Growing Local Food discussion

Summary notes provided by Kellie Nichols and Joel Geoghegan, Bass Coast Landcare Network

Main Questions

How do we build grower confidence?
How do we best support people who have bought land who know nothing about farming
How do we value add on smaller properties?
How do we look at the Joel Salatin model on a smaller scale?
How can we promote open farm days and field trips
How can we support local community organisations like Landcare to deliver key messages and support the community

Gap areas

Advice in property planning
Weed control identification and control advice
Non-chemical weed control advice
Independent soil health improvement advice – how does rock dust work
The importance of water quality
Housing chooks in orchard areas
Climate Adaptation knowledge
When to plant seeds and greenhouse usage
The lost art of seed saving , how do we support local seed collection that have adapted to the climate

Steps that could assist

Establishment of a horticulture or grower’s discussion group on Southern Gippsland
Create a beginner’s beef discussion group
Informing stock agents of key messages as they are trusted advisors
Creating a peer to peer mentoring program and using Landcare champions
Create a beginners guide to improving soil health and creating soil health management plans – where to test independently, what to test for and how to improve soils
AMAL, heavy metal testing, SWEP – Gwyn Jones
The use of quarry dust to control bugs – liquid or dust form
Demystifying organic certification – small growers organic certification
Creating a sympathy/companion planting guide for southern Gippsland
Creating a master list of the Groups working on local food in Southern Gippsland and the knowledge and support they offer

Useful resources and contacts

Organic Discussion Group, farm visits supported by an agronomist
Ron Smith – signup to his newsletter at orana@dcsi.net.au
Grander water technology
The benefits of rock dust – Bread from Stones, Julius Hensel

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