Organic Market Garden Series, Caroola Farm, 5 one-day workshops over 5 months

IMG_0489With the success of the Local Food Initiative and Australian Capital Region Food Hub, it has become evident that there is a growing demand for locally grown produce, preferable grown using organic practices.  To assist in meeting this growing demand, Permaculture eXchange is proud and excited to announce a series of workshops on ‘Market Gardening for small-scale production’.

This series of five, day long workshops aims to take people who already have a basic understanding of growing vegetables for their own kitchen, and provide them with the skills and knowledge to grow food that leads to creating a successful source of income.

IMG_0515Each workshop is designed to develop the necessary skills on a facet of market gardening that can make or break a small gardening enterprise. They are very practical with plenty of hands on application and some necessary theory. You can choose to attend individual workshops – for those who have a gap in their market gardening knowledge, or you can enrol in the complete series of five workshops for a substantial discount.

IMG_0438The program will be held at Caroola Farm, Mulloon (between Bungendore and Braidwood) and participants will be using the prepared main garden beds as a template on which to explore and develop their skills so they can adapt them to their own enterprises and circumstances.

We are very excited to be able to offer you this brand new workshop series with Fraser Bayley of SAGE Moruya and Old Mill Farm.

Learn how to plan, grow and run your own organic market garden enterprise. Book for the series of 5 one-day workshops, or book individual workshops.

Sunday 3 Aug – 1. Planning and scheduling for the season
Sunday 7 Sep – 2. Preparing the ground. raising seedlings and Sowing seed,
Saturday 18 Oct – 3. Transplanting out and bed maintenance , Irrigation Systems Plant Health, Pests and Diseases
Sunday Nov 9 – 4. Harvesting, Marketing, Value adding – what to do with what’s left and Time management
Sunday Dec 14 – 5. Cover crops, Integrating animals as a fertility source and Reviewing the season

Fee for Workshop – Individual workshops are $130/workshop or enrol in all five workshops for  $585. Fee includes notes. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea will also be provided.

Time – Workshops will run from 10.00am – 5.00pm

About the presenter – 
Fraser, with his partner Kirsti run Old Mill Road BioFarm, a small farming enterprise that aims to enrich local food culture, encourage more small scale farmers and connect those farmers to the consumer. They have developed their farm over the years using sustainable farming practices and sell their chemical free produce at SAGE Farmers Market and Moruya Country Markets every week.

About this series of workshops – Fraser Bayley, who designed and developed this series of workshops for SAGE is also the presenter. He is an experienced and successful market gardener, a great communicator, an educator, mentor and presenter. These workshops and the presenter are not accredited however they will teach you very relevant, useful and practical skills. The primary aim is to support and encourage the success of existing and potential small-scale growers.

Detailed information on workshops

1. Planning and scheduling for the season

Sunday 3 Aug

Planning will be the most important topic to get your head around before you get in the field. In this workshop you will:

  • Understand the importance of planning and scheduling for success
  • Set clear objectives and goals
  • Calculate quantities
  • Identify the seed/seedlings required
  • How and where to order your seeds/seedlings

2. Preparing the ground. raising seedlings and Sowing seed

Sunday 7 Sep

A key factor to having a successful garden is ensuring that the soil is healthy. A wise farmer once said “better to plant a $1 tree in a $10 hole than a $10 tree in a $1 hole”. This day will set the platform for the growing season – expect a very hands on day, learning practical skills such as:

  • Identifying and preparing for your soil type
  • Making a healthy compost
  • Building your soil using organic matter and natural fertilisers
  • Making seed raising mix and understanding the key ingredients
  • Using different soil containers to raise seedlings – soil blocks, pots and other types
  • Know when to ‘pot on’ or ‘plant out’

3. Transplanting out and bed maintenance , Irrigation Systems Plant Health, Pests and Diseases

Saturday 18 Oct

In this one day workshop you will be working with the garden beds with a strong emphasis on hand tools. You will:

  • Grasp a solid overview of the tools required to do many of the jobs efficiently – from the large backyard scale to the acre
  • Learn how to use the right hand tools for the job
  • Practice using these tools, all day, without straining your back to prepare the bedsPlant out the seedling (from previous workshop)

Understand how to maintain your beds for optimum results.

You will also learn to understand the needs of the plants and the importance these have on the health of the plant, will result a thriving garden:

  • Effective and economic ways to irrigate your soil – as there is no life without water.
  • The importance of soil life and the vital role it plays in the health of your plants
  • The making of and application of actively aerated compost teas and foliar sprays

 4. Harvesting, Marketing, Value adding – what to do with what’s left and Time management

Sunday Nov 9

Your garden is growing, the produce is in abundance and its now time to go market. Without a market you do not have a business. In this one day workshop you will:

  • Explore how best to deliver a fresh product
  • Investigate a range of marketing options
  • Identify how you can manage your gluts effectively
  • Discover how to turn a negative into a positive by identifying how to value add on produce that don’t sell or are beyond selling
  • Learn to manage your time, prioritise tasks and working to your plan to suit the long term vision as you experience the huge demands the farm has on your time.

5. Cover crops, Integrating animals as a fertility source and Reviewing the season

Sunday Dec 14

One of the most difficult things about intensive annual production is managing your soil fertility without buying in too many inputs, all of which have an impact on your bottom line. This final workshop you will learn which:

  • Cover crops and manures that will drive the fertility of your soil
  • Systems to use, to best suit your outcome.

Being the final workshop in the series – there will also be a review of the lessons learnt – both at Caroola Farm and in your own garden. You will examine and record both your own experiences and what you have learnt, to assist you immensely in planning and preparing for the following season.

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