On the banks of the Hawkesbury River at the base of the Blue Mountains lies some of Sydney’s most fertile farmland. A four-acre farm in Richmond grows seasonal vegetables as part of a model known as Community Supported Agriculture.
Locals interested in eating local, organic vegetables join the farm and subscribe for a season of vegetables up front. The farmer can then purchase seed and compost at the beginning of the season when it’s needed. The resulting vegetables aren’t ever wasted as they are already sold.
Subscribers can visit the farm to see how their food is grown and where it comes from. This model contributes to a healthy and sustainable local food system.
The face behind this venture is Springwood local Alice Warner, a former primary school teacher turned farmer. After studying agriculture at Western Sydney University, Alice followed her dream to provide fresh local food to her community.
She started Five Serves Produce (fiveservesproduce.com.au) in 2017. Warner has been impressed by the willingness of people to embrace seasonal eating and to cook more creatively as a result. Tomatoes are not available in winter, but the frost-sweetened rocket and radish more than make up for it.
It’s a different way of eating, but one that is hugely rewarding for those open to a simpler, more sustainable food future.