An interview with Kim Accardi, Northey Street stall holder and vegan farmer.
Check out Kim Accardi and Chris Spencer’s sensational preserves and seasonal produce at the Northey Street City Farm Markets every Sunday from 6.30 to 11 am.
How did your love of Organics start?
My love for animals and nature was where it all began. The more I learnt about conservation, horticulture and cruelty free living, the more interested I became in organics. I began researching the effects of pesticides and herbicides not long after I became interested in gardening. Herbicides such as glyphosate and the effects they have, not only on the environment but also potentially to our own health and the health of our families and furry friends. I had always made sure my own garden and home grown veggies were pesticide free so I believe it was a natural transition into organics. Permaculture was what really sucked me in. I loved the concept of strategic planting to supply nutrients and to control pests.
Tell us more about your veganic farming methods, and are there any other Vegan Farms in operation that you know of?
Our objective is to grow produce with the least harm, not only to the environment but to all animals. This means we do not use any animal manure, blood and bone, eggshells, fish emulsion, etc.
Key aspects to successful Veganic farming are: careful planning of annual ‘bed’ rotation, green manures, cover crops, weed tea, bull kelp and lots and lots of compost! We use companion planting and other methods to repel pests rather than killing them. A lot of thought goes into the best way we can handle various pests with the least harm, such as attracting natural predators, creating barriers or planting decoys. Veganic methods are quite common in most vegan backyards, however I don’t believe veganics is seen as ‘cost effective’ on a large scale. It certainly is more time intensive and a lot more hard work and planning, but well worth it.
All of the products we make and sell (Jams, Sauces, Chutney, etc) are all 100% vegan too of course.
What’s a typical week look like for you?
As we have such a wide variety of fruit trees and crops, no week is ever the same. Strawberry and mango seasons are very busy for us as they are our biggest crops, however we put a lot of hard work in all year round, pruning, watering, making compost, feeding the soil, maintaining and expanding our conservation and re-vegetation areas. As they say, a farmer’s work is never done! Then comes cooking all tasty products we take to market, in which hours can fly by with sometimes minimal result. We have 3 beautiful dogs, a cat and loads of wildlife that all enjoy and need our attention too. Before you know it…it’s 3am Sunday and we’re up and packing the vehicles for Market day.
What’s your favourite thing about Northey Street City Farm Markets?
I love how excited our customers get about our produce and other products! It is really great to be able to communicate directly with the customer and answer any questions they may have, whilst also providing us with feedback. I also love the atmosphere and the community feel that Northey Street City Farm has.
If you could get the population of Australia to all do one thing, what would it be?
That one is a no brainier for both of us. Take the time to meet your meat and get to know them for who they are. Cuddle a lamb, watch a calf prance around like a puppy or get smooched by a piglet. Research the meat and dairy industry and then follow your heart