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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

The market community that’s walking the walk 

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L to R: Rod Bruin – Summit Farm Organics (President of Mullum & New Brighton Farmers market); Evan Anderson – Kennedy Lane/ Hungry Earth Agroecology; and Venetia Scott – Hungry Earth Agroecology.

Who doesn’t love shopping at your local farmers’ market? It means you know where your nutritious, seasonal produce comes from, you can talk to the farmer, ask questions and share their passion for what they produce. Because food tastes better if you know where it comes from. 

*see note below re: Farmers Market cancellations.

You can now take it one step further, really get down to grassroots level, get your hands dirty and see the produce in the ground. 

TROPO is our fabulous local Tweed Richmond Organic Producers Organisation. Established in 1989 as a local action group dedicated to fostering organic agriculture on the North Coast. 

Education is a major focus of TROPO and they hold regular farm walks, most recently on Saturday 31 July when they visited Rod and Tanya Bruin’s thriving property in Tyalgum. You will know Rod and Tania from their Summit Organics stall at New Brighton and Mullum Farmers Markets. 

The farm walk at Summit Organics took the visitors from seedlings to harvest and was a way for people interested in learning more about growing organic produce to gather, share ideas and ask questions of really experienced farmers. Rod discussed their practices in regenerative farming, soil preservation, struggles and successes on farm, integrated pest management, irrigation techniques, succession planting and natural disaster mitigation. 

Did we mention they finish the farm walks with the famous ‘Shed Talks’ over an obscenely scrumptious, organic feast? It is a buffet of whatever is good and fresh on that day, so no agonising choices or menu envy. 

TROPO farmers and members are an invaluable source of practical knowledge and firsthand experience. Other members of TROPO, apart from Rod, Tanya and Ryan Bruin that you will know from the Farmers Markets include Sue, David and Dougal Forrest from Organic Forrest who were pioneers of the organic farming movement in the Northern Rivers from their farm in Federal. Along with loads of organic produce they sell fire cider, jam and macadamia nuts and butter. 

You’ll also recognise Kate Thompson, farmer and rainforest regenerator extraordinaire from The Organic Avocado, Pam Morrow from Ilona herbs, the growers from Seedlings Organic and Skye from Byron Gourmet Mushrooms. 

The legendary TROPO Farm Walks happen regularly throughout the year. The next Farm Walk will be in early September at a macca orchard in Lindendale. 

Non-members are welcome to come along for a $10 donation, or they can sign up on the day. You can follow TROPO on socials or sign up through their website for notices. 

New Brighton Farmers Markets is held Tuesdays 7–11am, and Mullumbimby Farmers Market is held Fridays 7–11am.

*UPDATED Wednesday 11 August 8.40am: The Byron Farmers Market has been cancelled this Thursday 12 August, with market organisers citing safety reasons, due to unique nature of the 3 local cases, and difficulties enforcing mask-wearing compliance in market customers. The Mullumbimby Farmers Market on Friday 13 August has also been cancelled for the same reasons.

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