The big round sun in the springtime sky
Winked at a cloud that was passing by
The little cloud laughed as it scattered rain
Then out came the big round sun again.
~ Author Unknown ~
Spring has arrived! We made it through winter and plans are underway for a summer. Sometimes it feels like we might just miss the season we are currently in as we continually plan for the next season. I think there's room to stop, every now and then, to take stock of the blossoms, smells and sunlight.
This month we've been busy participating in some very important events to improve and sustain our food system in the Canberra and Queanbeyan region. A variety of people, including farmers, academics, and organisations, have been working on how to support the regions food needs. To add to the complexity of the issue many growers are scattered around the region rather than being located in pockets of farming land dedicated to supporting cities. More work is needed, more support is required and greater collaboration is a must.
What's happening in the garden...
Now is the time to prepare your beds for spring and summer planting, ideally a few weeks before you sow or transplant. As you know Australian soils are often described as 'old'. The soil here hasn't experienced the tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity compared to other continents. The movement of plates and glacial changes rejuvenate the soil but is something that hasn't happened on this fabulous continent for a very long time. In our region we tend to have clay soil. It's sticky, heavy and holds together well. Although our clay soils are usually high in plant nutrients and water, the roots of plants find it very hard to penetrate to take advantage of these nutrients. Plants find it easier to grow in soil that has a balance of medium and large pores. The larger pores hold the air for the plant to breath while the medium pores provide the water for the plant to replenish and grow. We add organic matter to improve our soil structure and encourage micro-organisms to grow. When you are preparing your beds, you may need to add organic soil improvers. These can be applied like you would apply mulch or they can be dug in. We have listed below a few organic soil improvers you may wish to try this season, and have included the levels of fertility gained:
- Compost - can be dug in or used like mulch. It will provide a medium level of fertility to the soil
- Hay - best used as mulch. It provides a medium level of fertility to the soil.
- Worm compost - can be dug in or used like mulch. It provides soil with a high level of fertility
- Wood chips - best used as mulch. Wood chips provide a low level of fertility to the soil
At this time of year the soil temperatures are low, but there's still opportunity to plant seeds directly if the soil temperature is right. Here's a list of seeds to plant when the soil temperature reaches 5 degrees or higher:
Seed Soil temperature
Cabbage 5 - 30̊
Leeks 7 - 20̊
Onions 7 - 20 ̊
Broad bean 5̊̊
Community Supported Agriculture
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It's an exclusive membership that provides you with what we hope will be plenty of fresh, seasonal, locally grown vegetables from our small farm to your home. Your membership fees are put towards planning, planting, growing and harvesting vegetables throughout the seasons.
BBF Spring CSA - family of four - $625 (equals $48 per week)
BBF Spring CSA - family of two - $313 (equals $24 per week)
BBF Summer CSA - family of four - $575 (equals $45 per week)
BBF Summer CSA - family of two - $288 (equals $23 per week)
More information about our CSA's can be found here.
Again we are very happy to pick and pack a delicious selection of fresh vegetables and raw honey for you. This week's Harvest bags can be collected at the Farmers and Foodies Market between 3pm - 7pm. Order online before 11am to make sure you have first dibs on your Harvest Bag (limited numbers available)
PHOTO A DAY CHALLENGE - Eat the RAINBOW
Join our photo a day challenge, starting next week. Click HERE to read about (and take part in) our 'Eat the Rainbow' challenge and check out Little Raw Foodie's website here for ideas on how to combine our challenge with your children's lunch for school.
See you at the Farmers and Foodies Market this Friday between 3pm and 7pm at the Old Bus Depot Market. We hope you and join us for the Photo a Day Challenge - Eat the Rainbow.
Leave us a message below to let us know how you are and what is happening in your garden.