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Frank’s Green Thumb

Frank tending to his garden with support worker

Vegetable farming is in Frank’s blood. The son of two Maltese immigrants, Frank spent
his youth growing up on his parents’ farm in Blacktown. Together they grew lettuce,
cabbage, silver beet, broccoli and cauliflower, which they sold to local markets.

Frank loves vegetable farming and as an adult, he followed in his family’s footsteps, working as a farmer in Blacktown and Hawkesbury for 15 years.

Life has thrown some challenges at Frank. Loving the peace and tranquillity of the Blue Mountains, he decided to make the tree change and moved into supported independent living.

Frank with support worker

During those first few years, Frank had a break from vegetable gardening, but was missing it. “I wanted to get back to gardening,” says Frank, “it feels very satisfying.”

In 2014, Frank was now supported by Sylvanvale, and the team learnt about Frank’s passion for vegetable gardening.

The team asked Frank if he would like to start a garden, which he did. They worked together to purchase raised garden beds, soil, mulch, tools and seedlings.

Frank standing near his greenhouses

Every afternoon, Frank tends to the gardens, and cooks freshly picked vegetables for his evening meals. He makes sure his produce is in season and, with the support of staff, researches recipes which can incorporate his ingredients. Under Frank’s care, the gardens are flourishing. A year after moving in, two large greenhouses were set up for Frank at a nearby Sylvanvale property.

On ANZAC day this year, Frank’s support team asked if he would like to try making ANZAC cookies. This was Frank’s first-ever attempt at baking, which he thoroughly enjoyed. So much so, that Saturday morning cooking is now a weekly ritual, trying out a new recipe each time. “I love cooking,” says Frank.

Meanwhile, his plants continue to produce more and more vegetables each season. This year alone, Frank’s gardens grew 564 cherry tomatoes, 680 button squashes, 177 zucchini, 86 figs, 73 eggplants, 464 banana chillies and 56 capsicum! The plants respond so well to Frank’s green thumb that even when some crops are out of season, they continue to yield fresh produce.

A kind-hearted gentleman, Frank is always generous with his produce, sharing it with residents at Sylvanvale properties in the Blue Mountains.

Frank’s story is a prime example of how every person you meet is an individual with their own wants, needs and interests. You never know; they might even have a hidden talent – just like Frank.

Current Blue Mountains Vacancies

Do you know someone with disability looking for supported accommodation? Sylvanvale currently has a range of vacancies in the Blue Mountains.

Click on the properties below to find out more. 


Peaceful, Leafy Location


Attractive, Convenient Location