October 11, 2017
Last Sunday we had our very first farm event. It was attended by a group of enthusiastic and engaged members, future members and interested others who live too far away to join. This made me realise how lucky we are to live in this amazing area of Sydney. It’s not everywhere that you have an organic veggie farm on your doorstep, or in my case that you can find land to start a farm in the first place and have people close enough to buy your produce. For the members who came last Sunday to the farm, simply buying their food wasn’t enough – they wanted to see for themselves how it was grown.
We began with a farm tour, taking in the bathtub wormfarm and compost bays; the seedling tunnel; the pea trellis for a snack along the way; the gas flame weeder; carrot picking for the kids and some very excited grown-ups; the walking tractor on the Jerusalem artichoke beds; the push seeder; a stirrup-hoe and broadfork demonstration and the irrigation system. Although we only walked in a 200m circle this took an hour as there was much to ask and tell. Why do you bother seeding in trays first and then transplanting? What do you do with a Jerusalem artichoke? What is the quality of the river water like? How long have you been farming on this land? Why is this carrot white?
After the tour, we made our way back to the table and the kiddies began sowing basil seed saved from last year into small pots and decorating a label with bees and ladybugs. After this it was on to the scarecrow-making, resulting in two adults and a baby scarecrow in a jumpsuit now standing proudly on the farm. Every time I catch them out of the corner of my eye I think I have visitors. Even Roshan’s dog thinks they are real and barks at them every time he comes down to the farm.
Finally, we had a cup of tea and tasted the seasonal vegetable recipes people had brought along to share. There was carrot cake with a chocolate glaze, spanakopita, beetroot chocolate muffins, rocket hummous and herb and potato pikelets. The carrot cake was declared the winner and Cherie went home with a box of veggies.
It was an inspiring day for me, particularly seeing the kiddies devouring my vegetables. That is after all why I do this to begin with. It wouldn’t have been possible without some very special helpers. Thank you to mum for organising the tea and coffee and scouring the second-hand shops for mugs, to dad for being the official photographer, to Nadia for running the seeding table and to Finn for creating three awesome scarecrows with the help of four mini-farmers aged 2-7. I couldn’t have done it without you all.
If you couldn’t make it this time, look out for the next farm event and come along to meet other like-minded people, learn more about small organic agriculture and truly know where your food comes from.
Yours in veg,