Drone image courtesy of Gardening Australia.
How We Got Started
Village Greens is a small-scale organic market garden founded in 2014 by a crew of young farmers in South Australia.
Our one-acre farm is still lovingly cared for by two of our three original founders — Nat Wiseman and Claudia Peoples — and a happy team of farm workers.
The beautiful land we cultivate is on Kaurna Country, at Ngaltingga / Aldinga (40kms south of Tarntanya / Adelaide) within the Aldinga Arts Ecovillage.
“It had been a horse paddock for 40 years so there wasn’t much fertility. We added a lot of compost, aerated the soil … really set the stage for productivity. Organic matter doubled in the first three years of farming, which was a huge improvement.”
~ Nat Wiseman
Village Greens exists to sustainably grow the most nutritious and local produce for Adelaide and Fleurieu Peninsula residents – delivered to your home via super-fresh fruit and veggie boxes.
Here’s our Story on Gardening Australia…
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Nat was inspired by permaculture in his 20s and became passionate about sustainable agriculture throughout university.
After graduating, Nat and his partner Jess scored a market garden internship at Allsun Farm in New South Wales, one of Australia’s most successful small-scale organic vegetable farms. There, they put Elliot Coleman’s pioneering organic farming principles into practice — and became completely hooked.
Nat returned to Adelaide inspired and ready to turn his learnings into something tangible for the community. He co-founded Wagtail Urban Farm in 2012, a tiny 200-square-metre city farm, before moving further south to go a little bigger at the 4,000-square-metre Village Greens farm.
Claud first studied social work but decided to travel the world after graduating — and discovered permaculture along the way.
Returning home, she volunteered in food forests and, while raising her baby daughter, went back to university — this time to study horticulture. There she discovered Horticulture Therapy and realised she could grow veggies and use her social work skills at the same time.
In 2014, Claud met Nat at a dinner party and the pair spent the entire evening chatting. By the end of the night, the vision for Village Greens was emerging. These days, Claud mentors children in a schoolyard kitchen garden, while also helping steer Village Greens.
Lucy spent years in ecotourism and environmental education, working everywhere from the Gold Coast hinterland rainforest to the Adelaide Hills, before becoming a full-time mum.
Then, while completing her Permaculture Design Certificate at The Food Forest in Gawler, she jumped on board the project team creating the very first Village Greens plans. At that stage, Lucy had only backyard veggie gardening knowledge. But, as a resident of the nearby Aldinga Arts Eco Village, she was keen to play a hand in getting a market garden happening.
These days, Lucy continues to help out in our fields and also works as a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation specialist at a local primary school – helping raise the next generation of farmers.
Each week, our small crew of young farmers works together to build healthy soil, plant our fields, weed using hand tools, harvest an organic bounty and pack it all into reusable crates and home compostable bags, ready for delivery to your home.
Favourite veg? Currently, it’s leek. Before I became salicylate intolerant, I would always say the allium family was my all-time favourite group of plants. Thankfully, I can still eat leek and they have become a staple in my life. Through having to eat less foods, I’ve learned to really appreciate the individual flavours of vegetables.
When you’re not at the farm… I am resting and looking after my health, playing with clay, taking photos, working at the farmers markets, volunteering for food/plant-related community projects and spending time with friends.
Favourite veg? Dill — I have it fresh as a garnish for almost every meal. It goes especially well with potato.
When you’re not at the farm… I get involved with as many natural building projects as possible around Australia. I also spend most of my time growing vegetable seedlings in my Adelaide driveway and tending to them.
Favourite veg? To choose one fave vegetable is really hard but I think fennel would be my pick. I love the fact that it works for both salad and eaten raw/juiced but is also amazing roasted or used in soups and stews. I love how it grows, I love that it’s an easy to grow winter veg and that you can eat all parts of it. A total winner in my opinion!
When you’re not at the farm… When I’m not farming I love to work in my own garden, hike, go camping, hang out with friends in nature and play games. I also work as a horticulture therapist with kids at a local school one day a week.
Favourite veg? I’d say snow peas as a special crunchy treat, but I also love potatoes, eggplant, zucchini and basil… among pretty much every other veg, fruit, herb and spice!
When you’re not at the farm…I spend time making art and music as tid.bit, building synthesisers, listening to records, drinking coffee, hanging out with friends and family, and going to the beach. When I have the energy I tend to my home garden, growing flowers, veggies and fruit.
Favourite veg? I love leeks. Roasting them until they are sweet and caramelised. I cut them in half lengthways, leaving the roots on. Add a bit of garlic, olive oil and salt and bang them in the oven. Yum!
When you’re not at the farm… I work as a school garden and permaculture educator — we have a lot of fun learning about food, nature, climate change and regenerative living.
Favourite veg? Celeriac. In a crusty pie with lots of leeks and mushrooms. Or in a winter’s soup, or in a gratin with some potatoes, or puréed… the list goes on!
When you’re not at the farm… I’m cooking up feasts with the family!
Favourite veg? All the Solanaceae, especially tomatoes. I could spend all day pruning and picking tomatoes. But I’m going to choose capsicums — I love a simple roast capsicum salad with garlic, oil and salt.
When you’re not at the farm… I’m on all sorts of adventures home-schooling our kids, tinkering in the house and garden, and dreaming up new projects with Nat.
Favourite veg? In summer, eggplants roasted until they’re like butter and then put in curries, pasta or eggplant parmigiana. In winter, broccoli roasted with tamari, sesame seeds and maple syrup.
When you’re not at the farm… I’m studying Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology and working as a research assistant for the Centre for Australian Housing Research. In my spare time I like to read, paint and cook or preserve all the seconds veggies I take home from the farm.
Favourite veg? Purple cauliflower. Looking at them just makes me so happy. My favourite way is pickled in vinegar, sugar and loads of garlic and spices. I feel it’s necessary to always have a jar of pickled veg in the fridge, as it goes with pretty much everything and adds a delicious tang and crunch.
When you’re not at the farm… you’ll find me by or in the ocean, dancing, eating, cuddling my kids and spending time with friends.
Favourite veg? Eggplant — it’s so versatile and is so delicious in curries and Middle Eastern dishes.
When you’re not at the farm… I’m working on another building project of some sort, spending time with my family or snorkelling at our local reef.
Favourite veg? Red capsicum. But really, do I have to choose? There’s so many good ones.
When you’re not at the farm… I make furniture from recycled timber and love to hang out at the beach.
Favourite veg? I absolutely love zucchini. I eat them way too often and with basically everything. Roasted zucchini is my all-time favourite though. Oh, and I love that you can eat the flowers too!
When you’re not at the farm… I love to read, paint, hike, swim and surf. I’m currently studying a Diploma of Sustainable Living, which has brought me to work at the farm and given me valuable skills and knowledge towards building a sustainable life for myself.
“Village Greens veggies are so fresh, it’s literally like picking from your own veggie patch. And the delivery service is great.”
~ Darienne Bovell, Aldinga