Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sydney Urban Sprawl Threathens Market Gardens

It's well-documented how Sydney's rampant urban sprawl is eating up our agricultural land at a rate of knots.

I stumbled across one of the few surviving market gardens while driving through Brighton Le Sands.

Tucked behind housing estates and the Kyeemagh RSL Club was a green oasis

With towering housing estates ominously rising in the background this market garden specialises in Asian herbs and greens.

I counted at least 40 different varieties of cabbages, herbs and lettuces.
Market gardens - typically about two hectares - play a vital role in the city's food supply, providing up to 90 per cent of our vegetables.

It's highly intensive work.... hand ploughing and digging, and lugging soils, and fertilisers with wheelbarrows.

It's a hard life but a rewarding one that has supported waves of immigrants.
Professor Frances Parker from the University of Western Sydney says the Sydney basin has the highest number of horticulturalists for any region in Australia and the highest number from different cultural backgrounds.

Increasing urbanisation has seen many market gardens concreted over for housing estates and roads

This fresh basil....

crisp spearmint...

...and crunchy continental parsley, that we all see at our local growers markets and grocery stores everyday, could soon have to be flown or trucked in from somewhere else. This will make our produce less fresh, less tasty, more expensive and cause more carbon pollution from transportation.

We need to protect our market gardens for our own food security and to support the livelihoods of market gardeners.


  1. I smell another riot about to start. If I lived there I will be that guy chainlinked to the earth in front of a bull dozer. I hope and pray you guys keep your market garden. It's a shame if it were to be destroyed.

  2. I walk by these gardens almost every day. I am pretty sure they are heritage listed and possibly the oldest market garden in Sydney

    Fingers crossed the developers stay away!