Narangba Market Garden Revives Farming Tradition
Narangba local Belinda Finch is following in her ancestor's footsteps, growing and selling a mix of fresh vegetables and flowers for the community.
Plot 4504 is building a highly supportive community in Narangba and comes with a significant family history. Owner/operator Belinda Finch has ancestors who were pioneer Narangba settlers growing vegetables for Cobb and Co. in 1864. Many of the street names around Pioneer Drive honour them.
“Providing for the local community is really important to me. All the produce grown at Plot 4504 is herbicide and pesticide free, plus every item for sale is sourced within a two-kilometre radius of Narangba.”
Five generations after the family arrived in Narangba, Belinda, an I.T. Project Manager and avid gardener, became interested in community gardening. After visiting a small-scale, bio-intensive market garden in 2022, the regenerative concept of growing and selling food locally motivated her to trial two rows of crops at her Mother's farm in a paddock that had previously grazed cows and horses for more than 45 years.
With limited soil preparation, she started cultivating, hoping there'd be some interest in buying vegetables from the farm gate. According to Belinda, the venture has been so successful the main problem is keeping up with customer demand.
With word spreading via Facebook, the Saturday morning farm gate stall, dubbed Plot 4504, is so popular the fresh produce often sells out by 9.30 am. Customers seem to enjoy knowing that all the produce grown at Plot 4504 is herbicide and pesticide free. Plus, every item for sale is sourced within a two-kilometre radius of Narangba, including the Four Wheel Espresso coffee van that attends the farm stall.
"That has been the criteria for all the products I sell," explains Belinda.
Growing and selling food locally means less transport, keeping the business's carbon footprint low and making products more affordable and fresher, with less possibility of spoilage, whilst reducing unnecessary food waste.
Belinda has plenty of vegetables, such as eggplants, spinach and kale, for sale. Still, Plot 4504 also grows a wide variety of vegetables to differentiate itself from supermarket competitors, such as apple cucumbers, okra or gourmet tomatoes, and edamame beans. Bunches of cut Zinnia flowers are also a massive hit with customers.
A recent glut of zucchini resulted in the availability of zucchini pickles which sat alongside the locally-produced honey, relishes, home-baked biscuits, eggs from a grower who agists cows in the neighbouring paddock to the farm and living herbs from a local grower, Basilea.
Conscious of any negative environmental impact, only plant-based packaging that can be commercially composted is used. "It was important that I was not adding to plastic waste," Belinda says.
Six months in, Belinda says the farm gate stall has a surprising number of regular customers and a thriving social aspect.
According to Belinda, locals come to relax, grab their fruit and veggies, watch the horses and enjoy a coffee and biscuit, thus making it an outing.
"If a crop fails or I can't supply much, the locals understand. I was worried people might expect to get all their veggies for the week, but they are okay to get some here, stop and have a coffee and then get the rest elsewhere," she shared.
Belinda plans to double the area under cultivation next year and add more customer seating. Plot 4504 might never completely replace Belinda's corporate job. Still, she plans to keep growing a more eco-friendly food-based community for Narangba's future generations.
Plot 4504 Market Garden Stall
132 Pioneer Drive
Open Saturdays 8 – 11 am
Cash and Cards Accepted