Rain Rain Go Away …

Once again I find myself writing with rain falling from the sky in vast quantities, and we're told the end is not in sight.

For the third time in two months, we have a low pressure system sitting almost stationary off the northern NSW coast that is driving moist air onto the coastline and adjoining ranges, and moist air is an understatement! Huey's really throwing it down.

Geese preening in puddle 21.5.09 I suppose it could be worse!

For us, the frustrating thing is not the day or two (or three) of inclement weather that means wearing raincoats and overpants, it's the following three or four days that we need to wait before we can move vehicles and trailers around the property, collecting piles of green waste, moving compost materials into place, spreading our made compost and leaf mulch around, and even working the soil in the plots.

At least the ducks and geese get to have some fun!



Our New Team Member
The most recent recruit, actually our first, young Angus Hawkens, started with us last Monday and has keenly jumped in to tasks that we've set for him. So far Angus has been shown first hand the finer points of garden bed clearing, compost heap building, and seedling planting. His first bed of planting was some leek seedlings, and whilst his effort was grand his execution was a little crooked!! He will deal with the error of his ways when it comes time to weed the rows with his hoe.

Angus will also be caring for our poultry whilst we're away from the farm delivering the produce down the coast and in Sydney.

We look forward to watching Angus develop his skills and interests through his studies and practical work with us.

Seed Collection

One aspect of what we are doing here at 'Near River' is to build up a collection of seeds from plants that we've grown here. We are doing this for a number of reasons. Firstly, by collecting seeds over a number of seasons from plants with desirable traits (large fruit, early fruit, slow to bolt to seed, etc) we can produce a strain that is specifically suited to this property. Secondly, it means we can vouch for the authenticity of the seeds organic origin; and lastly, it is a way of us participating in the preservation of heirloom varieties of vegetable species.Garlic shooting 4 weeks after planting 21.5.09 01

So far we've selected a good strain of silverbeet, coriander and pumpkin. Over time these and other varieties that we save seed from will develop attributes or even an affinity with the precise microclimate that exists here a 'Near River' that will enable them to perform really well.


Many of you have been enjoying our fresh garlic, and yes garlic is meant to be juicy, not the dried, chlorine-bleached, methyl bromide fumigated imported Chinese stuff that the supermarkets pass off.

Given the success we've had with our initial planting last season, we intend to make this one of our core crops, and so have planted 3600 cloves in the last few weeks. They've jumped out of the ground, as the shot at right shows, so for now, this seasons crop is off to a good start.

2/3 of the planting (2400 bulbs) will be used as seed stock for the acre or two we intend to plant out next season, with the remainder being stored and distributed through the CSA.

This week's CSA Box

Oranges Navel 6
Lemon Meyer 1
Lettuce Cos 1
Rocket Cultivated    Bag
Pumpkin        Jap            400 gm
Garlic            Bulb            1
Chili            Med        2
Zucchini            1

Radish French 3
Parsley / Dill    Pak

Bantam egg 003

To close this week, a shot of an egg from one of our Rhode Island Red bantams. (It's the one on the right). They have been off the lay for some time now, and this appeared yesterday. When you haven't seen something for awhile, you often forget the marvel that Mother Nature is.

Till next week, cheers.

Near River Produce - Real food direct from our farm located on the NSW Mid North Coast