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Brightside Produce

Creative People

Anddddd we’re back! After 2 weeks recharging, and recapping our TOP 10 homes of last year, a fresh new year of TDF starts NOW!

We’re kicking off with a tour of Brightside Produce, a thriving little farm providing chemical-free produce in the Southern Tablelands of rural New South Wales.

Young couple Emily Yarra and Michael Kobier purchased this 128-acre property two years ago, and tend to their quarter-acre market garden with their adorable son Felix on their backs (literally)!

8th January, 2018

Brightside Produce, a thriving little farm providing chemical-free produce in the Southern Tablelands of rural New South Wales.. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Young local couple Emily Yarra and Michael Kobier purchased this property two years ago. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

The down-to-earth duo tend to their farm with their adorable son Felix on their backs! Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Both Emily and Michael grew up nearby. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

The grow produce on a quarter-acre market garden of the 128-acre property. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

They can have 40ºC one day and then a frost the next, so the climate can be a challenge. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Before the farm, Emily studied law at the Australian National University and Michael worked as a sheet metal apprentice. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Lush vegies from the garden. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Their business is capable of supporting the couple and their bubbly 10-month-old son Felix. Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Their little market garden has a million-dollar view! Photo – Honey Atkinson.

Karen Locke
Monday 8th January 2018

Everybody was telling us we were crazy to try and grow out here, so ever since then we’ve just been determined to prove them wrong!’ – Emily Yarra.

In the Southern Tablelands of rural New South Wales, nestled between the beautiful Tinderry Mountains to the West and Tallaganda State Forest to the East, sits a little market garden with a million-dollar view.

Emily Yarra (31) and Michael Kobier (33) run Brightside Produce, a small but thriving farm providing seasonal, chemical free produce to discerning chefs and families throughout the Canberra region.

The young couple purchased the property only two years ago, and have worked tirelessly since then to create a business capable of supporting themselves and their bubbly 10-month-old son Felix.

Wandering the paths of their garden we’re serenaded by birds and the rumbling of thunder clouds circling the mountains all around us, threatening to drench us with what Emily refers to as ‘money that falls from the sky.’

While their property spans 128 acres, the market garden sites snuggly on just a quarter acre of land on a small plateau.

Standing at the garden gate the view before us almost seems painted by an artist’s brush. Vegetables grow in near perfect rows in various heights and differing shades of green and red, while rows of flowering Queen Anne’s Lace and Coriander gone to seed are alive with hundreds of bees.

While the weather during our visit was mild, Emily is quick to point out that the farm is situated 950-metres above sea level in a mountainous, cool-temperate climate that can be unpredictable and provide extremely difficult growing conditions.

‘We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into when we bought this property. We can have 40 degrees one day and then a frost the next. It’s been a huge challenge trying to figure out how to grow in this climate.’

Both Emily and Michael grew up nearby and chose the property for its proximity to family. ‘I guess we didn’t have much experience, and didn’t know what we should be looking for in a block of land. This was the first property we looked at and we just thought it was beautiful. Everybody was telling us we were crazy to try and grow out here, so ever since then we’ve just been determined to prove them wrong,’ laughs Emily.

While they both started out on very different career paths – Emily studied law at the Australian National University and Michael worked as a sheet metal apprentice – the couple’s interest in farming grew during their time travelling around North America and Europe, volunteering on organic farms.

‘I think our time overseas, working on different farms and staying in small communities that were really off-beat, showed us that there is another way to live. You don’t have to choose a nine-to-five job and a big mortgage. You can still live a full, healthy, happy life by choosing another path.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net