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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

It's a Difficult Time of Year to Receive So Much Wet Weather

Rain, rain and more rain! Which resulted in no planting or field preparation being achieved last week, so there will likely be gaps in veg on the farm in 2-3 months time. I think the leafy greens will be fine as we have been planting extra to stay ahead. But the Broccolini and Cauliflowers as well as Cabbage, will definitely fall short at some point.

It's a difficult time of year to receive so much wet weather, the cold wet winter ground takes so long to dry out and all you need is a brief shower to restart the drying process all over again. Often this means cultivating and planting in wet soil which is quite damaging to the soils ecosystem. As oxygen is introduced to the soil through cultivation, the abundant moisture combines to set the biological house on fire (microbes need oxygen, moisture and food to explode their population beyond our comprehension) which leads quickly to the devouring of organic matter in the soil. Couple this with severe compaction which disables the plant's roots from feeding freely and you have a recipe for weak plants and a degrading soil.

The organic matter in our soil which we try to maintain if not increase each year is not only a food source for the biology in the soil, it also serves as a great big sponge to hold onto much needed moisture in times of drought. Just a 1% increase in soil organic matter can hold a whopping 75,000 litres of water per acre. Considering we have increased our soil organic matter from less than 1% to around 7% means we have increased our water holding capacity by almost 525,000 litres per acre in just under 5 years. Add to this that the organic matter in the soil also creates mini hotels for the billions upon billions of organisms living in the soil and eventually create humus which holds the soil together from blowing or eroding away in dry and wet times, you can see why it is so important to protect it.

During these trying periods of weather, we are lucky to work with a great Sohip supporter named Akshay who helps us source certified organic fruit and vegetables from farms further away.

When we are unable to grow or source fruits and vegetables from our farm or within our local region, Akshay and his team are always there to lend a helping hand. Akshay is one of the owners of Evergreen Organics and is just one of the many faces that does not get enough credit for the tireless job they do. Akshay and his team work very hard at an almost impossible juggling act trying to match how much the farmers grow and harvest to how much people decide to eat that same week. Ensuring the quality is top notch and everything is freshly harvested whilst also not accumulating too much waste is challenging to say the least, sometimes I bet he prays he had a crystal ball!

From the farms further afield to your dinner table, the number of Aussies it takes to get that food to your doorstep and the coordination needed to pull it off is truly a miracle each and every week.

We met Akshay through some farming friends who stated he was the most honest and caring person they had ever dealt with. Akshay and his team truly respect how hard it is to grow food and make a living from it and they show this gratitude in there enormous efforts each week to make sure each item of fruit and veg the many farmers grow and harvest, can make there way to the dinner table at a price that allows the farmer to put food on their own table, pay their bills and hopefully but very unlikely, take their family on a holiday once a year.

Finally, this morning (Monday 8th Jul) myself and Lochie were out harvesting the Broccoli shoots that come off the side after the main head has been harvested. We have decided to utilise these sweet tasty little morsels which are normally ploughed into the ground. They are usually wasted due to the time it takes to harvest them, however Broccoli is a very unprofitable crop for us here at Sohip. Due to the need for us to hand plant and weed the Broccoli and watch half of it get eaten by Bower Birds, we usually make a significant loss, but the additional harvest of side shoots may just allow us to break even. Eventually a mechanised planting and weeding machine and tractor will allow us to grow Broccoli profitably and for a reasonable price, but we just can't afford that yet. So this week our On Farm Foodie (Lochie) has created a recipe (of which I got to try this morning for breakfast- absolutely delicious) for you too try. Enjoy!

Thank YOU for joining us on this epic journey & supporting Your local farmer!

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