“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves”. — Mohandas Gandhi

Heronswood, Dromana, Victoria, Australia

Heronswood, Dromana, Victoria, Australia

Today Carla and I visited Heronswood in Dromana, this historic building built in 1874 and set on 46 acres of gardens is home to the The Digger’s Club.

The Digger’s Club offers a wide range of heirloom seeds, books and other items a gardener may need which are available both in their shop and online.

We took advantage of the ‘Fork to Fork’ cafe that specialises in using produce from their own garden and from local producers, we both had their Pot Pie of free range chicken, leek, carrot and celery and coffee which was an enjoyable way to discuss what seeds/plants we should purchase to grow this year. After lunch we wandered around the shop and selected many packets of seeds and a small Wasabi plant, with so much to look at I’m sure that becoming a member of their club was a great investment.

Planting a garden and becoming more self-sufficient is something that I had been interested in since I was a teenager, although I didn’t know many people that grew their own food (and it certainly wasn’t something my family did) so I’m not really sure where this interest came from. I think increasingly as people become more concerned about where our food is produced and what chemicals or processes it has passed through, growing at least some of our own fruit and vegetables is becoming more popular.

Last year we built a small raised garden bed using old pallets and purchased our seeds from commercial sources, which although we had great results it was not really the path we wanted to take in the longer term – Carla did a fantastic job tending our small garden as I still don’t seem to be as involved in its ongoing maintenance as I should be, hopefully I’ll spend more time this year.

So with our first ‘trial’ year behind us we plan to expand our small holding and double the size of the garden and also plan to build a chicken coop in the backyard and hatch some eggs so our own chickens can provide us with eggs!

I have always wanted to make sauce and as Carla was very successful with the tomatoes our original raised bed will be planted exclusively with tomatoes which should provide enough for both salad and sauce making.  We grew our potatoes in several large pots and will continue this method again, we were lucky enough to get our seed potatoes from a friend and these are already established. Pumpkin was also successful in pots so we will grow them the same way too.

Having selected several seed packets this leaves the question of how and in what are we going to grow it? The plan is to continue with a ‘raised’ garden bed as this is ultimately what I would need for my block in Tassie, the soil quality is not great there and having a raised bed also provides a bit more protection from possums. I have often considered using apple boxes for a raised bed however this isn’t without its own issues the size makes it difficult to transport and it takes a huge amount of soil to fill them up making any re-location difficult in the future. The recycled pallets worked well however it does take quite a lot of work to dismantle them and if you don’t get great pallets to start with the end results can be less than perfect.

Raised Garden Bed

Raised Garden Bed

I would like to make something a little more pleasing to the eye and would also like to be able to sell them to other people at the market so I have been looking at several other designs and options, as we plan to grow some beans again having provision for a frame attached to the box would also be a good idea… perhaps a trip to Bunnings is in order 🙂

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St Marys, Tasmania 7215

0400 123 456

mail@1964.com.au

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