New Farming Development Grant Announced – 11 August 2017

New Farming Development Grant Announced – 11 August 2017

In partnership with the Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the Willunga Farmers Market are excited to announce a new $12,000 farming development grant for the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Village Greens of Willunga Creek, an existing farming enterprise which is currently trading at the Willung Farmers Market have been awarded the Grant to facilitate the expansion of their organic market garden to include a commercial greenhouse and coolroom/post-harvesting facilities, to meet the clear market gap in local, organically produced long-season tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums.

Established in 2015, Village Greens were seeking support to allow them to become a viable agricultural business long-term. “We do this because we have a passion for small-scale, local food and farming, and want to be a leading part of the next generation of farmers on the Fleurieu Peninsula.” Says Nat Wiseman of Village Greens.

“We recognise we need to focus more on higher value greenhouse crops on our limited land base. We also recognise a clear market gap for greenhouse produce in the early and late season at both the Willunga Farmers’ Market and our other local marketing channels, such as restaurants and our produce box service, which will be expanded as a result.”

The $10,000 cash grant plus $2000 in mentorship and training will allow Village Greens to learn advanced greenhouse growing techniques from a respected grower, such as grafting, multi-stem pruning and training, temperature management for optimum growth and yield, and succession planting for year-long harvests. It will also facilitate the development of the commercial greenhouse, expanded cool-room and post-harvest packing area which is essential in order to maintain high quality produce standards.

“For us farming represents an incredibly fulfilling profession that requires both physical stamina and mental acuity, but also one which provides a rich emotional reward – both in eating the produce, but also by connecting to the people who eat food that we have grown. Our ages range between 24 and 36 and yet the average age of an Australian farmer is approaching 60. We want to see agriculture in Australia revitalised as a livelihood where young people can lead fulfilling lives connected to the land and to community.”

It was passion and commitment such as this that prompted us to expand our support for farming on the Fleurieu Peninsula by introducing a Willunga Farmers Market Development Grant.

More information
Pip Forrester, Chair, Willunga Farmers Market
Ph: 0414 530 386