Known to staff and friends of Spring Bay Mill as ‘Paddy’s Paddock’, what started as a small patch of grassy paddock with a few sheep and wallabies, is now producing its first kilos of freshly harvested heirloom vegetables.
Designed to supply the Mill with fresh, local, wholesome food for guests and visitors, currently much of the bounty is destined for various community outlets including the southern community veggie box program and local community organisations.
The site is being lovingly cultivated by an incredibly enthusiastic and energetic team of specialist horticulturists.
The picture-perfect location with magnificent vistas across Spring Bay and the farm land surrounds, offers a great environment for growing specialist organic fruit and vegetables. The geography and the proximity to the large water expanses of the bay creates a distinct microclimate that moderates extremes and allows for all kinds of fascinating exotic edibles all year round.
We are committed to establishing Paddy’s Paddock as a place for community learning, hosting regular visits by students from the local Triabunna District School and adult horticultural students from Sorell and Bridgewater. The students work and interact with The Mill’s professional horticulturists, getting hands-on with various garden activities from planting to organic composting. Future programs will include community organic horticulture programs and professional horticulture study opportunities. join our mailing list for updates
The Garden is unlike many other standard commercial fresh food gardens. It has been designed and planted in a manner that maximises the potential for the development of an incredibly rich area of biodiversity, both animal and vegetable. This biodiversity creates an environment that pushes the boundaries of traditional plantings. The rows are not all straight here, the plantings are mixed, some might say “pleasantly confused”. But it’s not random planting, there is a plan within the design.
The intention is to mimic natural systems and their benefits, such as providing habitat for creatures that in turn help to control pests and diseases. Planting is planned to also allow for all year-round flowering, to ensure pollen, nectar and other resources are available to the many beneficial organisms that are helping this garden thrive.
We’ve also established three bee hives with a recent harvest producing the very first jar of golden Spring Bay Mill Honey. As well as the benefits of having these marvellous pollinators onsite, we plan to offer bee keeping as part of the future learning programs held at The Mill.
By planting a good range of heirloom and specialist vegetables and fruits, with many new varieties being added all the time we hope to grow not only the traditional plants that everyone knows but try some interesting and unusual edibles that may not be commonly seen on the supermarket shelves.
Future onsite community learning programs will also include culinary experiences, discovering the delights of cooking with fresh produce. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to expand the palate of pleasures with some of the more exotic fruit and vegetables.
We help our soils to develop their potential as a highly active soil system full of beneficial micro and macro organisms, all playing their part to assist plant growth. This in turn, combined with the above ground planting design, will eventually provide a visually interesting, sustainable and rich growing environment.
It’s a place to visit and experience the environment, perhaps learn something new or discover a new taste. A safe place suitable for all ages and an opportunity for the community to invigorate and reconnect with the natural systems. A celebration of verdant growth and the creative community involved in its development.
We’d love to hear from people in the community who would like to know more about the availability of fresh produce and future onsite learning programs so get in touch.
Marcus Ragus, Head Horticulturalist, Spring Bay Mill