Baby it's cold outside...

We've experienced a week of cold starts to mostly glorious sunny winter days. Winter has certainly made its mark here on the farm.  Over the last week we've experienced morning temperatures between -6 to - 4.  Although it's a struggle to get out the door at this time of the year, we remind ourselves that living seasonally during this period of dormancy is as important for us as it is for the earth. Plants during winter shed their excess leaves and/or slow down their energy.  It's a survival technique for many Australian cool temperate climate plants.  Although winter is a time of slow growth, all plants are working hard and getting ready for warmer days, just like we're preparing the market garden patches for spring and summer.  It's a time of energy conservation before the busy spring and summer period.  Deciduous trees are storing nutrients in their bark, while Australian native tree species are green and ready to make the most of any changes in temperature, rain and sun.  All our plants are tracking time and temperature during winter, so they know when to throw away the cover of winter and work on rejoicing in the warmth of the spring sun, much like our preparation for spring and summer.   

Gardening Tip of the week....

Carrot, lettuce and poppy seeds are very small and can be a challenge to sow without specialist equipment. Here's a tip so you don’t end up with clumps of seed growing in the same spot. Mix through the fine seeds in dry sand, and then simply sprinkle the sand over the seed tray or garden bed.  The seeds now mixed with the sand should provide a much more even distribution of seed.

What's happening on the farm....

Preparation is well on the way for spring and summer. We're planning crops for the CSA and the weekly farmers markets we attend.  We're reviewing the microclimate on the farm, planning which vegetables need the most amount of sunlight, water and nutrients, how much to grow and how much we'll need to keep you in a weekly supply of fresh vegetables.

We're regularly working on helping our soil become more friable so it works in unison with plantings, giving seedlings an easy start to life.  We're giving the soil a dose of cow and chicken manure, green manure and/or lime, and we're building up and experimenting with our compost piles. 

Workshops...

Do you want to learn how to make your own healthy probiotic drinks?  Then why not come along to our next 'Ferment Your Drinks Workshop'. It will be held on Sunday, 24 July 2016, and costs $80. 

There's been a lot of interest in the workshop, we encourage you to book your place in this fun and hands on fermentation workshop before it's booked out.  More workshop and booking details can be found on the 'orders' page of our website. 

Taylor's Permaculture Tip....

Pasture and grasses have an important role on a farm. Not only does it feed animals but pasture and grass helps keep soil in place (a very important part of managing our slope).  There are two types of grasses, perennial and annual. Perennials last a long time, where as annuals only last the season.  Perennial grasses help to improve top soil, encouraging worms, and beneficial insects and mould that bring life to the soil. While annuals are great for animals to graze on as they are short lived and fast growing, and it adapts quicker to the environment.

The best way to reduce desertification and improve soil is to manage the compaction of soil. In urban gardens this means reducing compaction of the soil in high traffic areas, and every now and then letting the grass grow longer than you would normally.  Do this a few times during the year, and observe the difference it makes to the life cycle of the grasses in your garden.  Through observations of, and interaction with, your garden's soil and grasses you'll improve your knowledge of your gardens microclimate. 

Harvest bags...

Even though the temperature has dropped, the market garden is coming along nicely.  It has enjoyed the recent rain and the vibrant blue sky that only winter can provide.  To order your weekly supply of delicious nutrient dense vegetables either order on line or send an email to orders@BurraBeeFarm.com.au.  Collection at the Farmers and Foodies Market Friday between 3pm - 7pm.

CSA

Thank you to everyone who has expressed their interest in or has signed up to become a member of the BurraBee Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  We are excited about the Spring and Summer CSA's, and can't wait to provide you a weekly supply of spring and/or summer seasonal vegetables. 

If you haven't yet had a chance to look into becoming a member of our CSA's we encourage you to do so on our website (links below).  The CSA's are a great way for our farm and you to support the evolution of connecting with the community with local farms.  There are still a few memberships available for the Spring and Summer CSA's, we'd love you to be part of our first CSA journey.

At the markets....

This week at the Farmers and Foodies Market we'll have our famous Warm Kombucha Cider, and Warm Turmeric Milk to warm you up and provide you with a healthy boost of energy while you wander the market.  We'll also have Raw Honey,  and fresh seasonal vegetables (carrots, potatoes, leek, cauliflower, and parsnips).  Many of our customers have been asking about our fresh free range eggs.  We're sorry we haven't had eggs at the market for over two months.  Our ladies have been working hard preparing their bodies for the spring and summer laying season.  They'll be back soon.  In the meantime, Farmer Brown's Free Range Eggs will be at the market.  We've heard his eggs are nearly as fabulous as ours ;-) .

Watch this space...

We have a new project ready for July.  We are passionate about sharing this project with you.  Watch out for a special post on Saturday. 

Stay warm and thanks for reading.