Pioneers of the organic food movement, David Forrest and Sue Mangan have been farming in Federal since 1978. As a community we are fortunate to have their incredible knowledge available to us through their Organic Forrest stall at the farmers’ markets. Their son, Dougal, has recently joined the team and is continuing the family tradition growing Certified Organic produce on his farm, also at Federal.
With an Agriculture degree from Hawkesbury Ag College, David knew the industrial agricultural system was headed in the wrong direction and was determined to grow food sustainably. After purchasing an old dairy farm the couple set about planting 20,000 native trees, and created a produce farm, turning their dreams of living off the land organically into reality.
Organic Forrest produce a wide range of seasonal vegetables, salad greens, macadamias, bush foods, potatoes, ginger, garlic, citrus and flowers, and kombucha, and jamu. To deal with pests David ensures a biodiverse habitat, with healthy plants resistant to pests and diseases.
Always active in the organic industry, David previously worked with NASAA (National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia) assisting in the development of organic standards. Teaching agriculture at TAFE, David developed the curriculum for their organic farming training course, still available as a statewide program. Now retired from TAFE he works as a casual lecturer and tutor at SCU.
David fervently believes in a circular economy and the importance of reliable, secure access to healthy food. For this he needs partnerships with consumers, hence his decision to sell through farmers markets. Supermarkets, he explains, supportive as they are of commercial agriculture, add to environmental degradation and climate change.
Dougal and Hannah are at New Brighton Farmers Markets 7–11am Tuesdays, and David and Sue are at Mullumbimby Farmers Markets 7–11am Fridays, drop in to discuss your organic gardening with these organic aficionados.