Manifest Hoe

Sass Gung Hoe growers farm on Dja Dja Wurrung land; this is land whose sovereignty was never ceded. We acknowledge all the traditional wisdom and care that has shaped and fed this land and its people for hundreds of thousands of years before us. We hope, through the regenerative practices we use, to care for the land and feed our community.

From the traditional indigenous farming practices to the Chinese market gardeners of the gold rush era and the orchardists that came after that, this region has a long food growing history. A Gung Hoe is a traditional hand tool that those Chinese market gardeners would have used to provide food for their community; it symbolises the small scale enterprise that we want to nurture. The Mandarin translation of Gung Ho is ‘working together’, the western interpretation is ‘eager and enthusiastic’…we seek to embody both!

We strongly believe in re-creating a stronger food system that supports its growers and its eaters; we love our community and are passionate about growing real food that is grown with love in healthy, rich soil.

Staring down the barrel of an extreme climate change future, we believe that organic and regenerative agriculture has a huge part to play in healing the land and climate, and feeding our communities. Industrial agriculture is responsible for over 40% of global carbon emissions, not to mention the loss of soil, habitat, biodiversity, and contamination of soil and water. We need to think and grow differently; wiser and lighter.

Wary of using buzz words – if you look up any of these ones you’ll further understand our approach…biodiversity, regenerative, ecological, inspired by biointensive, soil microbiology, farming in climate change, building soil, food sovereignty, nutrient dense, local access, building a resilient local food system, permaculture…

Thanks for all the support, keep in touch, we would love to hear from other young farmers out there too!

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. “- Aldo Leopold.

Links to Interviews:

Salt Grass Interview with Mel and Sas (Winter 2018):

A laughter filled chat about very serious issues; the importance of small scale diverse farming providing for local markets.  Sas and Mel have been farming veggies on their patch of land in Harcourt, leasing from the Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens, for several years.  In that time they have doubled thier size and then doubled again, all the while learning and sharing with their local community.

Salt Grass Interview with Mel Willard and Chris Hain (April 2020):

Chris Hain and Mel Willard about Food Security.  Chris is the President of the Victorian Farmers Market Association and market manager at both Bendigo and Castlemaine markets. Mel is one half of Gung Hoe growers, with her partner in grime Sas Allardice.  Gung Hoe Growers is the vegetable growing arm of the Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative.