Heirloom veggie surprises…

The beauty of growing heirloom varieties of vegetables is that it’s always a surprise. This week we cut open watermelons to find the flesh yellow…we didn’t plant any yellow watermelons, ripe canteloupes that were white fleshed…we thought we only planted orange ones…and we also harvested our first lot of beans that included yellow, purple green, and yellow with purple stripes. So much variety, so beautiful!

This time of year is nuts on the farm (do I say that every blog?). We are picking so much beautiful produce we haven’t got enough hours in the day to also be sowing, preparing beds for and planting out our autumn/winter crops. But we’re just trying to roll with it and stay positive. We can after all only do what we can do!

February veggie boxes were a hit and we’ve loved hanging out at the Theater Royal courtyard on a Tuesday evening while people come to pick up their boxes and shoot the breeze. It’s such a joy watching kids and adults alike with melon juice all over their faces and flowers in their hands as they trot off down the lane.

It’s now time to order veggie boxes for the month of March if you’re interested. Things to expect (although there are always a few unexpected surprises) are corn, beans, spuds, beets, herbs, salad, chard, kale, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, okra, onions, garlic, pumpkin, spring onions, capsicums and eggplant, phew! You can also add $10 of organic fruit to your box each week.

We ask for a month upfront payment and the boxes can be picked up Tuesday 4–6 pm at the Theatre Royal or Wed–Friday at the MAFG farm shop from 10 am to 4 pm. If you’re interested, check out the link to our online shop here:


Another joy of working with heirloom, nonhybrid crops is the surprise of saving seed and replanting the next season. In amidst the planting and harvesting at the moment, we’re also saving seeds…next season will reveal what interesting cross-varieties we’ve accidentally created! Like this season’s freckles x salad bowl lettuce we’ve had coming up!

Grow well folks…

Sas (and Mel)


Farming, resilience, and a changing climate…

I feel like every blog I write lately is about some sort of extreme climatic event that we or our crops have just survived. It’s like this season is showing us all of the extremes that climate change is bringing on a more and more frequent basis, i.e., weekly! As I walked along the corn row this week looking at the shrivelled up and crispy growing tips that have been burnt by wind and sun (certainly not for lack of water and love!), I must admit I began to wonder…can we really grow food in this place? The strong answer that always comes whenever I have these kinds of doubts is, ‘We have to’.

This week’s climatic event was a fast and furious grass fire that came very close to where we stood watching as the flames lapped at the fruit trees. The house, sheds, cars, tractors, orchard and our market garden (and us!) all stood in its way and were it not for 13 trucks full of amazing CFA volunteers and ‘Elvis’ dropping water bombs from the sky, we would have lost everything. A sobering thought. We can’t express enough gratitude to those nameless volunteers who swept in and did the job.  Katie, Hugh, and Ant had damage to 300 trees, fencing and irrigation, right in the middle of the busiest part of the season, but it really could have been so much worse if not for the quick actions of the CFA.

Mel’s last blog was about resilience, and it would seem this one is too. Resilience of people, crops and environment. It’s amazing isn’t it how nature responds to such seemingly catastrophic things as fire. If we want to grow in this climate and feed the local community with food that hasn’t travelled thousands of kilometers, we have to accept this changing climate, know it and plan for it.

Grow well folks and stay cool

Sas (and Mel)

P.S. Our Summer Veggie boxes will start in first week of Feb. Order your first month’s subscription by 3 Feb by going to our online shop here: https://gung-hoe-growers.myshopify.com/collections/produce

We’re saying Yes!

This week in the patch we are saying YES! Yes to a diverse crop of rainbow cherry tomatoes freshly planted and trellised in our new patch. Yes to redirecting the kangaroo traffic around (rather than over) our newly planted seedlings. Yes to slow soaking rain that makes everything stand up in all its green glory. Yes to the madness of the spring summer season that is soaring ahead…and Yes to pulling out our third crop of garlic.

Lately the world out there has been getting crazy. The politics of our nation seem to be receding into a black hole of discrimination, game playing and crimes against humanity… sometimes you’ve just got to focus on the small wins you can make with your own hands, and be grateful. Yes.

Thanks to our lovely cheese-making friend Lydia for helping us out on a stinking hot day to plant hundreds of tomato seedlings. Thank you to Meg from CERES propagation for growing up all those healthy seedlings. We’ve had a few smashed by passing kangaroos, but hopefully now with our ingenious trellising and fencing (which includes our old undies ripped up and attached to the fence so the roos can see it!), the rest will survive. Thank you to Katie and Hugh for their continued support, creativity and generosity in creating our new farming alliance which gets more exciting by the day.

Next week we pull out our garlic. Stay tuned for our online shop where you can preorder your ½ or whole kg garlic plaits. We’re also madly planting out all our summer crops now that the soil has warmed up and we’ve got the irrigation system happening. But today, with this beautiful rain, it is time to spray our Biodynamic Preparation 500 (cow horn manure) and get the soil life buzzing!