisbane who are paid a fair price for their work and encouraged to use sustainable farming methods.
Natural Bridge Organics, Natural Bridge
Luke, Remi and team supply weekly seasonal vegetable boxes filled with freshly-picked certified organic (ACO) produce. The farm also has over 30 acres of active bush regeneration, restoration and conservation areas.
New View Farm, Stanthorpe
Holly and Justin aim to improving the health of the soil through the use of compost, cover cropping and crop rotations on their five-acre farm. They grow a variety of fruit, vegetables and edible flowers for local eaters.
Sandy Creek Organic Farm, Beerwah
This CSA farm is in its 14th year of growing more than 50 varieties of vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits for its members. Les and Marji Nicholls believe the quantity and quality of their produce is a reflection of growing locally, seasonally and with healthy soil.
Symara Organic Farm, Stanthorpe
Ray and Samantha Palmer grow quality organic food sustainably, for their local community. They love heirloom varieties for their flavour and each variety has different qualities; after all variety is the spice of life!
Amblemead Produce, Mount Gambier
James and Lesley are passionate about growing seasonal vegetables using best practice weed and pest control, organic fertilizer, and saved heirloom seeds.
The Food Forest, Gawler
A lifelong project for Annemarie and Graham Brookman, The Food Forest is a permaculture farm producing 160 varieties of organically certified nuts and fruit, and a wide variety of vegetables and herbs. Crops include feijoas, sapotes, pomegranates, apricots, pistachios and the Illawarra Plum. Tip from @Spooky_girl.
Starlight Springs Farm, Myponga
Ian and Colleen Francis have been farming for over 15 years. On a small 6 acre farm nested in the heart of myponga, they grow heirloom vegetables year-round. They raise most of their vegetables from seed on site, ensuring they are hardy and acclimatised. They also produce their own liquid manure, compost, and chook and cow manure.
Village Greens, Willunga Creek
Embedded in the Aldinga Arts Ecovillage, Nat, Claudia, Lucy and Ellie work a permaculture-inspired market garden to produce a wide array of vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, salad mix, beetroot, onions, garlic, basil, kohl rabi, carrots, broad beans, capsicums, spring onions, and beans.
Wagtail Urban Farm, Mitchell Park
Led by Steven Hoepfner, the urban farm grows a range of vegetables, with an emphasis on delicious, colourful salads, Asian greens and fresh herbs.
Merri Bee Organic Farm, Nannup
The Permaculture has been developing slowly for 25 year, home to Stewart Seesink, Bee Winfield and their son Lee. They produce an array of fruit, nuts and vegetables.
Channel Living, Woodbridge
The organisation has weekly boxes of fresh, organically grown produce, mostly grown south of Kingston. They support local farmers to grow food for local consumers, re-establishing the link between farms, farmers and the community. Tip from @foodconnect
Clifton Farm, Huonville
Since 2008, David and Melissa Frankcomb have been producing high quality, sustainable food using organic permaculture principals. You can pick your own cherries or forage for hazelnuts. They also grow peas, apples, garlic and potatoes.
Eatem Organics Food, Lonnavale
Pete, Prue and the de Vries family have been growing organic produce for the past 22 years with certification for the past 15. Their market stall is supplemented with produce from other certified organic farmers; they also have a home delivery service. Tip from @JoHCook
Golden Valley Farm, Cygnet
Golden Valley Farm is a small-scale, intensive organic market garden, located in the Huon Valley. Alex focuses on ethical food, grown with respect for materials, plants, the community and the wider world. All the farm produce is picked fresh and sold within 16 kilometres of the farm gate.
Harvest Feast, Hobart
Michelle Dyer provides her community with the finest and freshest Australian and Tasmanian produce sourced from farmers, growers and producers who care strongly about sustainable and chemical-free production. Visit her at Salamanca Market every Saturday.
Hobart City Farm, Hobart
A patch of grassland in central Hobart has been transformed into an abundant farm providing the best, freshest produce in the heart of the city. Hannah, Bridget, Louise, James and Sam welcome people onto the farm to see where their food comes from.
Little Farm, Nicholls Rivulet
Scotee Graham and Natasha Milenovic’s farm is comprised of an orchard with 450 trees, with more than 30 varieties of apples, pears, cherries and stonefruit. They also have an intensive market garden growing a variety of berries and vegetables. They farm according to the Australian organic standard, but have chosen to not become certified.
Old School Farm, Preston
Run by the residents of the Old Preston Primary School, the farm grows garlic using biological principles; they don’t work the ground too much, nor do they use fungicides, insecticides, harsh fertilizers or herbicides.
Produce to the People, Burnie
The organisation grows and gathers fresh, locally grown produce from backyard gardens and farms, then gives it to the food insecure. The irrepressible Penelope Dodd has set up a free food hub and nursery in The Farm at Burnie High School.
Provenance Growers, Neika
Paulette Whitney and Matt Deakin grow and supply edible plants and produce for kitchens and kitchen gardens. They use biological methods, local and recycled inputs, and seek out old and unusual varieties.
Contribute: Do you know a farm that should be here? Email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com for inclusion. Learn more about the directories.
CC BY 2.0 James Lee.
Sydney Morning Herald: Julian Cribb, Toxic food: who’s really to blame?, February 20, 2015
GoodFood: Rachel Clun, It’s all in the genes: why some tomatoes taste better than others, January 17, 2014
The Age: Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar, What they do to food, June 9, 2012
The Age: Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar, Cheap food comes at a price, May 28, 2012
Griffith REVIEW: Elaine Reeves, From harvest to market, Edition 27: Food Chain