Tag Archives: market garden

Crop planning with post-it notes. And moving that Greenhouse…

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Last weekend we held our annual Spring Market Garden Masterclass down at Allsun Farm, with the unstoppable forces that are Joyce Wilkie and Michael Plane.

This long weekend is always something akin to diving into Joyce + Mike’s heads, and into the crunchy whirlwind that is a small, diverse ‘garden farm’. Here’s a little of what we got up to…  Continue reading

Chlorophyll Powered Everything

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The winter green manure mix has done it’s job, and done it well. Now for the transformation – green carpet turns to living mulch turns into seed bed.

It’s planting time.  Continue reading

Grower Profile: Michael Hewins, Milkwood Farm

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We think it is high time we started introducing you to the network of awesomeness that is the growers and doers we work with, and whom we take inspiration from.

These are the folks we know and love who spend their days wrangling, organising and producing clean food in small, localised food systems. So that we have alternatives to the supermarket duopoly, and so that essential farming knowledge and skills remain in our communities.

First up is Michael Hewins, Milkwood Farm’s very own mofo market gardener…  Continue reading

New models for awesome Community Supported Agricultures (CSAs)

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The capacity and creativity of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) models are growing. What used to be a simple (but noble) system of receiving a box of veggies fresh from a reasonably local farm each week is no longer the only CSA option for getting connected to your food.

But if you’re invested in picking up a box of gloriously local veggies each week, why not pastured meat also? Why not a fleece or ball of yarn? Why not local grains? The possibilities are endless, and there’s people out there already doing it… Continue reading

Bring on Tomato season (and what we’re doing differently this year)

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So we’re into year 2 of community-scale tomato production. Last year the tomato yield was respectable, hailstorms and fruit fly notwithstanding.

This year, we’re trying to hone our technique a little in terms of infrastructure, as well as planning to preserve the harvest while preserving our sanity. Continue reading

Pea Party

Field pea harvest time… this calls for a pea party.

While no longer common in supermarkets, podded peas are on the menu at Milkwood Farm this week. Michael sowed them as a spring crop that would both improve the soil and give a yield, before we plant our summer veggies of capsicum, tomato, eggplant and root crops. They are one of my favorite veggies… Continue reading

Good book: Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers

If you’re looking for a good resource on the actual practicalities of taking on market gardening, get a copy of this book. It’s full of deeply practical insights and uses multiple small-scale, successful vegetable growers direct experiences as templates for it’s planting and financial guides.

In the ways of synergies, Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers actually recommends Allan Savory’s holistic goal setting (developed for Holistic Management of cattle, but applicable to many situations) as an approach to planning your farm’s financial management. Because if you go broke, it doesn’t matter how awesome your veggies are, you probably can’t keep growing them for a living.  Continue reading

A radish can make you smile

See? New season radishes have got to be one of the cutest things in the garden cabinet. Especially when they’re organically grown, multicolored, freshly washed and about to become lunch…

Radish tops are also great in salads, especially when the crop is young like these. Radishes are also very easy to grow and can be used for under-cropping and inter-cropping with other plants – coming up quick and shading the ground while slower crops establish. By the time the bed starts getting crowded, you’re harvesting the radishes, simultaneously making room for the inter-cropped plants. Permaculture stacking of time and space, in miniature… Continue reading

Cima di Rapa

Cima di Rapa is is a common brassica green in Italy, but not well known in Australia. Which is a shame, because it is truly delicious. And hardy. And nutritious. So we’re growing bucketloads of the stuff in the market garden. You can eat the leaves and the flowerheads in salad, or it makes a heavenly pasta with Parmesan, lemon and olive oil.

Michael has just started selling our surplus of this crop in bunches to a community food box scheme in the Blue Mouantins, so now over 60 families are learning the way of the spicy Cima… great stuff. We got our seeds from Allsun Farm, who stock ‘The Italian Gardener‘ – a really good quality, organic, non GMO seed range…

Picking silverbeet thinnings as microgreens

This year in the market garden Michael has sown lots of silverbeet and rainbow chard, because it’s such a versatile and hardy green. However silverbeet are poly-embryonic, which means that multiple plants will sprout from the one seed.

So to prevent crowding and to be able to regulate the final size of the plant, silverbeet can be ‘thinned’, so you end up with just one silverbeet per planting. Thinning can be done at various stages of the growing cycle, but Michael decided to pick/thin the chard at micro greens stage, which means the beginning of mass salads of loveliness at Milkwood Farm. Continue reading

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