If you grow food for sale in South Australia – whether you’re a tiny operation or a large-scale farm – you’re a ‘Farmer’ in our food system. Which means you’re also a ‘Producer’!
Below you’ll find every local resource we currently know about that will help you as a Farmer (and Producer). Or, if you’re not a farmer yourself, this page will help you connect with local farmers in your area.
CURRENT SA URBAN FOOD FARMERS
Wagtail Urban Farm
Wagtail Urban Farm is South Australia’s own microscale market garden. The tiny farm is located on half a house block in Mitchell Park, less than 10kms from Adelaide’s city centre.
Wagtail grows a range of vegetables, with an emphasis on delicious, colourful salads, Asian greens and fresh herbs. They largely sell to local markets and via their Facebook page. Co-founder Steven Hoepfner also releases regular informative videos via his YouTube channel.
Village Greens of Willunga Creek
Village Greens is a small, diversified organic market garden situated on the peri-urban fringe of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula, an hour south of Adelaide. These young farmers are passionate about sustainable agriculture and the blossoming local and fair food movement in Australia.
FARMER TRAINING & INCUBATOR COURSES
The Food Forest
Developed by Annemarie and Graham Brookman and their children Tom and Nikki, The Food Forest near Gawler is a permaculture farm and learning centre. It demonstrates how an ordinary family, with a typical Australian income, can grow its own food, run a small farm and create a productive and diverse landscape.
The Food Forest runs several courses throughout the year on permaculture, building with straw bales, organic vegetable growing, fruit and nut production, sustainable house design and more. Visit their upcoming course page for details.
So far Farmer Incubator is the only Australian ‘urban’ farmer incubator program we’re aware (operating in and around Melbourne, Victoria). If you know of any other programs – please let us know!
The non-profit, established in 2013, aims to help grow future farmers from an enterprising collective of young people who are concerned about food quality, sovereignty and security, and who are yearning to work the land. It has two programs: an annual introductory program called Pop-Up Garlic Farmers, and a more advanced agribusiness program called Pomodoro People.
WAYS TO CONNECT WITH OTHER FARMERS
Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering
Deep Winter began in early 2015 when a bunch of farmer friends decided to meet in of winter, when they’d have enough time to swap notes and share a drink. It’s now an annual event that moves around Australia. You can also join the Deep Winter closed Facebook group.
Deep Winter 2019 was hosted in South Australia and ran over three jam-packed days of farm visits, talks, shared meals and panels (you can read the re-cap here and find podcasts of several sessions by searching ‘Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering 2019’ on your chosen podcast provider).
Future Farmers SA
Formed in late 2019 following the Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering in South Australia, Future Farmers SA is a community of starting-out growers and farmers.
The group provides a place for collaboration and support between growers, and hopes to assist and inspire others to take the leap into small scale farming.
Young Farmers Connect
Young Farmers Connect (YFC) is a national non-profit committed to cultivating networks, resources and community for young farmers. They provide educational platforms and community connections that encourage our young agrarians to farm for the future, supporting the use of regenerative, holistic and sustainable agricultural practices.
YFC began in 2015 in NSW. Several chapters now exist in NSW, VIC, WA, TAS and QLD. South Australia doesn’t yet have a chapter – but you could always start your own!
Open Food Network
The non-profit Open Food Network is building a new food system that is fair, local, and transparent. The organisation produces resources and runs events and projects that help community food enterprises thrive.
At the heart of it all is an open-source platform that aims to enable new and ethical supply chains between farmers and eaters. Food producers can sell online, and wholesalers can manage buying groups and supply through networks of food hubs and shops. Communities can bring together producers to create a virtual farmers’ market, building a resilient local food economy.
Adelaide and Mt. Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board
Although intended for larger land blocks, several land management services are offered by the NRM Board. Technical support is available for landholders through tailored advice, property visits, training and publications. Sustainable agriculture is just one of their areas of support.
Managing soils for sustainable production
This six-page ‘Managing soils for sustainable production’ report, produced by the Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, details how to test soil, manage erosion and acidity, and improve soil structure.
Urban Farm Business Plan
Written for American urban farmers by the US Environmental Protection Agency, this Urban Farm Business Plan can provide a useful perspective for Aussie farmers on how to go about planning a new urban farm.
Post-harvest management of vegetables
This website is packed full of useful information regarding post-harvest management of some key vegetables you may be growing. The website and information is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the vegetable industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.
Poultry keeping on a small scale
Written by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, this four-page ‘Poultry keeping on a small scale’ report provides a useful overview of all the factors that go into good poultry management.
FARMER VIDEO LIBRARY
The Food Forest YouTube
Gawler’s The Food Forest has a great Youtube channel, with plenty of hands-on practical advice and interesting interviews. These are two of our favourites.
Village Greens of Willunga Creek
Gardening Australia featured our very own Village Greens of Willunga Creek!
Help us uncover those working towards a regenerative
local food system. Do you know of something we should add here?
MEET OUR FARMER CONNECTORS
‘Connectors’ are South Australians who volunteer their time to help link our network, providing information, contacts and connections to our members.
Priscilla Buckley is the founder and farmer at Adelaide Urban Food Mosaic. Although AUFM is in its’ infancy, Priscilla’s grand vision is to see a mosaic of interconnected, supportive and productive growing spaces amongst our concrete jungle, providing sustainable, nutritious food to the local community.
She believes there is huge potential for creating and expanding a micro-farm network within metro Adelaide that complements our peri-urban growers.
Have a question for Priscilla? Join our network to gain Connector access, then email email@example.com using the subject line ‘Farmers’.
Ella McHenry and a community of starting-out growers and farmers have kicked off Future Farmers SA. They are also the SA Chapter of Young Farmers Connect.
They aim to provide a place for collaboration and support between growers, and hope to assist and inspire others to take the leap into small scale farming.
Have a question for Ella? Join our network to gain Connector access, then email firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line ‘Farmers’.
Are you our missing Connector?
We are looking for another Connector – are you interested or already engaged in this space? Do you have good connections with others? Or do you keep up with relevant events?
Then please – get in touch by emailing us:
What’s involved? Less than an hour a month (when needed) responding to questions and letting us know about resources or events within your food space.
IN OUR FOOD SYSTEM, FARMERS ARE LINKED TO:
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