About our farm
Organic Mixed Berries
Who We Are
In 2014 while working and living in Geelong Pete was offered a finance position in Castlemaine. After a very short deliberation it was decided that we would move. Given that we had been interested in a tree change for a couple of years (who wouldn’t want a giant veggie patch?) and as Claire was already working in Ballarat the decision was simple.
Daylesford was halfway between both of our work places so we packed our bags, dogs and chickens and to the country we came. We instantly fell in love with the area, the ancient volcanic hills, rich history and the surprises around every corner, how could you not? After six months we began to look at a place we could permanently call home and landed on our current 25 acres in Eganstown.
Pete is a CPA with experience in manufacturing and operations finance, while Claire has an environmental science degree and has recently completed a course in Permaculture Design. With complementary skill sets we have been able to bring Claire’s vision and environmental knowledge together with Pete’s determination and financial acumen to tackle each and every challenge we face.
with not a lot of know how but a lot of enthusiasm we ploughed 2 acres of our block, spread out some dolomite and then threw out whatever seeds we could find. These did ok and were ‘chopped and dropped’ over summer to start the much needed soil improvement journey.
In and around this we were settling into the weather patterns of a new area, planting out our garden spaces and getting stuck into an enormous veggie patch and our small scale berry trials that will become our home patch. We planted a few varieties of blueberry and strawberry plus raspberries, boysenberries and mulberries throughout our gardens and orchard. With these plants doing amazing (for the most part) we started the planning for Morningswood farm.
The year started with orders for plants being placed, monthly plans being written and Pete finishing up full time work as an accountant! With no experience in farming past the numbers we decided to learn as much as we could by testing everything we do; from plant suppliers and cultivars to bed preparation and watering systems we have attempted to compare at least two solutions at each point.
We have used more than seventy tons of manure across our 1,500m of beds to trial more than twenty varieties of blueberry, two varieties of strawberry and a wide range of brambles from three plant suppliers. We have prepared seven beds of strawberries each different to the next, but both with San Andreas/Albion planted out. We have trialled some blueberry rows with green crops and others with longer rest times and we are testing different trellis methods for our brambles all in an attempt to fast track our learning. We believe that you learn by getting out and making mistakes, so we are learning lots at the moment!
The learning curve has been steep and the investment large, but the opportunity to trial such a wide range of methods and inputs has already paid off: How far we have come!
How We Farm
Having just begun on our farming journey we have not yet travelled down the road to certified organic. However, we do strive to implement organic practices through the vast majority of our processes.
No fungi, herbi, pesti cides have been used by us at our farm and we don’t plan to start anytime soon. We use a range of manures and liquid fertilisers (worm wee and fish emulsion) to nourish our soil plus blood and bone and certified organic rock dust to balance it.
Where we can, we source certified organic seedlings/plants
Latest from the Team
Check out whats been happening around the farm….