On Sunday 29th May members from ACG headed on the road to visit Fresh Water Creek farm and cottages near Torquay for a tour and chat with owner Melissa.
We were met on arrival and enjoyed our walk around the property.
Melissa had great insights and tips on using permaculture in gardening and composting is a very important part of the operations there. We shared ideas and she explained what grows well there and how she adds organic matter to the soil, what she uses for mulch and how she deals with weeding and does the " chop and drop" method which is a very simple and clever way to add nutrients to the soil. It is a simple process of cutting overgrown herbs and bushes and leaving the leaves to rot where they land. Herbs accumulate a lot of micro-nutrients in their leaves, especially the perennial ones with deep roots, they’re pretty sneaky and can get hidden nutrients out of even the worst soil. So if you can’t eat them all it makes sense to chop up the leaves and mulch with them. As they decompose they’ll make those nutrients accessible to your annuals. Legumes actually accumulate nitrogen from the air. Melissa uses pea straw for mulch as it is a local resource and as the peas come up she cuts them to the ground. Bare patches are covered and therefore no weeds!
It was great to see all her beautiful animals, chickens ducks cattle and pigs and taste pears fresh from her orchard. After this inspiring visit we headed off to nearby Ravenscreek Farm for a yummy lunch and a look at their gardens. We all enjoyed a fun day out.
Gardens where fresh produce is picked for Ravenscreek organic Cafe
In ground compost buckets and lots of mulch