The organic road to glowing good health…

The organic road to glowing good health…

It's becoming increasingly obvious (to us at least) that eating organic food is more than just a nice idea, or an optional extra. If we want to get serious about our own health, the health of the planet and creating a sustainable food system that's realistically going...

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Choosing the right fruit tree

Choosing the right fruit tree

It's that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to improving our gardens and our food security by planting some new fruit trees.  Winter is the right time for planting, when the trees are dormant and their roots are inactive, so they're at less risk of being...

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Biochar in a bathtub

Biochar in a bathtub

We became big fans of biochar years ago when we went to this workshop. Then we held our own workshop on the farm to learn how to make biochar vessels out of 44 gallon drums. Despite all of that, we've never made it ourselves, because it seems like a lot of effort to...

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Creating water security in a changing climate

Creating water security in a changing climate

A year ago we were feeling pretty excited about the new water tank we installed next to our shed as part of the 'Hub' infrastructure we built for the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op, funded by an Agriculture Victoria's Food Source grant. We were lucky with rainfall,...

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Have you planted a green manure crop this year?

Have you planted a green manure crop this year?

A few weeks ago we recommended planting a green manure crop as one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your soil before you plant fruit trees. This week we're talking about what to do next. A green manure is a fast-growing crop of (usually) annual plants, and...

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Nine good reasons to grow cherries

Nine good reasons to grow cherries

It may seem a bit strange to be talking about cherries just as we're descending into winter - but now is the time to be deciding what trees to plant this year, and while cherry trees are often not the first choice for backyard fruit growers, they are a wonderful...

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The opportunity cost of not netting

The opportunity cost of not netting

Autumn is one of the most stunning times of year here on the farm. But it hasn't all been beautiful sunny weather, we've finally had some decent rain. We've even had a bit of hail the last couple of days. Hailstorms at this time of year are much less damaging than...

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Can you grow your own multigraft fruit tree?

Can you grow your own multigraft fruit tree?

Multigraft fruit trees are kind of awesome. The trees above and below are great examples. Above is a multi-graft pear with both Packham (green leaves) and 20th Century Nashi (red leaves) on the same tree. The one below is an apricot tree with both Katy and Trevatt...

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How long is your fruit season?

How long is your fruit season?

One of the questions we were asked recently is "how long can you stretch out your fruit season by planting the right varieties?" Great question! A long season is something we're constantly testing and aiming for, as it's one of the best tools available to (1) increase...

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Our arid paradise

Our arid paradise

Living through the COVID-19 era, we've thought ourselves more fortunate than ever to live on the side of a mountain. Exercise is one of the reasons we're allowed to leave home, and considering our farm borders a regional park, the backyard is pretty big. So, we go for...

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Prepare your soil before you plant trees

Prepare your soil before you plant trees

It's time to do some soil preparation before you plant your fruit trees. It's a great idea, if you have time, to plant an autumn green manure crop. This is particularly important if: you have poor soilyou don't have enough topsoilyou're planting a tree into an area...

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Should you spray organic fungicide in autumn?

Should you spray organic fungicide in autumn?

A lot of people don't think "organic" and "spray" go together, and while it's definitely better to aim for a healthy, biodiverse system that keeps itself in balance without any spraying at all, there are actually a couple of sprays that certified organic growers can...

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Are you dreaming of growing your own fruit to help create the lifestyle you want? Or maybe you already have fruit trees and know how amazing it feels to eat yummy sun-ripened fruit from your own garden (so much better than shop-bought).

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