Thornleigh: farming on the Island since 1890

Where are we in October?

We have started growing in a small way in the first garden which was cleared of weeds and green manured over winter with oats and woolly vetch. Ten beds have been laid out and planted with organic seeds – including radish, turnips, carrots, silver beet, baby pumpkins. Pete the head chef at Capella loves our produce and is our first customer. He picks the produce himself and serves it fresh that night to his guests. Farm to plate as good as it gets.

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Thornleigh Produce!

The orchard on the property goes back about 100 years. Over winter we cleared many of the old fruit trees of undergrowth and pruned many of them back hard. The peaches you see here are on an old tree in the second garden that has been liberated from undergrowth and vines which were crowding it out. Doesn’t it look happy!

Peaches liberated from the undergrowth

Organic fruit fly traps have been set around the orchard. By next season we should have controls in place for a good crop of peaches and plums.

Things were going so well that Brenden and I decided to open up the second garden which was covered in kikuyu and thick with sugar cane. With help from Nobbs, his son, and his fleet of tractors, the second garden was tilled and ready for planting in two days. Brenden and I planted corn and summer green manures – cow pea and French millet. We will keep conditioning the second garden with green manures until we are ready to expand production beyond the first garden.

Clearing and Tilling

Another welcome addition to Thornleigh is our new bee hive brought to us by Jack Shick. Jack says it is already one of his best performing hives and we have about 8000 happy bees who roam around Thornleigh and Stevens Reserve and now call Thornleigh home.

New residents of Thornleigh
New residents of Thornleigh