Farmers: Mamre Farm is made up of several small plots which are managed individually.
Growing: A wide variety of produce, including many items from the farmers’ own culinary traditions, such as sweet potato leaves and edible gourds.
Location: 60ha while each farmed plot is under 0.4ha in St Marys, Sydney, NSW
Method: Chemical Free for over 25 years
In what ways is Mamre Farm different to conventional farms?
Mamre Farm is an initiative run by The Sisters of Mercy. Mamre Farm provides training and community services (like childcare) to disadvantaged local people, especially refugee families. The farmers are taught how to farm without any chemical fertilisers or pesticides and use the SPIN (S-mall P-lot IN-tensive) farming system, which aims to provide a significant income from land bases under 1/2ha in size. In The Sisters of Mercy’s own words, “rather than robbing people of their self-esteem through dependence on welfare, the Project aims to develop personal motivation and competence through work and training relevant to community and industry needs.” Mamre plots also produce vegetables like okra, which while commonly found in the farmers home countries, are more unusual in Australia.
For more information:
Bolis and Awatif, and Wemor and Justin are two couples that migrated to Australia from Sudan as refugees, and now farm at Mamre. Mamre also have Burmese immigrants growing food in plots at the farm. The bounty from their small plots feature occasionally in your Food Connect weekly fruit and vegetable box. Awatif is also part of Food Connect’s wonderful packing team that packs your box every week.