Local Growers & Producers

Author: Kombu Wholefoods   Date Posted:1 October 2014 

We work with a wide range of local growers and producers. Find our more about them in the profiles below.

Slater Farm Rainfed Rice

By on 31 March 2016 click here to comment

A chat with Brett Slater of Slater Farms, Casino Tell us a little about the Slater family farm and why you began farming organically? I grew up in Kyogle, but my parents had the river-flat land at Casino. We were originally beef cattle farmers. About 20 years ago we moved from beef cattle to cropping and I bought my parents out. Over the years, I’ve bought neighbouring land so we can ex... continue reading

Bluesky Herbals

By on 31 December 2015 click here to comment

Bluesky Herbals is a local aquaponic supplier of fresh produce to Kombu Wholefoods. Aquaponics is a unique controlled food-growing system, using large tanks of fish to provide water and nutrients to troughs of fast growing vegetables and herbs. Similar in some ways to hydroponics, it is however, a more sustain­­­­able, chemical-free method of controlled growing. Starting up Blue Sky Herbals with a modest single-trough system in their suburban backyard in Bellingen, Jimmy and Lisa progressively grew to their current set up in Bonville, over four times the size. It consists of 4 individual closed systems. A 26,000-litre tank of rainwater feeds each trough system. About 300 silver perch are introduced to ea... continue reading

Rainbow Chai

By on 22 October 2015 click here to comment

Founded in 1988 by Peter Connell, at Bundagen, a mid-north coast land-sharing cooperative by the ocean, Rainbow Chai was the first pre-packaged Chai in Australia. Its grass-roots beginnings in humble chai tents at Rainbow festivals and similar events gave the company its distinctive rainbow logo. When Peter died about 8 years ago, Avi, Clare and Deb - three friends living on the co-op - joined forces to buy the company, and embarked upon the journey of learning all about Chai. Without the founder to pass on his knowledge it was a steep learning curve, but the trio and their team have held fast to original values, making tweaks along the way. ... continue reading

Peace Love and Vegetables

By on 31 July 2015 click here to comment

Peace, Love and Vegetables is a health food manufacturing and distribution company in Byron Bay, started by couple Adam and Anya in 2011. With a focus on the right philosophy and unique cultured vegetable products at the right price, they now employ over thirty staff, supply outlets nationwide, run a store front at the factory and have just become certified organic! Here’s how it all happened… Anya grew up in Russia, where every summer her family would pickle lots of produce to last them through the winter. Green tomatoes, red tomatoes, garlic, cucumber, capsicums and sauerkraut (cabbage). When she mov... continue reading

Stringybark Farm

By on 26 May 2015 click here to comment

On over 300 acres of rolling hills and native bushland at Glenfernaigh near Tyringham, Ken and Lynda Lewis have made their home, and from the 100 arable acres, they’ve created a small organic farm. With crisp, clear air, majestic mountain views, the Glenfernaigh River running through the property and a permanent pure water spring, it’s easy to understand why these two, originally from Wales, plan to stay here forever! ... continue reading

Brian and Hilda Tindal

By on 4 March 2015 click here to comment

About 12 years ago, Brian and Hilda bought the beautiful 32-acre property of Blackwood in Bostobrick. The property already had a small, established but very neglected apple orchard, which the couple set about bringing back to life. Brian says the grass was almost as high as the trees. Once he’d slashed, brush-cut and mowed his way through to the trees themselves, the work of regenerating the orchard began. Pruning, feeding, watering and mulching slowly revitalised the trees and Blackwood began producing Fujis and Granny Smiths for sale. ... continue reading

Forest Gate Organics

By on 6 January 2015 click here to comment

Jodie, and her partner Gary, live and work at their Certified Organic, solar-powered property deep in the Kalang Valley. They’ve been producing sprouts for over 7 years, and are one of the few suppliers of organic sprouts in the country. A serendipitous phone call from a friend about 8 years ago lead to Jodie making contact with a sprout grower who was retiring and had all the equipment for sale. Looking for a niche business to run from home, the equipment was bought and the shed modified to meet the stringent requirements of the NSW Food Authority. This included rubber skirting to reduce water contamination, making sure everything was w... continue reading

Missing Field Seedlings and Produce

By on 1 December 2014 click here to comment

Maxine and Rob Cunningham live and work at their picturesque and sheltered property at Valla. After careers in finance and retail, Maxine was looking for a more down-to-earth, healthier lifestyle. She comes from a family who’s always grown some of their own food and reckons it’s in her blood. She attained several certificates in horticulture and organic growing to compliment her natural knowledge base. With her husband Rob, a TAFE teacher in Horticulture, builder and grower himself, they bought their property in Valla, at the base of Picket Hill. It boasts a 20 megalitre dam and rich sandy loam soil and it was for these reasons the pro... continue reading

Clearwater Gardens

By on 1 October 2014 click here to comment

Jess and Lucas and their children are a vibrant, gentle young family living and working in beautiful Gleniffer, near Bellingen NSW. Set at the foot of the mountains and bordered by the Never Never River, their 70 acre property is home to 30 acres of certified organic gardens, a small herd of hormone and antibiotic-free Angus beef cattle, and goats. With a passion for organic food and farming, permaculture and sustainable living that dates back to her teens, Jess... continue reading

Orange Moon

By on 1 October 2014 click here to comment

This previously uncultivated 88 acre property on Butts Creek in the hills near Taylor’s Arm is home to Amanda and Marc, their two girls, Willow and Wren, two dogs and 15-20 chooks. Marc comes from a food and farming background, having worked on conventional avocado and mango orchards in Queensland, managing irrigation systems on a huge farm and baking for his family’s business on the mid-north coast.... continue reading

Rock & Rollin Eggs

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You may have seen these brightly coloured egg cartons in store and there’s also a cool story behind this groovy brand of open-range eggs. Ian and Anna met at university in the US when Ian was playing professional basketball years ago. Neither of them have a farming background, but after settling back here in Australia they were both keen to get out of the rat race and raise their young family in a sustainable, organic way. They bought a property at Eungai Creek and set about crafting a niche, truly free-range egg business. They also keep heritage pigs and plan to grow their own feed for both pigs and hens. ... continue reading

Steve Briggenshaw

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Nestled among the hills in fertile Valery, on a road named after his family, is Steve Briggenshaw’s 5-acre farm; a portion retained when the original property was subdivided years ago. It now includes a macadamia plantation; a small selection of fruit trees; a small herd of sheep; chooks and, of course his abundant market garden, full of vegetables. His professional background ranges from farm manager to registered nurse to television repairman, but growing food is what he really enjoys. In addition to his own property, he manages the ne... continue reading

Bellingen Mushrooms

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Shiitakes, Blue Oysters, King Oysters, Pink Oysters… These are some of the wonderful gourmet mushrooms Mark and Kay have been trialling over the past 2-3 years in their boutique small business. Growing these earthy delights from their beautiful Bellingen home, and distributing and marketing them locally to select stores and at growers markets is quite a change from their previous office jobs. Inspired by a local permaculturist who recognised the potential of their shady yard, the pair decided to learn all they could and get started with a small trial batch of Shiitake mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus, emerging from thread-like mycelium . Much of this mycelium growth occurs unseen within the growing medium and it can take up to 18 m... continue reading

Athol Glen Turmeric

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Turmeric has long been a traditional ingredient in Asian cuisine; especially in it’s native India. It is now rapidly gaining popularity in the western world, not only for its culinary uses but also for it’s many therapeutic benefits. For Carl Richardson of Athol Glen Turmeric in the Mid North Coast hinterland, this is great timing. Carl didn’t set out to produce the latest super-food, but the growth of his fully certified organic turmeric crops has coincided with a groundswell of interest in turmeric, here in Australia. ... continue reading

Michael and Barbara from Kalang

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Several years ago, Michael and Barbara found their dream riverfront property a little way out of Bellingen, in the fertile Kalang Valley. Having lived and worked at sea for a large part of their lives, managing their own land and growing things was a new adventure. They were finally able to grow their own food, organically. They began selling excess stock locally, and after retiring from his work as an arborist, Michael wanted to increase food production on the property. With Barbara working part time off the property, and Michael primarily working on the land, the couple manage to produce a diverse va... continue reading

The Source Organics

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Driven by a passion to live sustainably and provide an authentic, healthy service to their local community Phillip and Nicole moved to Bellingen in mid-2016. With some close family members, they started The Source Organics , to pursue their goal of growing organic food. Phillip is a permaculture designer, health guide, spiritual activist and writer. Nicole is a food enthusiast, all-round kitchen whizz and Mid-north Coast representative for Tamburlaine organic and biodynamic wines. Compelled to make an active statement against toxicity in our food and water supplies, Phillip left his social work and policy development positions to put his permaculture knowledge into practice. Nicole has always wanted to get back to the land, and continues to stand for organics in her wine rep role and at... continue reading