Beechworth Natural Farm Visit: Notes from the Seedsavers visit 09/11/19

Saturday 9th November 201

A few seedsavers and keen local gardeners braved the cold, windy weather and visited Pat and Ada’s farm at 13 Kibell Lane Beechworth, last Saturday. We had a nice hot cup of tea before our informative tour around the farm. Pat and Ada have been growing vegetables on their 27acre farm for the last three years. They are committed to producing healthy organic vegetables grown in humus rich soil, as they are certified Demeter Bio Dynamic in conversion growers.

This chemical free farming practice and the certification requirements are challenging and rewarding for Pat, Ada and their young family. They have worked hard growing green manure crops to improve their soil which was quite acid and depleted to begin with. In winter they sow fava and broad beans, vetch, clover, oats, and lupins which are cut and dug into the soil. In summer they grow sorghum, sunflowers, buck wheat and corn to help build up humus rich soil, rich in organic matter. They use mulch, hand weeding or use various hand tools to limit weed germination around their young seedlings.

Poor drainage in their fields was another challenge they had to contend with, constructing table drains to prevent waterlogging and adding mushroom compost and animal manure to improve the soil fertility. They erected a boundary fence that keeps rabbits, Kangaroos and wombats out. Red legged earth mites and  hot and cold temperatures have been managed by covering emerging seedlings in the fields. In terms of water they have 10 megalitres of groundwater and 12 megalitres in surface dams to use for growing vegetables.

The rewards for Ada and Pat are evident in the vegetable boxes they sell at the farm gate. They supply vegetables to local restaurants and they sell open pollinated seedlings at local markets for home gardeners. So check out their website to shop online https://beechworthnaturalfarm.com.au or visit their farm. Pat and Ada are both genuinely committed to growing healthy organic food for their community.

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