COMMUNITY farming is a growing practice that offers many benefits for farmers and the local area, providing people with an accessible avenue to set up a farming business while also creating fresh, healthy, and local produce to their regions.
Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op (HOFC) is one of these farms taking part in the trend, forming a collaboration of diverse organic farmers who lease land on a single farm.
The variety of produce prepares regional communities for the possibilities of a food crisis, no longer a distant concern but a very real possibility with increasing severity of weather events, increasing temperatures, and decreasing rainfall.
The aim of the HOFC is to make farming as productive and profitable as possible, within a collaborative framework and using regenerative and organic principles. This creates a more adaptable farming space with diverse produce, while providing the community with peace of mind that their produce has been grown ethically and sustainably.
Owned by ageing farmers Katie and Hugh, they lease out land on their farm to smaller agriculture producers wanting a cheaper start to their business and don’t require a full farm yet. This allows them to keep their family farm, while also lending a helping hand to emerging farmers.
Current members of the co-op include Tellurian Fruit Gardens, Gung Hoe Growers, Sellar Farmhouse Dairy, Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery, and Grow Great Fruit. Each business is passionate about learning their craft, feeding their community, and making direct and meaningful connections with customers.
Harvesting diverse produce within the community increases resilience by reducing reliance on food imports and passes on farming knowledge to the next generation. Supporting nearby farms keeps your money within the community creating a strong local economy that will be resilient against climate change.
You can find more information about Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op on their website: https://hofcoop.com.au/home/ or use the current member links to find out how pick up some of their great produce!