Russell & Janice Clark
Russell grew up on a dairy farm, and when he and Janice bought their farm in Gympie they looked forward to happy farming in frost-free growing conditions. Things started out well and they were growing beans and other crops, but then the drought hit and they were forced to stop farming.
Janice started farming again on a small scale in order to fun her daughters ski trip and it was a resounding success. With improved conditions Russell and Janice started growing lettuce, herbs and cherry tomatoes and distributing them to some local restaurants, and this soon gave him enough work to return to the farm full time. They now supply restaurants from Harvey Bay to Noosa and are happy to be back on the land.
Russell and Janice came to Food Connect as conventional farmers wanting to undertake the long and difficult journey to farming using chemical spray-free methods. It is wonderful to buy food from an organic farmer, but it’s far more important to support a farmer while he or she is in transition to growing organically. Lots of farmers have tried to go organic, but many of them give up because of lack of support. There is not much of a market for the food that is grown on farms which are in transition to growing organically – it is often not acceptable to ‘conventional’ produce buyers, and is not accepted by organic food buyers.
Food Connect is proud to offer that support to farmers. Janice and Russell have been great supporters of Food Connect, and have experimented with different varieties of crops for our boxes since 2005.