The summer 2019/2020 season was Farm it Forward’s first growing season and was a very challenging time for growing food in the Blue Mountains. We had problems to solve many fronts, with drought, water restrictions, record breaking temperatures and bushfires. The COVID 19 crisis followed soon after, and it became all the more important to create more food security in our local area.
Despite all the challenges, we are proud to now have 9 plots in production, which have so far produced over 2 tonnes of produce for the local community. Our produce was provided to our landowners in their weekly veggie boxes, and there was plenty of excess to sell to local co-ops and restaurants.
We are currently employing 5 young farmers (with a sixth who has now moved through the program and moved onto other things). All our farmers continuously learn about many aspects of market gardening from setting up plots, sowing and planting, maintenance, harvesting and selling produce.
We’ve also been blessed with the help of many wonderful volunteers (more than 200 so far), young and old, including youth from a local high school “youth at risk” group, and parents & children. Our volunteers have all learned valuable skills about gardening and growing food, which they’ve taken home to their gardens and community groups.