Certifed Organic Farming
Our Certified Organic 3-acre paddock named Jared’s after our youngest son is where it all starts for the Garlic. The preparation for each year’s garlic crop begins with chopping the green manure crop into the formed beds around the end of February. This adds nitrogen amongst other things as well as providing vital organic material “worm food” to the soil. Mid-March soil test. April starts with the necessary certified organic inputs being added to the Garlic beds prior to planting in the first week of April. Inputs decrease as the health of the soil improves with each season. In the background we are busting up bulbs and grading cloves ready for planting. About 60000 units in total. Meanwhile we have taken delivery of approximately 360m3 of chemical free Tea Tree mulch which we use to blanket our garlic beds once the cloves have been sown.
Last week of April and sowing time has arrived. A team of six will do it in a day. One tractor operator, three on the homemade planter, one quality control officer following behind the planter and a logistic coordination who ensures garlic seed in prepped and ready to go for the planting crew. Mulching follows on from sowing and takes a day and a half. The mulch provides fantastic weed suppression and additional nitrogen plus great long-term health benefits for the soil. The overhead watering gets reinstated for the growing season. Occasional weeding, watering and foliar fertilisation is about all that is required until harvest in mid-November.
September is annual Audit time. We have an ACO Auditor visit and inspect the entire operation along with our documentation to ensure we cross the T’s and dot the I’s. With compliance achieved we move forward with preparation of our designated equipment and facilities ready for harvest. Depending on weather harvest can last a few weeks. Whilst physically demanding it is probably the most rewarding part of the season when the beautiful big healthy Russian Garlic comes into the shed. That feeling is only topped by customers raving about how great our Garlic is!
We cure the Garlic in a climate controlled 40-foot sea container. We start with approximately 7 ton of green product and after 8 weeks end up with roughly 4.5 T.
Back to the paddocks to sow in a summer green manure crop to replenish the soil. In compliance with the ACO standard that patch gets a 12-month rest so it’s into the second patch which also needs a summer green manure crop ready for autumn planting. We practice minimum till methods. Our Garlic Beds are once formed remain permanently with only the top portion disturbed. This allows an organic Farmers greatest mate, the “Earth worm” to live in relative peace while continuing his vitality important work. And with that the farming cycle repeats.