In this time…
We take growing food and feeding our community very seriously. We love doing it, but for all of us at the Co-Op one of the big reasons we got into farming is because we believe that the industrial and global food system is extremely fragile and when something like the coronavirus happens, we can start to see the truth of that.
We take the health, safety and wellbeing of our community and ourselves seriously and through this ever-evolving situation we are doing everything we can to both continue to feed you and stay healthy ourselves. Every week, from produce grown on our farm, we feed well over 200 local households. If we get sick, those people don’t get our produce.
We are taking more stringent health and safety precautions both on farm and at market (and everywhere in between) to make sure our produce gets to you clean and safe. We will be trying out a new system at the markets this week. It will be a little slower, but it’s the best we can come up with at this point.
The current advice from government is that farmers markets are exempt from the ‘no gatherings of over 500 people’ rule as outdoor food markets are a vital part of keeping communities fed and healthy. Our weekly market doesn’t have 500 people in attendance at any one time any way, but we’re still being careful.
We will continue to adapt our systems, as we need to. But for this week this is how the market will look at our stall:
- We will have a ‘number’ system (Deli style) to prevent people having to cue.
- We will call out your number and personally serve you so that only our sanitized hands touch your produce.
- Please bring a basket, bag or box to carry your produce home in.
- We are encouraging everyone to pay by card where possible as handling cash can be unhygienic.
- We will be sanitizing our hands frequently throughout the market.
- Please make sure you also wash all produce before you eat it.
If you aren’t able to make it to the market or farm pick ups because you are self isolating, please get in contact. We will deliver if needs be, though it is definitely not our preference.
If you are unwell or have been around anyone who is unwell, please don’t come to the market. Get in touch and we can work out an alternative so you can still get produce. We need to stay well so we can keep feeding the people!
It can be easy to let fear and paranoia take over. We are doing our very best to take a measured, clear and preventative approach to feeding the community.
Stay healthy and well, care for each other and don’t forget to check on your neighbors and friends. In these times of increased ‘social isolation’ lets all find ways to stay connected and strong.
The Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op team (Sas, Mel, Tess, Ant, Katie, Hugh and Merv)
HOFC is a collaboration of diverse organic farmers who lease land on a single farm in Harcourt. We are passionate about learning our craft, feeding our community, and making direct and meaningful connections with our customers, for example through Community Supported Agriculture.
Current members are:
- Tellurian Fruit Gardens—Ant Wilson has leased the orchard (previously called Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens); a certified organic fruit orchard growing cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples and pears. Selling through CSA shares, farmers’ markets, pick your own, farm shop, and custom orders.
- Gung Hoe Growers—Mel Willard and Sas Allardice are the two hoes who make up Gung Hoe Growers. They grow real, dirty, food and build soil, belly laughs and veggie porn. They feed their local community through veggie boxes, a seasonal farm shop and various restaurants and cafes.
- Sellar Farmhouse Dairy—Tessa Sellar runs a micro-dairy with the help of her partner Oli, milking 10 cows using sustainable farming principles, processed on-site into fresh milk, yogurt and butter. Sold locally through CSA subscriptions and farmers markets. Available 2019.
- Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery—Under the mentorship of Merv Carr who has been grafting and budding heritage fruit trees for over 50 years, Katie Finlay and Sas Allardice are continuing the tradition. Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery grows a huge variety of quality heritage fruit trees for sale in winter as barerooted trees.
The aim of HOFC is to make the farm as productive and profitable as possible, within a collaborative framework and using regenerative and organic principles. We’re looking for new members! Find out more here, and if you want to know more, get in touch here.
We reckon this new way of farming will be good for ageing farmers like Katie and Hugh who want to step back from active farming but don’t want to sell the family farm, for emerging farmers who want to get started but can’t afford land, and customers who are yearning for a connection to the farmers who produce their food. In time we plan to share our model (but first we have to figure out if it works!).