The Grounds (groundless) Sydney, review

If Disneyland had a farm (and they probably do}  it would be The Grounds.  It’s farm aesthetic as money machine.  And swarming with spenders sucked in by the latest gimmick,  an urban farm.

It’s definitely got a lot of landscaping.  Mostly flowers.  The kale has gone to seed and the vegetable area does not appear to be tended or harvested.  Certainly the planting is not organized to maximise on-site food production.

There are farm animals.  An adult pig,  three adult goats,  and two very pretty white chickens sharing a space the size of my perfectly normal bedroom.  My ecologist friend DS thinks it’s pretty radical to make folks look at a cute chicken or pig before ordering one.

There is a market feel,  with various items sold from portable wooden carts.  However there’s nothing seasonal about what’s being sold,  and no educative role for the vendors. Of course just like Disneyland,  all the cash collected in diverse locations funnels into one pocket.

I’ve never before been tempted to describe a food experience as “feel-good”  but that is definitely all that’s happening here.

Also evocative of Disneyland is the serious innovative proliferation of entertaining stands (lemonade, pizza, sausages, donuts, smoothies… ) Lots of dining choice,  wrapped in prosaic garden…

But there’s absolutely no logic about seasonality, regionality, ecology, community, agriculture, or anything else redolent of the alt/local food movement.

It’s a food carnival in a floral patio,  not an urban farm.