Chess Farm Hits the Growers' Market

Article excerpt

A LOCAL fresh produce farm run by Coffs Harbour Employment Support Service (Chess) is about to take its place at the Coffs Coast Growers' Market.

From tomorrow, and every Thursday when the markets are held, the Coffs Coast Growers' Markets are held, the Chess Farm will be selling fresh locally-grown produce from 8am to 4pm.

The 3.24ha Chess Farm has been operating at Halfway Creek since late 2004 and enables clients to do paid work for 1-2 days a week for up to 13 weeks.

The farm is a successful client-focused project and the yields will now be measured not just in client success stories but in actual retail sales.

"This is a timely project for the farm team, as it coincides with the celebration of National Mental Health Week 2008," Chess general manager John Mandile said.

"Our first market day is an ideal opportunity not only to sell produce, but to raise public awareness of the contribution people with a mental illness diagnosis make to the community.

"And, with new consumer awareness of 'food kilometres', shoppers will be pleased to know our freshly hand-picked produce has only travelled 55km to get to them."

Chess is an independent not-for-profit organisation delivering employment support services in the Mid North Coast area for people with a mental illness diagnosis. Since its inception, more than 100 Chess clients have been employed at the farm in all aspects of vegetable cultivation and production, including seed propagation, planting, fertilizing, irrigation, weeding, harvesting and packing. …