Golden Gum Farms
Farm operations are managed by Steve Smith and Ethan Loosmore (VicHealth Grow Cook Share Food Hub Trainee)
Bendigo, City of Greater Bendigo
Tell us about yourself and what you grow?
The market garden on this property is currently being managed by Bendigo Foodshare as part of their Grow Cook Share Food Hub. The garden produces a large range of seasonal vegetables - kale, silverbeet, garlic, pumpkin, onion, Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, eggplant and the list goes on.
This property is owned by Jess and Jeremy White who started the market garden and were providing weekly vegetable boxes to Bendigo households. Four years ago, they needed to leave farming but were still very keen to see the land being used and offered some of the patch to Bendigo Foodshare for a small project. The partnership with Bendigo Foodshare was born and continues to evolve.
The Grow Cook Share Food Hub project aims to increase the amount of locally grown and made, healthy and culturally appropriate food within our region. The project employs two young people who are currently working in the garden under the mentorship and training of Steve. Steve's position is also funded by Bendigo Foodshare and there are other volunteers who help out. They spend approximately three days a week working at the farm site. Produce sales are currently going back into the business and the volume of produce is continuing to increase.
When is your produce in season?
There is always something in season no matter what time of year however late summer and Autumn are peak times.
Do you stock produce anywhere in our region?
The produce is being sold at the Old Church Growers Market that is held once a month; given out through Bendigo Foodshare's food relief network; and some local restaurants including Hoo-gah and Ms Batterhams use the produce in their dishes.
What's your favourite recipe using your own freshly grown produce?
Steve and Ethan both agree that a favourite recipe is hard to come up with as they both enjoy eating whatever is in season in the patch. At the moment, the silverbeet is flourishing so Steve went for Spanakopita.
Ethan is currently enjoying roasting up a whole lot of root vegetables including pumpkin, potato, carrot and the Jerusalem artichokes. He made the point that the Jerusalem artichokes need to be roasted the day of harvesting for the best results.
Click here for Steve's Spanakopita recipe.