HC Sproule and Son Pty Ltd
I have been in business 38 years. My grandfather started growing flowers in the Depression during the 1930’s to supplement his income and support his family of eleven. My father started growing flowers along with two of his brothers in Greystanes. I joined the business after finishing agricultural college in 1974. My son Doug has now come back to the farm as the fourth generation, you’ll often see my grandkids (the fifth generation) helping us out around the farm and at the markets.
As a child the rule was I had to stop working in the garden when the sun went down. I loved sitting on my uncle’s knees while they drove their tractor and being outdoors. After finishing my school certificate I went to Tocal Agricultural College for two years before coming back to the farm full time. I then continued on to complete an Advanced Diploma of Horticulture. During this time we moved the farm from Greystanes to Luddenham due to urban sprawl (there are streets in Greystanes named after flowers in reference to the land use prior to development). When talk of Badgery’s Creek airport began we moved the farm to Oakdale, where we currently have around six hectares under production.
When I first joined the business we were farming on five acres using town water and sprinklers. Now we use dam and bore water with drip irrigation, which means a 50%-70% saving in water use. Our farm runs on a closed water system using a series of settlement dams and contour drains, so that no water runs off the property and into Sydney Water Catchment. We’ve also made sure that we have a natural bush corridor which protects the creek which runs through our property and eventually feeds into Warragamba dam. We focus on using natural fertilisers and composts such as chicken manure, sawdust and coconut husks which has dramatically reduced our reliance on mineral fertiliers.
Our flowers are grown and freshly picked for Warwick Farm Trackside Market. We bring you flowers straight from the farm, sold by the people who labour to bring them to you.
The market has provided a means for us to sell directly to customers; to meet face to face with those who get to enjoy our product. We enjoy their feedback and hearing about our product once it leaves us, and appreciate the opportunity to share our passion for our product and farm life. It is the interaction between customers and farmers which makes this market great. The market has provided another income stream for the business, which has been vital in the current economic climate. It’s also a treat for the grandkids to be a part of the marketing process.
We’ve been coming to the market since it first began in 2002 and I am proud to say I have had a part of its success.