After six years of working toward a dream of farming in the city, our first urban farm is finally a growing and thriving reality! Ten weeks ago the doors to Camperdown Commons opened, and as they did, so did our farm. In the early months of winter we planted crops of kale, parsley, coriander, salad greens, rocket, spinach, kohlrabi, carrots, silver beet and more in the middle of Sydney’s inner west.
Some crops have since been harvested, and sold to Acre - the restaurant on-site, to a few other local businesses, and importantly, to the local community via our now regular Saturday morning farm stall.
We’ve run several yoga classes a week overlooking our farm, have held some workshops teaching people how to grow their own food and soil at home, and have also squeezed a beer launch in there for a Spiced Pumpkin Ale collaboration with Young Henrys using pumpkins grown on this very patch before the farm gate opened.
We’ve worked hard - but of course we know without a shadow of a doubt that there’s an army of local community, friends, family and supporters at our backs that this wouldn’t have happened without.
We’re incredibly grateful to each and every person who has contributed their time volunteering, has contributed financially through our crowdfunding campaign, has offered their help with odd jobs, donated materials, plants and all else, come to visit, to take a yoga class or a workshop, bought a t-shirt or tote, or some of our produce grown and harvested in the middle of the city.
We’re also grateful to be working with our talented collaborators on-site, Camperdown Commons and Acre, and to Young Henrys for taking on one of our first crops to brew a beer from, with some of the profits coming back to our farm. And over the years of getting our little farm onto its plot, we’re thankful for the many, many people behind the scenes who helped us keep things ticking along, from support in finding spaces, gaining funding, gaining knowledge, and lending their expertise.
Things are still cracking along - our greenhouse is finally going up and due to be finished over the next week ready to ensure our spring seedlings move along, our compost bays and community compost program will follow not too far behind. Lots of new workshops and talks on the farm are scheduled and on their way, and yoga and pilates classes will increase as the level of sunshine does too.
But first, a quick breath in and out, as we follow a winter of learning, of meeting many amazing Camperdown and inner west locals, of doing more physical and mental work than some days our bodies and minds would allow but being satisfied all the same, and of course, of a passing season of nourishing winter greens, herbs and veggies grown right where we live. Doesn’t get much better.
Words: Emma Bowen // Photos: Tree of Life + Emma Bowen