Issue 39 - 10 February 2022
Message from RALF

Hi everyone,

Are you looking for additional markets for your produce? We have compiled a list of fresh produce and farmer's markets in and around Sydney or, if you are a regenerative farmer, consider the services of Your Food Collective (YFC).

In addition, we have a long list of events and webinars, many of which have new dates due to COVID-19 restrictions. Also, there are several different funding opportunities outlined below, along with research into biochar and discover a new online 'heatmap' showing wild dog incursions across Australia.

If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Greater Sydney Small Farms network, they can register HERE. To view previous newsletters, click HERE. To provide ideas on how the Greater Sydney Small Farms network can help you, please email or phone me on 0436 803 337

Richard Stephens
Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF) 

Farmer's and fresh produce markets in and around Sydney

Did you know there more than 50 farmer's and fresh produce markets in and around Sydney?

If you have some excess produce and want to know what farmer and/or fresh markets are nearby, click HERE. Greater Sydney Local Land Services has scoured the internet to compile a list of fresh produce markets, including when and where they operate as well as organiser contact details.

Note, while every effort to ensure this list is current and accurate, it by no means endorses any of the businesses listed. Also, due to frequently changing markets and changing circumstances, we can not guarantee the information provided is up to date.

If you are aware of other farmer's or fresh produce markets, or if any of the information provided needs to be updated, please email me on [email protected] or phone  0406 803 337. 
Photo curtesy of Blackheath and Springwood Growers Markets
Be on the lookout for cane toads

With the discovery of cane toads in Narrabeen, Penrith, Kenthurst, Caringbah, Rose Hill, Campbelltown and most recently Windsor Downs, the community is being asked to on the lookout for these pests. 

ane toads can poison pets and wildlife, injure humans with their toxins, and they prey on small native animals. So far efforts have been successful in preventing them from establishing them in Sydney. However, the warm humid weather this summer is ideal for cane toads.

Suspected cane toads should be immediately reported to NSW DPI Biosecurity either through its helpline on 1800 680 244, completing the online form
HERE, or emailing a photo of the face and details to [email protected] Don't harm it as it might be a native frog. Click HERE for more information on identifying cane toads.

And as, cane toads love to eat bees, beekeepers especially can assist by looking out for them. The ‘Toad at the Hive’ surveillance program is running now 2022 and involves observing your hives in the evening for toads and reporting your findings. You don't need to have bees to get involved! Register your interest in ‘Toad at the Hive’ HERE. 
Farm worker floor price from late April 
For the first time workers on Australian farms will be guaranteed a minimum rate of pay when changes to the Horticulture Award come into effect on April 28. Workers on farms must be paid a minimum $25.41 per hour. Workers can still be paid a piece rate, as long as the average worker earns the equivalent of at least 15 per cent above the casual rate. Employers will also be required to record the hours worked. Click HERE.
Look out for Three Day Sickness
Spread by mosquitos, Bovine Ephemeral Fever (also known as Three Day Sickness) cases have been recently reported in Greater Sydney. Affected cattle are often by themselves, off their feed, seek shade and water, shiver, drool and are lame. Symptoms usually last only a few days and while most cattle recover, some cattle, especially larger animals and bulls, can be severely affected. A vaccine is available, but is currently in short supply. For more information, click HERE, HERE & HERE. Photo curtesy of The Inverell Times 
Hi-vis cattle tags
Ever had a near miss driving at night, almost hitting dark coloured cattle? Highly reflective ear tags that can be seen from 500m away are now being trialled. Road safety advocates say this simple idea may prevent serious trauma and fatalities. The tags have a reflective sticker on the front and back of them which is highly reflective and requires very low light to actually reflect back. Click HERE.
Contractors help small farm operations
Because good equipment for sowing, harvesting, spraying, fencing, and the like, is so expensive and mainly scaled for larger operations, good contractors can be an important part of many smaller farms. This can be a challenge though, requiring advanced notification as well as a reliable contractor. For example, aim to sow a little ahead of the usual sowing window, as a contractor with good equipment can often achieve good establishment on a minimal rainfall event. For more information, click 
Rates returning in 2022 
Local Land Services rate notices have a due date of 24 February 2022. Rates were waived for three years as part of drought support packaging, providing relief to farmers managing and recovering from ongoing drought conditions. However, with the improvement in state-wide seasonal conditions this year, rates are being returned to normal. This will allow us to continue providing services to the people of NSW. For more information, click HERE. 
Urban micro-farms
Tucked away in a backyard in Hobart's Battery Point is a commercial farm business. Peter Handy has set up a controlled environment unit housing vertical pastures, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. His farm is services 
the chefs and restaurants of Hobart with the lowest possible food miles. 0.8 hectare of production in a 12 meter space using LED lights and hydroponic nutrients, the farm grows lettuces, leafy greens, Asian greens, herbs, root veg and more. Click HERE. 
Blue carbon accounting
The owners of marginal farming land in coastal areas are being urged to open the floodgates and refill swamps to operate as a carbon sink. However, this extension of the carbon credit scheme has its critics. The new blue carbon accounting system calculates the amount of carbon sequestered when tidal zones are returned to their natural state enabling landowners to earn carbon credits. The price paid for Australian Carbon Credit Units has risen from about $16 to about $50 in the past year.
Please note: Events may be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Register to show your interest and to be in contact with the organiser for confirmation.
Beneficial Invertebrates 
Beneficial invertebrates are essential components of agricultural ecosystems, especially as predators and parasitoids control pests. In this webinar at 1pm on 18 February 2022, Cesar Australia will show you how to recognise a range of natural enemies present in the eastern Australian landscape and give a summary of recent research into the toxicity of different pesticides to beneficial species. Click 
Responsible Pet Ownership
Central Coast Council is holding a responsible pet ownership event, 9am - 3pm, Terilbah Reserve, at The Entrance North on Saturday 19 February, 2022. This outdoor event will include free microchipping, low cost vaccinations and free vet checks. Further details are still being determined. Watch out for our next newsletter or click HERE for more details once they are are finalised.
Free course on drought preparedness
Resource Consulting Services (RCS) are offering a free online course on being drought prepared. Learn how to manage drought and set yourself up for ecological, financial and productive wins. Understand your micro climate, learn how to calculate your green date and how to match your stocking rate to your carrying capacity. Click
HERE for more information.  
Plan to profit 
The Plan to Profit online course is free to eligible young and/or experienced farmers as well as advisers. Learn how to calculate the profitability of individual enterprises, costs of production and key business ratios. Understand what banks need to know, how to estimate monthly cash flows, ideas for improving profits and reducing debt, and develop a business plan for the next 3 to 5 years. Offered by Tocal College, the course includes 4, 3 hour interactive Zoom sessions plus 4 individual Zoom sessions with your coach. Multiple intakes February 2022. Click HERE.    
2022 NSW Landcare and LLS conference
The NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference will now be held online on Thursday 17 March 2022. The cost is just $100 and registrations will be available from Monday 14 February 2022. While the online awards ceremony will be free, prior registration will be required. Topics  include community resilience, natural resource management, sustainable agriculture, carbon farming, and the NSW Landcare awards. Click HERE.

Making Australian agriculture sustainable
Australian agriculture today is largely unsustainable. Soils are degrading and are in need of regeneration and broad acre farming is delivering food in quantity but not always in quality. An exceptional group of speakers address the question: Can we feed ourselves and not destroy the Earth? The 2022 Fenner Conference is on 17-18 March 2022. Participate online or in person, daily registration is $40. Click HERE.
Can a Community Food Hub deliver the goods?
Join Robert Pekin, founder of Food Connect, on Wednesday 23 March for a two hour interactive webinar. Sometimes referred to as the father of the paddock to plate movement, learn how Robert has been able to turn his vision for how food should be grown, aggregated, marketed and distributed into a reality. For more info, email Julie McAlpin at [email protected]
Holistic management for regeneration
Gain an understanding of the holistic nature of our environment, learn how to make decisions that are socially, environmentally and financially sound, discover how to utilise animals as a tool to improve environmental health, create a holistic context for yourself, business and family and gain a deep understanding of holistic financial planning. You’ll leave with a positive outlook and a bunch of new ideas to help you achieve your goals. These four, two-day sessions will be held in Berry, starting 28-29 April 2022. For more info, click HERE. To register, click HERE.
Greater Sydney Landcare Gathering now 6 July
The new date for the Greater Sydney Landcare Gathering is Sunday 6 July 2022. Small farmers, landcarers, bushcarers and environmentalists are invited to connect, imagine and create a future together. It’s been a difficult couple of years with drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Together, find new connections and develop positive ideas and initiatives. Be a part of the Greater Sydney "care" community at Rhodes. Register HERE. 

Making Sense of Soil Tests - new dates!
A one day workshop with soils expert David Hardwick will cover understanding your soil tests. Learn how to make sense of your soil test results, identify soil constraints and key nutrient issues. This workshop will help you be more informed about your soil test when getting agronomic advice. Bring your own soil test results! 
      Tuesday 7 June  - Central Coast 
      Wednesday 8 June - Richmond 
      Thursday 9 June - Camden
Registrations will open soon.


COVID-19 business grants and loans
Businesses and workers can benefit from a major new financial support package to help those that have been hardest hit by the Omicron wave. The package includes financial support for small business to offset the cost of rapid antigen tests (RATs)  and a new Small Business Support Program to help businesses survive the immediate impacts of the Omicron wave and keep workers employed. Eligibility criteria applies. Businesses can apply from mid-February 2022. Click HERE.
Supply chain support grants
The Storm and Flood Industry Recovery Package is designed to help producers who were affected by the February March 2021 storms & floods to help NSW's agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture industries rebuild and recover. Funding will complement the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant. The amount of funding available to those eligible varies by industry and a 50:50 financial and/or in-kind co-contribution from applicants is required. Online applications open till 3 March 2022. Click HERE.
Strengthening Business
The Strengthening Business program provides bushfire affected small businesses access to experts who'll work with you to make your business stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the future. They'll help develop a roadmap, and strengthen your business systems, operations and strategies. Additionally they'll connect you to services you need to achieve your business goals. Closing date, 31 March 2022. Click HERE.      
Special disaster grants
Were you impacted by floods in November or December 2021? Special Disaster Grants of up to $50,000 are now available to support eligible primary producers impacted by the severe weather and flooding that occurred. Designed to help pay for immediate clean-up and repairs to infrastructure, these grants are available in 48 NSW Local Government Areas. Applications close 16 June 2022. To learn more, click HERE or call the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

Farm household allowance
The Farm Household Allowance  provides assistance to farming families experiencing financial hardship, no matter the cause of that hardship. The program can provide eligible farmers and their partners with: up to four years of fortnightly income support (in every 10 year period); ancillary allowances (IE pharmaceutical, telephone, rent assistance, remote area allowance); a professional financial assessment of the farm business (worth up to $1,500); training expenses and to pay for professional advice (up to $10,000). Click HERE. 
Rebates for small business fees and charges
Farm businesses can now register for $3,000 (up from $1,500) rebate through Service NSW. This rebate can help cover ongoing costs such as: food authority licences, liquor licenses, trade-person licenses, event fees, outdoor seating fees, council rates. To qualify, total wages need to be below the NSW  payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million and you need to have an ABN, be registered for GST and have a turnover of at least $75,000 per year. The rebate will be available until 30 June 2022. Click HERE.
Energy efficiency grants
Grants are available for small and medium food and beverage manufacturing enterprises to improve their energy efficiency. The grant can provide up to $25,000 to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies and better manage energy consumption to reduce power bills. Applications close 18 February 2022. Click HERE.


Central Coast agribusiness data map
To better understand the profile of the agribusiness sector on the Central Coast, an Agribusiness data map is being developed. The Central Coast Food Alliance and Regional Development Australia Central Coast aims to give the agribusiness community greater capacity and capability to respond to future disasters such as bushfires, floods and plagues. To add an agribusiness profile to the map, or attending a community workshops please email Christine at [email protected]
National drought resilience survey
To understand if carbon farming practices can enhance drought resilience, a national drought resilience survey is being undertaken. Closing on 28 February 2022, there are 2 more draws for a chance to win a $100 RB Sellers gift voucher. 69% of responses so far have revealed that they would recommend carbon farming as a drought mitigation tool, those engaged in a carbon farming project have reported reduced stress and greater control over drought. Click HERE.
Digging up data 
Large amounts of previously hidden soil data in the public and private sector are being unearthed, collated and made available to improve agricultural productivity across Australia and New Zealand. The Visualising Australasia’s Soils (VAS) project will provide Australasian farmers, agronomists, agricultural researchers and agribusinesses with relevant place-based soil information on demand. For more info, click
Biochar is a form of charcoal made in high heat, low oxygen conditions. It can be used to produce energy, capture and store carbon and improve soil health. Biochar itself is inert, but it facilitates a whole lot of life, fungi and bacteria and therefore provides a home for soil organisms, nutrients, water and air, as well as creating a stable carbon structure. Click HERE,


Your Food Collective
Your Food Collective (YFC) is an online farmer’s market and grocery delivery service that works with regenerative farmers to provide produce directly to consumers in the Sydney and Newcastle regions. YFC sells everything from fruit-and-veg boxes, T-bone steaks, honey and plant-based ready-made meals. There is a seven-step sustainability criteria that producers must meet and YFC ensures that 95% of produce is sourced “within 250 kilometres of a consumer’s front door”. Click
Wild Dog Scan
Updated heat maps show wild dog activity across Australia, highlighting hotspots of movement and management. With more than 134,000 records of wild dog sightings, attacks and control activities uploaded to the platform since its launch in 2011, WildDogScan allows users to view the data as a heat map. For more information, click HERE.
Truly carbon positive beef
The fifth instalment of the Resilient Farming in a Changing Climate Webinar Series features Sam Trethewey from the Tasmanian Agricultural Company. Sam returned home to Tasmania to build the Tasmanian Agricultural Company, a vertically integrated beef production business that’s on a mission to produce truly carbon positive beef. Listen to 'From the ground up: Our regenerative journey' HERE.   
As a career firefighter, Greg Mullins worked his way up the ranks to become Commissioner of one of the world’s largest fire services, Fire and Rescue NSW. Over five decades he watched as weather patterns and natural disaster risks changed, seeing bushfires becoming bigger, hotter and more destructive. Combined with thrilling stories of what it’s like to be on the front line of Australia’s first giga-fire, Firestorm is a compelling, brave book and a call to arms and action. Click 
Removing pest from peri urban areas
Are pest animals impacting your peri-urban property? Rabbits in your vegetable patch? Foxes taking your chickens? In this step-by-step video, our Biosecurity Team take you through the dos and don'ts of pest animal management in a peri-urban area. To view the video, click 

This project is supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. 
The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate officer of Local Land Services or the user’s independent adviser. For updates go to www.lls.nsw.gov.au 
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