Our Farmers are currently busy managing our productive market garden which provides the restaurant and community with a variety of seasonal produce each week.
We believe healthy plants begin with healthy soil. Healthy plants mean less pests and disease. We use the following techniques to keep our soil in the best of health: cover cropping with green manures, crop rotation, mulching, composting, interplanting, animal rotations, and less intensive tilling to maintain soil structure.
Greens from the farm
Josh and Lynette Dooley from ‘Greens from The Farm’ have been with us since the beginning. Their produce business now occupies a 1.5-acre plot in the Market Garden.
Making a livelihood growing organic produce wasn’t always on the radar for Josh and Lynette. Josh worked at the Retravision store in Byron Bay for 10 years, while Lynette was a chef from Sydney with time in the kitchen at Icebergs and Bills. She made the move to Byron Bay, where she met Josh and the rest is history! One week after their wedding, Josh and Lynette took their first delivery of seedlings and began planting out at The Farm. They now have two daughters, Lillian and Amelia, who are regular helpers in the Market Garden.
During peak times, Josh and Lynette plant between 3000 and 5000 seedlings a fortnight. They grow salad leaves, herbs, edible flowers, garlic, kale, spinach, rainbow chard, endive Warrigal greens and more.
passion plot at the farm
Those who have met Grant on duty in the Market Garden or on one of his guided Farm Tours know that he is as passionate about his canine bestie, Jeta, as he is about his half-acre Market Garden space, appropriately named ‘Passion Plot at The Farm’.
Grant’s background is in furniture design and hospitality, but one of his great passions is permaculture design. Moving to the Northern Rivers seeking a new direction, Grant formed friendships with many of the young farmers in the area. These community networks quickly led him to The Farm, where he learned the ropes of small-scale farming firsthand. He is now working hard to build his produce business, supplying the Three Blue Ducks restaurant and Produce Store.
Grant is currently growing bush beans, carrots, beetroot, radish, swedes, parsnip, fennel, purple broccoli and green cabbage. He has grown artichokes, celeriac, chillies, beans, sweet potato and button squash, among other crops.
hungry earth ecology
Evan Anderson from Hungry Earth Ecology has plenty of hands-on experience in local small-scale farming, having established three other market gardens in the Byron Shire. These experiences highlighted for him the difficulties with setting up a sustainable market garden from scratch, particularly for young people. Apart from the land, there are many other costs involved, including weed gunnel, compost, organic fertilisers, tools and machinery. The Farm provides Evan and the other growers with access to farm equipment and machinery free of charge and their first 12 months of rent has been waived to help get their business off the ground.
Evan is currently growing a wide range of vegetables including sunflower sprouts, Japanese turnips, collard greens and kangkong and many trellis varieties such as sugar-snap peas (his childhood favourite) and cherry tomatoes. Evan has created biodiversity in the Market Garden, attracting small birds and other beneficial insects to his plot.
Jessica Royan, originally a Sydney city slicker in the world of marketing and advertising, decided that corporate life was not fulfilling her and so she set off on a journey to find her true passion. After spending some time overseas, she returned to Australia and was drawn to the Northern Rivers for its strong food culture, open-minded philosophies and dynamic, passionate and interesting people.
After completing a three-month internship studying permaculture, Jessica attended a Northern Rivers Young Farmers Alliance gathering held at The Farm. Through this group she was given the opportunity to work on several small-scale local farms and even helped some of our existing growers on The Farm. With their encouragement and support, Jessica took the plunge and put her hand up to run her own plot on The Farm.
Jessica grows beans, beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, pumpkin, daikon, snow peas and capsicum among other crops.