It is the time of year when we are all full of excitement for fresh summer farm produce. The growth of all plants has amplified with the warmer weather. We have watched the cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini all become big and strong. The strawberries have also been ripening and growing bigger, with a lot of the picking being done by the Warrah Special School team. Harvesting is the most rewarding and satisfying activity for growers!
The first of the tomatoes that we planted are starting to fruit, and the capsicum and eggplant have shown a positive response to the hotter temperatures. The warmth also caused all our flower varieties of paper daisies, lavender, Queen Anne’s lace, dianthus, cosmos, chimchimeree and calendula to burst with pinks, purples, reds, white and blues.
The oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes along with figs and asparagus have all gone through their seasonal transformation, from the eruption of flowers with an incredible aroma filling the air, to beginning to set fruit. This summer we are growing our usual array of salad mix, lettuce, rocket, rainbow chard, silver beet, kale, pak choi, beetroot, rainbow carrots, along with fruiting crops of beans, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, eggplant and strawberries. We also have basil and parsley growing.
The nursery is one of the more active areas for the clients of our disability services. Tasks include cleaning seedling trays, making seed raising mix and filling trays, thinning seedlings, and then planting the crops they helped raise.
The chicken run project, undertaken as part of a TAFE life skills course, is nearing finalisation. The sections of chicken wire fencing have been erected, and the final painting is being done. Soon we will be graced with the sites and sounds of lovely hens outside our Farm Shop.
The Farm Shop continues to sell the fruits of our farming labours, along with a full range of Australian certified organic and biodynamic produce. We have the first of the peaches, nectarines and mangos available at the time of writing this. Soon there will also be grapes – always worth the wait. Spare a thought for just how hard Australian farmers work to feed us. Faced with floods, droughts and bushfires, Australian farmers need our support now more than ever.