Hort Innovation is a not-for-profit, grower-owned Research and Development Corporation for Australia’s $9 billion horticulture industry. Hort Innovation invests more than $100 million in research, development and marketing programs annually.
Nuffield Australia 2019 Scholarship winner
Organic horticulture producer from Wallacia, west of Sydney in NSW, Christina Kelman received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Hort Innovation’s Vegetable Levy.
Motivated by the need to produce more with less, Christina researched ways the horticulture industry can increase outputs while reducing inputs and farming sustainably. She also investigated the role that experimentation and innovation can play in achieving this in the organic horticulture industry.
Working and managing her family’s business, Rita’s Farm, Christina grows certified organic leafy greens, legumes, citrus, root vegetables and fruit-bearing crops including tomato, zucchini, capsicum and eggplant over 25 hectares.
As a vertically integrated business, Rita’s Farm participates in wholesaling, farmers markets, online delivery and supermarket supply, requiring Christina to grow large amounts of produce across up to 100 lines at any one time.
“Running an organic farm means we constantly have to be in touch with the requirements of our consumers, scale our market garden production and reduce our inputs and costs wherever possible,” Christina said.
“I looked at innovative ways that producers can do more with less, and how we can grow sustainable urban food production into the powerhouse it can be for the Sydney market and beyond.”
Christina travelled throughout Europe, the Netherlands, USA and Canada as she researched innovative and productive sustainable food systems.
Download Cristina's report here