As I come to write this post, I realise how long it has been since I last wrote to you…
and sooooooo much has happened!
Where to begin?
Well as you all know, I took on a farm lease in Main Arm, and moved there last year, however, it became apparent that this project was not going to come to fruition. The owners ended up moving back into the area after only 6 months, (They planned to be gone for 5 years), and I let go of the idea of farming there. At the same time, Isaac during this year, had become increasingly frustrated, and disheartened and chose to leave farming.
So, I have been running the farm alone since December of last year, which has been amazing, I have learned sooooo much in 6 months! I have implemented new systems, and boosted my production yields significantly. Up until last month, I was selling my produce up at Gold Coast Farmers Markets, as well as locally. However, because of the changes to my business, I have been finding it too much to finish up my farming week with a 2:30am start and a 10 hour shift at the markets every Saturday morning!
It was my idea that I would move my farm and business 100% into wholesale to give me some more time and space for my children and me….and to replace my gold coast farmers markets retail income with local wholesale income. (I do not have access to local farmers markets (have been on the waiting list for 3+ years).
As I have been going around the Shire, looking for other sales channels to sell my produce, I have not yet found enough demand locally to sustain my farm and business as it currently operates. The vast majority of businesses, purchase their produce from wholesalers (organic and conventional), and these channels have now been sewn up by larger business’s all the way up the coast to Brisbane. Small chains of health food stores have been taken over by large corporate companies, who have decided to only purchase from the organic distributors based in Rocklea, cutting out many small farmers along the way.
So, as a small scale, organic farmher, it is becoming more difficult to find buyers and channels for my produce and flowers.
Most organic farms around my size, need to be able to sell approximately $3000+ worth of produce each week, to be financially sustainable, which is why it is great if you can find local farmers markets that will support you, or if you have a pumping local food scene, which we don’t 🙁
It is frustrating to hear in the media about the growing demand for organics, when I am in a situation of having more produce than I am able to sell, and through my networks of local organic farmers, the same story is echoed over and over again….Indeed. I have been offered 4 other certified organic farms to farm locally, as the farmers at each of them are facing the same dilemma, and have decided to pull out.
I have plenty of passion and determination, and love for my work – however, I can’t continue to farm in the same way, without enough buyers for my produce.
Which brings me to this point where I need to ask for your HELP!
The Kind of Help I am Needing:
1. Sales Agent
Someone who would love to help to find me a large buyer(s) for all the produce on my farm, that isn’t currently allocated to my current customers.
2. More Local Outlets
– Florists, Cafes, Restaurants, Retreats, Hotels, Supermarkets etc. that would like to support me to continue to grow locally fo this community.
(I have a $50 minimum order for local delivery)
3. Growing Partnership
I would love to grow for a large cafe / restaurant / school / retreat or other large organisation.
4. Contract Growing
I am a skilled grower, and have 4 years commercial experience growing vegetables, herbs, microgreens, cut and edible flowers, so am offering to contract grow as well.
Anyone who would love to come and volunteer on the farm to assist me to get all the farm work done faster, so I can devote more time to finding buyers, and creating much needed change in the local food scene – Tuesday afternoons are good at the moment. (I’m not able to offer the produce exchange at this time, due to my own time constraints and situation….I am able to offer you a great experience of a beautiful working farm, to come and learn organic growing with me).
Anyone who has a contact with local media that would be interested in sharing my story.
The Echo would be awesome!, journalists, radio stations, podcasts etc.
7. Farmers Markets
If anyone has connections with the local farmers markets, and can speak to them on my behalf.
Any opportunity that involves growing and teaching organic farming
9. Local Distribution Solution
There are a number of local organic farms in similar situations to me, could be an opportunity for someone to step into.
So, if you feel you can help me in anyway, or can help share my story out there, to help me connect with the support I require, please do contact me…
THANKYOU!!!! From my heart, I appreciate and am grateful for ALL and ANY support.
I really believe in the power of small scale organic farming to help bring about part of the changes we need to make as a community to ensure sustainability, and local food sovereignty.
In the meantime, I have some other projects that I am working on behind the scenes:
– My first ebook “Bee Friendly Blooms – An Easy Guide To Creating Your Own Cut Flower Garden”
– A regular local food networking event held each season, where procurers of produce can meet local growers. This will be presented in collaboration with a couple of awesome local food advocates, and growers in the region. Our intention is to support more local business’s to become aware of, and buy local produce, which ensures that small local organic farms like me can continue to grow for this community. First event is likely to be held in early August.
Thankyou for staying with me this far,
I want to say a HUGE thankyou to the local chef’s and business’s that currently support me, and to everyone that buys my greens and flowers.
It is because of you, that I can do what I do,
And I look forward to finding more ways to GROW 🙂