Wynlen house is the name of our very small farm or micro farming enterprise located on a large village block (just under 1.5 acres or about 1/2 a hectare) in the village of Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands. It is a small organic four season, cool climate, slow food farm selling produce (vegetables and meat) all year to consumers.
Although we knew we were able to grow food for our selves selves, it is quite a big step to consider supplying food for “customers” who are paying for what they receive. We decided that supplying directly to customers through a Community Support Agricultural (CSA) model would be a reasonable way to move from self supply to supplying others. This is a direct marketing arrangement between the farmer and the consumer. We approached some friends and acquaintances and asked if they would be interested in committing to buying produce from our garden on a weekly basis. So in 2006 We began with six households who were happy to make this commitment.
In late 2009 there was some interest in developing a farmers market. However at this time there were only a very few local food producers in the Braidwood area and it was agreed that the first step would be a Community Produce Stall at the monthly Ryrie Park markets hosted by Wynlen House. This was our first step into an open retail environment. Helen and I enjoyed running the stall at the markets and meeting and talking food with a variety of people.
In late 2010 we were approached by the Albion Café to sell vegetables on their verandah and we decided that direct retailing through a weekly market stall would be our new way forward. In 2011 we relocated our weekly stall to Dojo Lane after the Albion decided to take a different direction; and in April this year (2016) we moved to our current location at Provisions Deli and Grocery Courtyard at 54 Wallace St.
We have always grown our food to be consumed locally. It’s about caring where our food comes from; how and where it is grown; and how it is processed, prepared and shared. We have a strong interest in (re)developing, organic, sustainable and local food systems using agricultural practices that have environmental, economic and social outcomes. To this end, in 2012 Wynlen House started running workshops on growing vegetables in a cool climate and on basic animal husbandry; practical education for people wishing to grow food (vegetables and animals). In 2013 we held the first of our slow food lunches extending our promotion of small-scale agriculture. In January 2016 we ran a pop up slow food cafe further demonstrating the viability and sustainability of small scale farming as a method of feeding local communities… as it used to be.
A pictorial stroll through our garden and market stall
Wynlen House Philosophy
A key focus is about growing food to be consumed locally. This is also termed slow food. This approach is based on a concept of food that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair:
There is nothing new about this. It is really only in the last 60 years of the twentieth century that the growing of food in home gardens and in local regions was not the norm. Prior to the introduction of chemical fertilizers in the early twentieth century, leading to large-scale broad acre farming, most food was produced locally and most people participated in some way in its production. Wynlen House is a small endeavour in the age-old tradition of food production.
Growing food offers opportunities to put meaning and productivity into your life. Working with the soil, helping it produce and practicing animal husbandry (raising animals) satisfies the human urge to keep in contact with the foundation of life. It provides focus and gives immense joy. Eating food that has been grown with passion, love and care is the best food in the world. It is food with soul and you can taste the difference.
Braidwood NSW 2622