A group of North Coast protected cropping growers and agronomist attended a horticultural bus trip to Sydney in May to visit high performing farms and research institutions in the Sydney Basin.


The tour included a visit to Family Fresh Farm at Peats Ridge, a high-tech glasshouse facility producing snacking cucumbers for the supermarket sector. Nicky and Wade Mann demonstrated the technical aspects of production in the facility including leaf, rootzone and atmospheric sensors.


At lower tech farms in Kemps Creek and Wallacia growers were shown novel ways to reduce nutrient runoff. This included capturing and piping nutrient-rich water to adjacent farms to feed field-grown vegetables, and a modulated shipping container system which filtered, sanitised and reused captured effluent water.

Growers also visited the Sydney Markets, Western Sydney University’s National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre and the NSW DPI Central Coast Primary Industries Centre at Ourimbah.

During these visits growers were shown how AusVeg levy funds were being used to research high priority topics from the sector including a polyethylene film colour trial.

At the NSW DPI centre in Ourimbah growers were shown through a greenhouse pest and disease persistence trial, and updated on changes being made to the Primary Production and Processing (PPP) Standards set to be introduced to some commodities in February 2025.

The trip was funded by North Coast Local Land Services with support from AUSVEG, and aimed to encourage networking and information sharing between the Greater Sydney and North Coast protected cropping sectors.

Growers inspect Carol Hatem’s high performing cucumber crop at Kemp Creek.


NSW DPI Technical Officer Joshua Jarvis (centre) discusses his vegetable disease trial with growers at the NSW DPI site at Ourimbah.