The search for an appropriate patch of land to start our organic market garden on was a long and interesting process in working out what our priorities — actually our non-negotiables — were. It was also a great way of meeting like-minded people in our community who are supportive of more food production happening here and are willing to offer their own land to meet this end. Along the way water and soil became obvious limiting factors in this region. We found there to be no shortage of generous and enthusiastic people willing to let us grow on their land, but without soil or water, our dream could not be realised. Soil we were willing to build (the legacy of fertility is such a great gift to leave behind) but there is no growing without water.
Whilst we were mid-search for our dream patch, we decided to take a small, symbolic and meaningful action towards finding it. Without large financial capital available to us we are learning to be resourceful, creative and to reach out to our community. Healing Well, a collective of health practitioners based in a converted house on Mostyn St, we noticed, happens to have a fantastic (empty) glass house in its rambling garden. The folks there were so welcoming and encouraging of us using their hot house to start raising seedlings for our ‘patch to be’, that we decided to plant our first round of seedlings in hopeful anticipation of finding that patch. Only a week later we started discussions with Hugh and Katie and the rest is history!
We are choosing to plant our seedlings in small but regular batches based on the cycles of the moon. With small regular sowings of seeds in the hot house, we plan to stagger our transplanting and therefore spread our harvests out over a longer period. Use of the hot house at Healing Well has helped keep a warm and humid environment to germinate seeds, particularly helpful as the days get cooler and shorter. Our very first seedlings of radish, salad greens, brassicas and root crops are almost ready to be transplanted out, and our garden beds are ready to receive them…fingers crossed the elements are willing to cooperate too!
Sas and Mel