Urban farming set to grow in Sydney's West
Published: 20 September 2019 at 12:00 am
Sydney’s food bowl is set to get a boost with Western Sydney Parklands increasing its urban farming footprint providing greater access to fresh, heathy food.
The Parklands is calling for Farmers to apply for a number of new land leases in the Horsley Park agricultural area – 100 hectares of urban farms in the heart of the Parklands.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers are grown at the 16 existing urban farms and sold at markets across Sydney as well as straight from the farm gate. The new land parcels range from three to nine hectares and are available for mixed agricultural uses such as open growing, orchards and glasshouses.
For generations, urban farming in the region has offered a pathway for new migrants to Australia, enabling family farming traditions to be carried on and connecting the community with fresh local produce.
Meng Sun from family-run Sun’s Fresh Farm has been in the Parkland’s precinct for eight years and farming has been in the family for 25 years. Sun’s grows seasonal produce including zucchini, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for markets, cafes and food trucks.
“Our customers tell us they notice a real difference in the taste of our produce because it’s so fresh,” Ms Sun said.
“Something as simple as a cucumber – people say they didn’t know it could taste so good. The food trucks we supply say that our produce lasts much longer because of the freshness.”
Alex Doan at Sydney Flowers Express quit a brief stint as a civil engineer to re-join the family business. He now grows gerberas, carnations and snapdragons and says working outdoors as an urban farmer makes him feel ‘free’.
“I went back to the land and my roots,” Mr Doan said. “I love the independence of farming - connecting with nature and the land. Urban farming is great for the younger generations providing opportunities to learn family skills and get their hands dirty.”
The Parklands is the largest urban park in Australia, spanning 27 kilometres across 5,280 hectares – almost the same size as Sydney Harbour.
Western Sydney Parkland’s Executive Director, Suellen said it’s vital to grow food closer to where people live – in its cities.
“People are becoming increasingly interested in learning about food and the connection between paddock to plate,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“Urban farming is a rising food phenomenon and we’re proud to be expanding our urban agriculture and inviting new farmers to join our precinct.
“These farms are nurturing our communities and our cities and we’re looking forward to welcoming more of them to our beautiful Parklands.”
An expression of interest is now open calling for environmentally sustainable and viable farming proposals.
Western Sydney Parklands Trust is committed to a long-term sustainable future. The Parkland’s updated Plan of Management, adopted last year, includes a suite of environmental measures.
These include increasing the bushland corridor from 1000 to 2000 hectares by 2030. The plan includes an environmental strategic direction with strong measures in emission reduction, water, waste and greening by 2030.
Applications for farming proposals are open until 4pm 14 October 2019.
Expressions of Interest: click here.
M: 0450 830 137