Dr Sachin Chavan a research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and Goran Lopaticki the Facility Manager of the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre (NVPCC), leads a tour focusing on the design, research and innovation taking place on Sydney’s peri-urban fringe to protect the future of national food systems and agriculture.
Innovation in protected cropping including polytunnels, glasshouses and vertical farms is part of a global priority to increase the sustainability and efficiency of food production systems challenged by urbanisation, population growth and climate change.
Since its launch in 2017 as an education and research facility for Australia’s protected cropping specialists, the NVPCC Glasshouse at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury campus has produced more than 58 tonnes of fresh food from production and research trials. The Greenhouse is the first and largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and is part of an industry-oriented collaboration between Future Food Systems, Hort Innovation and Western Sydney University to conduct research into increasing crop yields while lowering costs to producers and the environment.
Shaping the Future of Farming is part of Sydney Design Week’s urban food program, curated by chef Xinyi Lim (林心仪) who through her venture Megafauna uses food as an artistic tool for social justice, community-building and exploration of culture and heritage.
Goran Lopaticki is the facility manager at the NVPCC. Lopaticki is responsible for the technical infrastructure and building automation facilitating day-to-day operations of the glasshouse. He is the liaison with research directors and teaching academics, ensuring their objectives are met within the facility during crop trials. Lopaticki has previously managed other climate controlled facilities within WSU and completed an extensive protected cropping training program in Holland.
Dr Sachin Chavan is a research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. He is currently working in greenhouse horticulture project at the NVPCC to assess the impact of innovative greenhouse films on crop plant physiology and biochemistry.
Xinyi Lim’s (林心仪) exploration of the Australian food industry has seen her cooking in several notable kitchens in Sydney including Cafe Freda’s in Darlinghurst (where she was opening head chef) and three-hatted restaurant Firedoor in Surry Hills (NSW Restaurant of the Year 2023) while maintaining her commitment to social causes through work with enterprises such as Welcome Merchant, Two Good Co and OzHarvest. She is currently a food consultant, food stylist and freelance chef, and continues to write and converse about all things food and culture.
On Marrangorra land
National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre
Western Sydney University
Hawkesbury Campus, Bourke Street
Richmond NSW 2754
17 September 2023