The City of Sydney’s plans to develop a working farm in the heart of the city have been backed by gardening and agricultural experts and community groups.

The City Farm, located in Sydney Park will provide farmers markets with fresh, locally-produced food, an urban fruit-filled orchard and sustainable educational programs.

Television gardening expert Costa Georgiadis congratulated the City on a fantastic initiative that will transform people’s understanding of local food production.

“This is one of the best developments to happen in Sydney in decades – every city should have a City Farm,” Costa said.

“This farm will be a legacy that will help reconnect people with local and seasonal food. It will become a well-loved place to understand how to grow food, cook it, preserve it and then share it in the heart of a thriving community.  I’m on board this tractor for the long haul.”

Local landscape architect, Belinda Dods, said the City Farm would open up great opportunities for residents of all ages in the city.

City of Sydney Farm

“It’s so important for people to learn about the seasonality of food so this is a really great opportunity for hands-on learning in the heart of the city,” Ms Dods said.

President of Sydney City Farm Community Group Katy Svalbe said there is over 1,500 supporters for the City Farm on their mailing list, and around 2,000 more on social media.

“The Sydney Farm Community Group promotes the establishment of city farms for a green and sustainable future in urban Sydney,” she said.

“We support the establishment of a City Farm in Sydney Park and congratulate City of Sydney on the steps taken so far towards achieving the goal.”

Georgie Pollard is the owner of local café Concrete Coffee and said the City Farm would be a fantastic source for fresh, seasonal organic produce for businesses in the area.

“We buy local for several reasons – local producers are people you can get to know, and out of that relationship you get an understanding of the care that they put into their product,” Ms Pollard said.

“A City Farm will play a vital role in educating the community about the importance of locally grown food as well as supplying fresh fruit and vegies for local café owners like us.”

Brian Jones from the University of Sydney’s faculty of agriculture and environment said a community-oriented City Farm would be a real asset for Sydney Park and a valuable educational resource.

“The primary objective of the City Farm is to teach children and citizens about the challenges, realities and opportunities of food production,” he said.

“The City Farm will be a valuable educational resource to build community appreciation and understanding of the importance of agriculture. We look forward to working with the City Farm in the future.”

Murray Wilton from the Royal Agriculture Society of NSW said they fully support the City Farm which will play a vital role in agricultural education.

“Once children are engaged and focused on agriculture, they’re encouraged to investigate and become more aware of the industry.” Mr Wilton said.

“The Royal Agriculture Society of NSW aligns ourselves with selected organisations that will benefit agricultural education, and we believe the City Farm will do that.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the inner-city farm – allowing city folk the chance to step into country life – would cater for dozens of educational, community and cultural activities.

“We’ve worked closely with the community to develop this vision for a place where city people can engage with local and global ecological challenges in beautiful Sydney Park,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City Farm has huge social, community and environmental benefits, offering our inner-city residents a taste of life on a farm, a place to forge new friendships, and the opportunity to learn more about how food is produced.

“With more people than ever living in the inner city and choosing to raise families here, the City Farm will be an important place for people to see where their food comes from – as well as the chance to grow their own – and find out more about living sustainably.”

Based at Sydney Park in St Peters, the City Farm will include:

– Gardens and an orchard producing fresh fruit and vegetables annually;

– A weekly organic farmers’ market;

– Composting and waste management programs;

– Regular sustainable lifestyle training and educational classes, and;

– Community volunteering opportunities.

The farm will initially be managed by the City of Sydney before becoming a not-for-profit community enterprise in the medium term.