Although La Nina created a diverse assortment of growing conditions to adjust to, the various harvests have been successful and the farm venture continues to be a viable project.
In Autumn 200 kg of top quality rosellas were harvested which brought a good return from approximately 130 shrubs. We continue to move towards developing wholesale business, and the rosellas are a boutique item well suited to doing this. They are a pleasure to grow and harvest. As well as being dried for teas, some jams with their distinctive flavour were made for inhouse sales by our volunteers.
The garlic harvest in late November produced its pungent bounty. The plot is tended for over nine months, using slightly raised beds which helped greatly when the severe wet spells occurred. We have been happy with the result - a tripling of the amount planted.
The seasonal vegetables and herbs and their nutrient dense flavours have been complimented upon by our customers. The spectacle of masses of bright leafy greens standing tall have enthralled the eye.
Extra focus during winter was placed on growing larger numbers of leafy greens for guests at the international Peace Event. The forward planning, hard work and accompanying good rain meant that we were able to supply a prolific bounty.
The Farm has hosted several workshops and learning experiences this year. Several groups of high school students studying Food Security and Biomes (a ‘Paddock to Plate’ unit) attended and asked questions, explored and filled in their worksheets. Many of them had not previously visited a productive food garden, and left with some appreciation of how their own efforts might impact on food quality and availability in their future.
The Grounded Permaculture Action Party also used the farm again for its workshops. Syntropics, seed propagation, soil health and more were focussed on. It was again a delightful opportunity to connect with earth appreciating people.
We continue to be fully certified with the Demeter Bio-dynamic Research Institute which includes an annual inspection. (and possible random inspections)
The Chicken Caravan project will be finalised and up and running by summer. This will allow birds to be rotated throughout specific areas to graze, scratch up soil for morsels, and lay eggs in their new state of the art home, with its roll away nesting boxes.
All of these accomplishments are due to the care and effort of the farm volunteers. Many sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone for your support.