As subdivisions and mega-mansions eat into the Illawarra’s once-generous backyards, one particularly lush northern suburbs parcel is biting back.
Off George Avenue in Bulli, the 6000-square metre yard of an old cottage is being transformed into a thriving, mixed-use, community farm.
There are beds of organically-grown vegetables, chickens producing eggs, bees for honey and fish – residents of a large aquaponics system – for dinner.
The vegetables sell at markets and the eggs change hands at the “farm gate”, where an honesty box awaits.
The farm is the brainchild of former Flame Tree food co-op directors Luke Murphy and Marina Scozzafava. Ms Scozzafava bought the property last year; Mr Murphy farms it. With others, they work collectively as Farmers by Choice. On March 20 the site will undergo a “permablitz” – a community working bee led by acclaimed area enviro-volunteers, Permablitz the Gong. The blitz was expected to complete the farm’s transformation into a community resource, providing not only food but opportunities for visitors to learn the increasingly popular permaculture principles, said Mr Murphy.
“Permaculture is not just about gardening; it’s the whole ethos of how people are looking to live their lives. Slowing down a bit. Learning where food comes from.”
“It’s also a really good design system, adaptable for a huge range of different backyards,” he said.
“It just makes sense.”
Jobs on the day of the blitz will include fencing, landscaping, planting fruit trees and vegetable and herb seedlings and creating new vegetable growing areas.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 11 to register your interest.