The Powell family have been farming in Burringbar since the ‘50s when Lance Powell’s father purchased their holding. Because they space their crops and farm multiple varieties, you will always be able to source avocados and bananas from the Mount Chowan Organics stall at Mullum Farmers Market. Another of their specialties is green pawpaw, which should have a good crop now, through until winter, as well as pumpkins, and their citrus is just starting to ripen.
Previously, Mount Chowan sold their produce through the central market, but Lance found himself growing more and more frustrated, to the point he was ready to sell up and quit farming if he had to continue operating in this way. The brokers had become increasingly hard to please, and Lance found he had to spray his fruit to ensure there were no imperfections. The introduction of farmers’ markets to the region was the perfect solution and now Lance and his family grow organically, selling a wide range of produce directly to marketgoers, who don’t want or expect perfect-looking fruit and vegetables.
‘There is a huge amount of work in brush cutting, especially with all the water we have had, but that is just part of the territory when growing organically and not spraying. It is completely worth the extra work – organic and sustainable farming is so much more rewarding, and I love being able to sell my produce at the farmers’ markets where I know it won’t end up in cold storage,’ says Lance.
‘I enjoy the people and the interaction, ever since we started selling this way I have a spring in my step.’
Lance’s favourite is the yellow dragonfruit: ‘they’re very sweet, a lot of people aren’t sure what they are, they’re the sweetest dragonfruit and you can just cut them in half and feed your face – you can go for your life’!
Mount Chowan Organics sell their produce at the Mullum Farmers Markets Fridays 7am–11am.