While spring is only days away, we are still very much in winter down here. There’s snow on the mountain, we can see our breath in the mornings and we’re still wearing at least two jumpers. And the farm? Well the farm is taking shape – it’s beautiful and we love it. Have a look…
The bulk of the farm is currently under mixed green manures (broad beans, rye and lupens ), building soil health and getting ready for spring/summer crops.
Our garlic is looking mighty fine. After a slow start, it’s now coming on strong, we put it in a touch late (hence its shortness), however we’ve got another 3-4 months in the ground, so she’ll be more than right.
We planted a variety called Dunganski, sourced from local farmer, Tony Shearer (thanks Tony). If you’re in Hobart or southern Tasmania this summer, you know where you can get your garlic from!
We spaced the garlic evenly to make for easy weeding. James made this fantastic roller tool (below) that marked out the holes for the garlic, meaning we could come in behind him and pop the garlic in super quickly. It’s these types of tools which make this type of farming efficient, effective and therefore viable. Good tools will change your life – get them (or make them), they’re worth it.
We now also have a very fine shed which we more than like, especially since we painted the doors to make sure people know exactly where they are.
It looks after our tools, seeds and bits and pieces. Over time it will grow slightly to include a lean-to for washing/processing veggies as well as providing a sheltered space to work from and admire the world.
In preparation for some serious nutrient cycling, we’ve made four worm farms from old bath tubs. No organic waste will leave our site, instead it’ll be cycled through our worm farms or through large compost piles. We expect that we’ll also need to bring in bulk compost seasonally as we don’t have enough space or capacity to make everything we need. Once the weather warms up, we’ll get these worm farms working so they can help provide valuable nutrients to make sure the crops are as healthy as can be.
And the heritage pine tree, which we initially saw as a limitation to farming has now become one of our favourite things about the site, shaping the social space for the farm. At our ‘winter warming’ opening launch (in May) we had over 300 people comfortably lounging beneath this beauty!
Our next big job is to set up our massive, awesome steel frame *hot house*, we are beyond excited. It’s 15m long and around 4m wide, meaning we’ll be able to extend the season for a good range of crops which is a real game changer in our cool temperate climate.
And here’s our youngest farmer – Frida Maria, she specialises in supervising, eating dirt (it’s good for you, you know) and making sure we have regular breaks for cuddles and food.
We’re looking forward to our first big growing season. The crop planning has been done (talk about a mind bending exercise), the seeds are on their way and we’re pumped. Get ready Hobart, we’re going to have a whole bunch of edible goodness coming your way in a few short months!