Recently, I was fortunate to be part of the first ever working bee/farm tour organised by the amazing food co-op I’m a member of. We visited our main supplier, a farm just a handful of kilometres away from where we all live, on a cold, rain-sodden mid-April morning.
Farmer Darren walked us around parts of the farm. We learnt about the megatons of coal power no longer being used because their mushroom growing enterprise has switched to solar. We saw the swathe of unused land, left untilled because of the disastrous pipeline interconnector project that has cut through their fields to reach the adjacent creek. We saw lime orchards planted to replace pineapples, when multinational buyer demands got too crazy to respond to. We saw raindrops glistening on aubergines, bees buzzing around zucchini flowers, seedlings bursting with life ready to be planted out. It felt so right to meet the farmer whose family feeds our families, so wonderful to know that what was growing on the farm then would be in our shopping baskets within short weeks and months, without middle-men, mark-ups, freezers, pesticides or food miles.
We helped to prune, tame and fertilise passionfruit (they’ll be ready for eating in about 9 months from now), enjoyed local produce snacks, warmed up with steamy tea and enjoyed the sweet company of fellow co-op members.