We’ve had a new addition to the Gung Hoe team in the last few weeks. Fifi, the 1960 Massey Ferguson tractor, lovingly revamped by Kenny (Sas’ dad). Fifi has lived a life in quiet retirement in Kenny’s backyard for many years, occasionally getting fired up to go out and grade the dirt road where they live after a big rain or to move something large around the backyard, or sometimes just so Kenny could hear the deep guttural hum of her engine and rattle of her rusty exhaust pipe and know that she still had it in her!

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Kenny has given Fifi a complete retune and even a paint job and new seat and she is looking and sounding mighty fine. Last week Kenny and Jules bought Fifi up on the back of a trailer to become a part of the Gung Hoe family. I got a lesson on how to drive her and look after the engine and Kenny is coming back in March to show us how to use the different implements, such as a scoop which will come in very handy when we’re moving loads of organic cow poo around!

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We don’t use machinery in the market garden proper. This is so that we don’t compact the soil or disturb the delicate soil life more than we need to. Fifi has come in mighty handy already though around the patch. Last week she lugged 80kg+ of tomatoes up to the packing shed in one go, rather than us lugging them up in eight sweaty trips by foot! She bought a load of 12 trays of seedlings down to the patch that would have taken me four trips back and forth by foot. I’ve still got a lot to learn about how to drive her gently…not accelerating over bumps and loosing afore-mentioned seedlings off the back of the ‘carry all’ would be helpful! But all in all we love FiFi and her red hot exterior! Doing things by hand is wonderful but it is also a great thing to be able to use appropriate technology thoughtfully to smooth some of our efficiency bumps. Thanks Kenny for passing Fifi down the line and saving our backs!

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In other news, the tomatoes are seriously staring to crank and the okra and eggplants are not far behind! We’ve started sowing all our autumn seedlings en masse and have started our very small scale foray into weekly veggie boxes. We’ve also got our rainbow cherry tomato mix for sale in biodegradable punnets at Green Goes the Grocer in Castlemaine, and the feedback so far is that they rock. Enjoy the sun folks…

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Sas and Mel

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Gung Hoe Growers
69 Danns Rd Harcourt