“When you work hard for something you don’t like, that’s called stress. When you work hard for something you enjoy, that’s passion,” Greenwood Farm’s co-owner Paul Fullwood tells us, laughing.
After taking a five-minute trip out of suburbia, we’re discussing the concept of work vs passion with husband and wife team Angi and Paul Fullwood at their ‘urban farm’ in Worongary.
In a semi-rural area, the couple have converted their acre and a half property into their ‘farm’ and workplace with beehives, chooks and garden forming the basis of their produce, supplemented by other supplies.
Providores of honey, jam, sauces and chutneys, baking, produce, flowers, gourmet hampers and organic vegan skin care products, there seems to be no end to the diversity of the couple’s skills.
We sit on their veranda scooping up chutney and cheese with Angi’s hand-rolled crackers as they talk to us about their business.
“Many of us are divorced from our skills. We wanted to grow, produce, and keep connected to our community,” Paul relates about their journey, “to bring back ‘old school’.”
A chef by trade, Angi grew up in Merimbula, where she helped to make sauces for the family restaurant. With her eye for design detail, each product is beautifully presented, jams batch-labelled with time and date of production.
Angi’s multi-talented skills have also brought critical acclaim, winning 10 of the 13 categories she entered in the 2016 Mudgeeraba Show, and named Grand Champion of the show.
“Once a baker, always a baker,” says Angi, whose range of rustic cakes are a triumph. “It inspires me to keep going. Now Paul’s a part of the team and I can’t do this without him.”
While we’re eating jams, biscuits and cakes that Angi has made, we’re surrounded by Paul’s creations: the long tabletop stand the chutneys sit on, uniquely crafted hamper boxes, and handmade bee hives on the hill within sight.
“I’m very conscious of reusing things, of keeping things simple,” Paul tells us. “Wherever I can, I rebuild with things that come my way.”
Paul’s skills with wood originated in his country childhood in Ipswich, where he learned to make use of leftovers. They’re also not afraid of hard work, the core of many craft industries. In their previous project, the Lakeview Hotel, they could do between 100 and 3,000 covers a night depending on the season.
Greenwood Farm, which they began in 2011, is a work of passion. When they moved to Worongary in 2014, Angi gave up her day job to work on the business, while Paul remains in fulltime employment additional to the business.
The farm follows a seasonal cycle, the couple using available materials and produce to produce their goods. Table boards are made of merbau, Paul using their own beeswax ‘Bring me back to life’, a by-product of the honey, to polish them.
Available for purchase online and at the farm gate, much of their organic food is sold wholesale to outlets such as Golosi Food Emporium or Mt Tamborine’s Witches Falls Winery.
With the business now sustainable, what advice would the couple give others who wish to follow an artisan path?
“We are trying to create a brand rather than a product,” the couple tell us, relating that their business journey has veered away from Angi’s original concept. “It’s about growing the brand with assurance of provenance and quality, and seeing where it goes, and what fits with what we do.”
“If you’re going to make a change, do it in your way,” Paul says, with Angi adding, “It’s all about balancing what you love with what works for you.”
‘Build it. Grow it. Cook it. Live it.’ Greenwood Farm is certainly a great exemplar of that model!
Springbrook Road (22.42 km) 4213 Gold Coast, Queensland 4213