New farmers dive in head first to bring better health to themselves and customers
Noosa Leafy Greens
Stephen and Bronwyn Richards didn’t have much farming experience when they purchased their friend’s inorganic farm in Lake McDonald on the Sunshine Coast. Stephen had noticed through his own life experience that the chemicals used on farms that use pesticides made many health conditions worse, including his own. Soon, they began farming without pesticides, and through trial and error found a way to farm chemical free using predator bugs to control farm pests. They then entered the challenging realm of farming with organic based fertilisers in the nutrient feed.
Noosa Leafy Greens, now the spray free farm that has sprouted from the farm the Richards starting working on in April 2014, is the result of their research, hard work and as Stephen said, their “past lives.”
“The business analysis that I had learnt whilst a network engineer has helped tremendously in fine tuning our efforts. The engineering background has helped in repairing and enhancing the farm,” he stated. “Bronwyn just loves chatting, apparently an interior designer's main sales tool, from her market stall,” he said with a smile, noting that she was also known as the one who manages the time in the family.
They’ve now been farming for a year and a half, and they supply a number of greengrocers, restaurants and even fast food outlets. They attend farmers’ markets as well as supplying directly from their farm. Throughout the year, they farm nine varieties of lettuce, four varieties of Cos, three varieties of kale, radicchio, endive and silverbeet. Their seasonal items include basil, coriander, oregano, chives and cabbage.
This season’s farmers’ markets will feature Noosa Leafy Greens’ lettuce (Green Oak, Red Oak, Green Coral, Red Coral, Royal Oak and Butterhead), cos (small red, small green and large green), choi, coriander and basil.
“I have discovered that I really enjoy growing plants to look absolutely great and to have a matching taste,” Stephen said. To see these beautiful leafy greens and put their taste to the test, stop by the Noosa Leafy Greens Stall at the Noosa Farmers’ Market.