Fuel your family
With Fresh, In-season organic food
I really enjoyed meeting all the local suppliers and getting the story behind their businesses, which is why I have dedicated a page to each of the suppliers on this website.
Please take time to read their stories and gain an appreciation for the people behind the produce we eat. I think it makes the already delicious food taste even more appetising when you have a story behind it, rather than just plucking items off a supermarket shelf with no further regard.
Please note that although The Gathered Green will always prioritise locally grown certified organic produce, we are also required to source non local produce via a certified organic wholesaler to ensure adequate variety within our Organic Seasonal Boxes. This produce will always remain Australian grown and ‘in season’ to ensure we are supporting Australian farmers and are eating fresh seasonal produce. For example, over the winter months, the availability of locally grown organic fruit is limited and we are therefore required to source some fruit through an organic wholesaler (eg bananas, mangoes and pineapples). This allows our customers to continue to enjoy a good variety of produce throughout the year, while minimising the need to resort to conventional produce. The Gathered Green is always transparent in regard to where our certified organic produce is sourced and we communicate this regularly with our customers.
Greg Kocanda is a certified organic vegetable farmer who has achieved geographic diversity by growing his vegetables over two areas within NSW, namely Nashdale and Richmond (Western Sydney). Together with his wife Katie and their four children, Greg lives at Nashdale (5 kilometres southwest of Orange) which is also where he leases land to grow organic produce.
The Richmond block was initially purchased by Greg’s grandfather after emigrating from Croatia in 1939. Greg’s grandfather commenced the family passion for growing vegetables and Greg and his siblings remain heavily involved in the vegetable industry.
Between the two blocks, Greg is able to grow a great variety of organic vegetables, a selection of organic fruits and plenty of organic herbs. Although availability of produce varies from year to year and according to the seasons, Greg was able to provide a quick list of some of the fruit and vegetables we may expect to see in the Organic Seasonal Boxes. During the winter seasons, he grows lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, kale, celery, cabbage, silverbeet, leeks and carrots. During the summer months, we can expect to enjoy watermelons, rockmelons, eggplant, capsicum, corn, chilli, beetroot, fennel, more carrots, broccoli, onions and lettuces.
The Gathered Green orders all produce direct from Greg on a weekly basis based on what is in season and available. The produce is then freighted from Sydney or Orange direct to Young within days of picking to ensure you are receiving the freshest and tastiest produce possible.
After purchasing their citrus farm in Willbriggie (South of Griffith, NSW) in 1999, Martin and Suzy O’Donnell converted to organic certification in 2001. Organic Citrus farms are few and far between and O’Donnell’s Organics are The Gathered Green’s most local supplier of organic citrus. Martin and Suzy grow organic Valencia oranges which are available from October through to May, while the Naval varieties are available from June to the end of August. This means that the Organic Seasonal Boxes will include organic oranges across all seasons of the year!
In addition to their citrus farm, the O’Donnell’s also grow a variety of organic fruit and vegetables including lettuce, roquette, parsley, garlic, lemongrass, strawberries, spinach, pumpkins, melons, zucchinis and tomatoes. This beautiful produce is used to supply their organic café in Griffith (O’Donnell’s Café) which is operated by Suzy. In recent years, the range of organically grown fruit and vegetables has expanded and the O’Donnell’s are now also supplying to wholesale markets in the capital cities in addition to their local customers.
Martin explains that being a certified organic citrus farmer means that they do not use any synthetic or artificial insecticides or pesticides. His underlying ethos for organic farming is to optimise soil health. This results in the generation of stronger and healthier plants which are naturally capable of fighting off bugs and insects without the need for such chemicals. Martin achieves better soil health through a variety of techniques including the planting of green strips of vetch and oats between the rows of citrus. This crop is grown in the winter months and slashed in spring to create a natural compost to improve soil nutrients and health.
We look forward to enjoying beautiful organic citrus from O’Donnell’s Organics, as well as other organic fruits and vegetables according to seasonal requirements.
Greg and Tessa Brooke-Kelly own and operate an organic stonefruit orchard northwest of Young. Greg and Tessa have been running the orchard organically for 25 years and are passionate about producing delicious organic fruit including cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and prunes. Greg’s father Noel came to the district in 1957 when he purchased a sheep grazing property which had a small prune orchard. Noel expanded the orchard to include cherries, peaches and nectarines and Greg recalls the whole family’s involvement in the maintenance of the orchard throughout the years.
Having grown up on his father’s fruit orchard, Greg always knew how good fruit could taste if left on the tree to ripen naturally. As a result, he wanted consumers to enjoy the same natural and full flavour of fruit at its best. In the early 1980’s Greg and Tessa purchased a 30 acre orchard and have since devoted their time to developing an organic stonefruit orchard which gained organic certification with the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) in the late 1980’s. Greg and Tessa believe that if children are offered naturally grown and ripened fruit with intense sweet flavours, they will choose this over highly processed sugary foods.
Greg and Tessa Brooke-Kelly’s orchard now has over 2000 fruit trees with approximately 25 varieties of stonefruit. Beautiful organic cherries are available from November/December, while peaches, nectarines and plums are available from January through to April. The small scale of the orchard allows close control of all operations from pruning and thinning to harvesting, packing and marketing. The Brooke-Kelly’s stonefruit will be included in the Organic Seasonal Boxes according to seasonal availability and demand.
To further utilise their fruit and expand their market, Greg and Tessa purchased a small commercial fruit dryer which enables them to produce organic dried prunes and other organic gourmet products from their dried fruit. The fruit is picked at full ripeness before drying and no chemicals are used during the drying process to ensure healthy and flavoursome dried produce. These delicacies may be occasionally included in the Organic Seasonal Boxes.
David and Gwen Fairy own “Green Gables”, where they operate a biodynamic fruit orchard and farm organic beef and lamb. “Green Gables” is located at picturesque Kingsvale which is approximately 20 kilometres south of Young. It was originally part of a 1st World War soldier settlement allotment and was purchased by the Fairy family in 1984. In 1990, their farm became certified organic through NASAA, however in recent years they have been certified Bio-Dynamic through the Biodynamic Research Institute.
“Green Gables” has expanded operation over the years and now stands as a 200 acre property which includes 35 acres of fruit orchards. The orchards consist of approximately 5500 trees which include 12 varieties of plums, 7 varieties of peaches, 1 variety of nectarine and 4 varieties of cherries, apricots, persimmons and apples. Their delicious cherries are available from November, peaches and plums from late December, nectarines from January, sugar plums from February and apples from May.
David and Gwen’s four adult children, Nathan, William, Julie-Ann and Matthew have all been involved in the farm over the years. During the busy harvest season, they are occasionally required to hire casual fruit pickers to assist with the workload.
To compliment their beautiful stonefruit and apples, David, Gwen and their eldest son Nathan also grow zucchinis (available January-March) and squash (available April-May). All produce will be included in the Organic Seasonal Boxes according to seasonal availability.