Don’t you love a roadside fruit and veggie stall? Just drive up, grab your weekly supply and hit the road. That simple concept has been elevated to a whole new level – at Freeman’s Organic Farm in the Gold Coast hinterland.
The farm, on the slopes of Tomewin Mountain, has been producing organic produce for more than 100 years and its colourful roadside stall is a regular haunt for those seeking fresh organic produce.
David Gower Freeman is the fourth generation of the family to farm on the property. He’s passionate about building community and encouraging children to start the journey of growing their own fruit and veggies.
To that end, David has built a ‘secret garden’ near the roadside stall, where kids can tend their own organic strawberry plant and reap the rewards of fresh strawberries. Friday is family day at the stall. Mums, Dads, kids – even pets – gather to buy produce; grab a coffee or bite to eat from the attached café; and chill out on the grassy escarpment, overlooking spectacular views of the border ranges.
On Sundays, from 10 am, David offers guided tours of Freeman’s Organic Farm and explains the role it’s played in Queensland’s agricultural history. David’s great-great-uncle is attributed with being the first to farm bananas in Australia. Previously, bananas had been imported from the South Pacific.
Good food and a connected community are the philosophies behind Growca Café & Store, also in the Gold Coast hinterland. The old Bonogin General Store has found new life as a hub for community activities. It’s also a stylish café that serves wholesome, house-made meals. Growca’s third offering is a grocery store, featuring wholefoods and healthy alternatives – along with the usual staples.
Owner, John Stevenson, is a local himself – and wanted to recreate the ‘general store’ of days gone by, but with a modern twist. His vision for Growca (pronounced ‘grocer’) is of a place where locals know the person behind the counter; where they can gather with friends for a great meal and coffee; or attend one of a calendar of workshops and activities, like watercolour classes.
Growca is kid-friendly, dog-friendly and even horse-friendly – with a hitching rail right outside. Local growers often donate fresh produce which is offered in baskets on the deck, free of charge.
Freeman’s Organic Farm
618 Tomewin Mountain Road, Currumbin Valley
0438 777 763
555 Bonogin Road, Gold Coast