Five Sixty Farms is a family-owned organic microgreen farm located south of Lismore. The certified business is dedicated to producing the freshest and highest quality microgreens using sustainable farming practices.
For those who don’t know, microgreens are young plants that are harvested when they are only a few inches tall, just after they have developed their first true leaves.
These young plants are packed with nutrients and have a 60% to 80% higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their fully grown counterparts. Microgreens are used as a garnish, added to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies, or eaten as a snack. There are more than 20 different varieties of microgreens grown seasonally at Five Sixty Farms, as well as a range of other vegetables and leafy greens.
Pepe Fassos and his family operate Five Sixty Farms, mostly selling to local restaurants and independent retailers in the Northern Rivers region, including Ballina and Byron Bay. The business has always been operated according to organic principles, with the decision made last year to become certified organic to support integrity in the industry.
Microgreens have a very short growing window; from seed to harvest, the growing phase does not exceed two weeks. Microgreens and edible flowers are nurtured by hand in a purpose-built greenhouse. Using healthy soil and compost, the seeds are planted with care and watered using rainwater only.
The farm was heavily impacted by the devastating flooding event that hit the Northern Rivers region in early 2022. The Fassos family live onsite in a well-raised home, where floodwaters rose to half of the second-story windows. The family was rescued from their roof after 12 hours of fear, but their greenhouse and all crops were completely washed away.
It took three to four months to rebuild, thanks to help from grants and significant support from the local community, with many people banding together to help operations get back on their feet.
You can connect with Pepe and the Five Sixty team at farmers markets in the Northern NSW region, including the Byron Farmers Market on Thursdays, Bangalow Market on Saturday and the Ballina Farmers Market on Sundays.
Make sure you visit the Five Sixty Farms website to learn more about microgreens and the farm’s growing processes. You can also follow the operation on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, with plenty of informative content on offer.