From paddock to plate: Buy local produce in Wollongong

Wollongong supports access to fresh, organic produce via online and in person farmers markets, and social enterprise producers such as Green Connect and community farms.

How to buy local

Local food, paddock to plate, farm to table… we’ve heard the buzzwords – and now we know we should all shop local. Spending your cash with nearby producers helps drive our economy and benefits our farms and small businesses. In return, you’ll get the freshest seasonal produce around, with minimal impact on the environment.

The question for many… Where do I start?

Check out our guide of six great ways to shop local on the Coal Coast.

1) The Wollongong Online Farmers Market

The WOFM is a non-profit initiative by Healthy Cities Illawarra and Food Fairness Illawarra to grow a food system that benefits our community, our producers and our environment. Operating on a weekly ordering cycle, you can fill your cart with goods from over 20 local producers and collect every Thursday from the Fairy Meadow hub.

Check it out:

2) Green Connect

Unique to the Illawarra, Green Connect is a social enterprise and fair food farm. Tucked away in a previously unused piece of land behind Warrawong High School, Green Connect uses permaculture principles to provide Illawarra families fresh, chemical-free produce via a weekly veggie box system. Green Connect’s farm staff is made up of refugees and disadvantaged youths, giving employment opportunities to those in need.

Support Green Connect:

3) Flame Tree Co-op

An institution in the Thirroul community, Flame Tree Co-op is a volunteer run, not-for-profit local food store with a huge selection of organic produce and bulk foods as well as a range of local breads, drinks, preserves and treats. With one of the largest local food selections on the coast, a visit to the Co-op is a great way to get your shopping done and to learn about the many Illawarra farmers who bring their produce to the store daily.

Find out more:

4) Dapto Community Farm, Farmgate Market

Dozens of individuals, groups and small businesses make up the Dapto collective, and all grow a unique range of chemical-free and organic goods, making the produce on offer as varied as you’ll find on the coast. Happy customers can be sure they’re buying local with a view from the market out onto the farm’s abundant growing beds.

Check out Dapto Community Farm:

5) Popes Produce

A true backyard market garden, Sarah Anderson has turned her Woonona patch into a produce paradise. All chemical-free, Popes’ “weekly greens” is a box of whatever is abundant and in season. For just $20, boxes are picked up direct from the “farm” where you can have a chat with Sarah about what’s on offer while taking a stroll through the green-filled grounds. Learn more as Sarah also does garden consulting, workshops and events for anyone looking to enhance their growing skills.

More about Popes Produce:

6) Kiama Farmers’ Market

A 40 minute drive south of Wollongong, Kiama Farmers Market is well worth a visit to the beautiful seaside market. It is host to dozens of local growers and makers selling everything from meat and gelato to cheese, eggs, honey and organic fruit and veg. Growers harvest in the morning for the afternoon’s market, ensuring goods are sold with maximum freshness and flavour.

Visit Kiama Farmers Market:

Original article sourced from Coal Coast Magazine (2019) with thanks. Words Stefan Posthuma. Images Stefan Posthuma & Tess Godkin.
Content updated by Invest Wollongong (July 2022).

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