✦ From 2022 and beyond, the Hastings Farm Gate Tour will be run under a new not-for-profit Incorporated Association (Earth Logic Incorporated) based in the local area.
An annual event which began in 2013, the Hastings Farm Gate Tour is a celebration of quality locally grown produce. The tour, run over the June long weekend, allows locals and visitors to experience farm life across the Hastings, Port Macquarie and Camden Haven region via a self-drive tour.
Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network (PMHSN) representative Steve Lockhart said that for the long-term viability of the event, the PMHSN made the decision that they needed to find an organisation to take on the event as working with a dependence on volunteers was not a sustainable model. The PMHSN remains a key partner in the event.
“This is an incredibly valuable event for the region’s food producers. Having a dedicated organisation in charge of the event will foster growth and education about where our food comes from, and why the way it is grown is so important,” said Steve.
Originally a Landcare initiative, The Hastings Farm Gate Tour was brought back to life in 2021 due to demand from the community and work by volunteers from Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network (PMHSN).
This event ran over the three days of the June long weekend and provided 230 carloads of visitors (approximately 840 individuals) the opportunity to experience local produce and regenerative practices by touring 16 local farms and sustainable businesses. Delegates could see sustainable food production in progress and in some cases buy and consume this produce.
President of the newly formed not-for-profit, Jacqui Murray, said the team are incredibly excited about this new direction for the Hastings Farm Gate Tour.
“When you speak to people in the community, everyone who’s been a part of it loves the Hastings Farm Gate experience. It is truly a unique opportunity for urban dwellers to experience first-hand how healthy food is produced. We are hearing how important it is to our community that their food is local, nutritious and sustainable.
"We are looking to partner with local business as well as the farmers so that the event can be sustainable into the future and in doing so avoid volunteer burnout. We are excited about new initiatives that we can bring to the table to support our local farmers and to educate locals and visitors about sustainable food production.”
The new team is currently in the process of establishing the 2022 list of farm hosts. “We’re calling on all interested parties to follow our social media pages to stay in touch until ticket sales open in May. A sponsorship package has also been developed to involve local businesses in the community to be part of the ongoing journey of this popular event,” said Jacqui.
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to support local food producers who are out there every day, passionately caring for the land and animals in an effort towards a sustainable food chain for us all.”
Visit http://www.pmhsn.org.au/events_projects/hastings-farm-gate-tour/ to learn more and register your interest.
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