Our little farm is finally raring to go. It has been quite the breeze and very much plain sailing.
No I am kidding. It was really hard work. But credit where it's due, I am a Gen-Z and I'm meant to be allergic to that stuff.
It has taken well over 12 months to lay the groundwork for our little farm, and there's surprisingly a lot to it. From planning to production, marketing and accounts, my head has permanently been absorbed in countless books, online classes, videos and aesthetically appalling spreadsheets in an attempt to grasp how to do things. But most and more excitingly, my hands have been in the dirt.
We have started small with 60 10m x 0.75cm beds. We utilised a no-dig set up and put compost directly onto the ground. Prior to the market garden, the land was a paddock grazed by 5 curvaceous and voluptuous sheep. The dirt was heavily compacted, cracked and covered entirely by perennial weeds. I paid $180 for a soil lab to tell me the soil had 'little to no organic matter and microorganisms present'. I figured my cat Justine could have taken one look at the paddock and told me that but it was fun reading a science report my intellect couldn't comprehend. Anyhoo, if my maths serves me correctly, that meant 600 wheelbarrows of soil. I know what you're thinking and yes I have chronic back pain now, but my sister thinks I should be grateful because she helped build 1 bed. Yep, 1 bed.
Once the compost was laid out, the beds were overwintered with covers to help them settle whilst I built the greenhouse (with the help of my little brother and Pop) stocked the toolshed, set up irrigation, found a home for our first beehive and planted a pollinator garden in the marvellous cool of the winter. The first hint of Spring and the smell of jasmine in the air signalled that I could start my seedlings and we were off.
It is so exciting to finally be sharing our produce. Starting a farm can be arduous and taxing, and it's even harder trying to create a farm that's regenerative and organic. But I have to say, it has been the most rewarding and satisfying thing I've ever done, and I haven't even sold a single carrot yet. I'm an amateur, and I feel like an amateur. But I think that's absolutely ok. I am utterly grateful for the support I have already received from my family, friends and neighbours and am eagerly looking forward to meeting new, lovely members of the community, both customers and farmers alike.
I hope the 2021/2022 seasons brings about an abundance of fresh, local vegetables and flowers and maybe even a trip to the chiropractor. Here's to hope and here's to local community.