Well, as the main build amps up, it’s time for our gardeners to focus their gazes on the big picture – the future opening and daily running of The Artisan Farmer! An exciting time for us, it does mean we will need to put our weekly farm gate stalls into hibernation from AFTER this Friday 15th March 2022, with our gardeners ramping up plans for the winter crop after the deluge of past weeks. It’s the long game now!
We would like to send a HUUUUGE thanks to all of those foodies who have supported us over the past few months with their kind words, full produce baskets, and patronage. You’ve really given us that extra push towards opening.
Thank you again, see you at the big opening in a few months or a surprise farmgate stall between now and then!
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Bees – they’re so important to life on this planet on so many levels, but I had no idea the world of bees was so fascinating until I met Valley Industries‘ apiarist Nigel Powell. Filming then editing this story was such an incredibly rewarding experience, just for all the tiny facts that exist about bees, let alone enjoying the actual honey! We hope you enjoy this short foray into the beneficial insect world as much as Nigel respects his bees.
See the blue mark? Easier to find because of it, the queen bee is marked by beekeepers prior to joining a hive. Colours are chosen on a 5 year cycle, indicating the year they are born. This queen was born in 2020 (blue indicates years ending in 5 or 0). Living up to around 5 years, a queen bee may lay up to 2000 eggs per day during her most productive years – she’ll need to for her hive, because worker bees only live a matter of weeks to a couple of months!
It’s hard to comprehend the difference between the lengthy drought experienced during the filming of this story, and the disastrous severe flooding events our region is currently experiencing. Admittedly, Flower Power was filmed haltingly over a period of many months, being weather and timing dependent (whoever thought a coastal region would run out of water?!). And to confuse things even more, when I began writing this, the long dry finally burst its banks – literally – and I witnessed the grass grow in the time it took the drops to fall.
The other morning we got up early and took a daybreak flight over The Artisan Farmer via our drone. It felt like we were in a Grand Designs episode of our own choosing as we soared like birds over the farmland and framework of The Artisan Farmer’s main build. Thanks to Hughie for the incredible drone work – takes a steady hand! Hope you enjoy the flight across our mid north coast landscape as much as we did…
While the bigger ‘mothership’ is being built in the paddock next door, here’s a quick glimpse into the craftmanship from Chris at Rustic Reproductions with the work going on at one of The Artisan Farmer’s outlying buildings… Beautiful lines and framing everywhere!
25 August 2020… An auspicious day for The Artisan Farmer project, with 36 HUGE HOLES OF PERFECTION FRESHLY DUG AND CEMENTED IN!!! Ah, the things we get excited about. Local earthmover extraordinaire Zane’s mechanical extended arm worked tirelessly to move truck loads of soil out with farm manager Murray’s help in readiness to welcome the steel frame for the build. With the large frame due in 5 weeks or so, follow this space for updates and another local producer’s story (soon to be released… yes, it’s been waiting on the sidelines for this moment) while the concrete cures. Here’s looking to mid 2021 for the grand opening!
There’s no doubt the last six months across this region and beyond redefined the boundaries of ‘challenging’ for many Australians. But life is resilient, and despite the drought, bushfires, floods, and threat of Covid 19, work has continued behind the lockdown to realise the full potential of The Artisan Farmer within an onsite presence of a cafe, deli and bakery. So pop open that champagne bottle and watch this space, the site office has been delivered and the Construction Certificate and its commitments, are in. Sometimes it’s the journey as well as the destination that matters so please, join us as we take our steps, slowly but confidently, towards realising a dream.
There’s a lot to learn about avocados. Firstly, did you know the plural of avocados is not spelt with an ‘e’ (oops. Lesson learnt). Secondly, the origins of the name comes from the Aztec word for ‘testicle’. It has also been called ‘alligator pear’, referencing the rough skin and shape of the fruit. Thirdly, when growing avocados, it’s important to fertilise, mulch, and have two different types of tree – which gets me to my last point. Some types of avocado trees are A types, and others are B types. It takes a B to fertilise an A, and it takes an A to fertilise a B. This is because each tree has BOTH female and male flowers which open at opposite times of the day. For example, the A type tree’s female flower will open in the morning, and its male flower will open in the afternoon. But the B type tree does the opposite, with the male opening in the morning, then the female in the afternoon. I believe with a bit of luck and the right wind or insect, they can even pollinate their own flowers in the brief period where the male and female flowers overlap. Confused? Me too. But I think it’s still impressive.
So many thanks to local growers Sandra Fishwick and her sons Joey and Carl Hanly from Red Plateau Organic Produce, who gave me my introductory lesson in growing avocados, seen here in this short film. They have successfully navigated the sometimes choppy waters of succession farming by expanding their business across not one but now two farms. Interestingly, other local farmers are also taking up the avocado mantle, swapping dairy herds for avocado orchards as they tap into a burgeoning industry. With avocado consumption on the rise and recipes incorporating them continuously emerging well past the traditional salad, they are part of an increasingly busy local mid north coast industry supplying both big and small business nationwide.
The Artisan Farmer’s Woosters Lane, by Andreas Tychon.
Frost? Heat? Neither.
The passing of seasons is often taken for granted, as the changes occur over a period time that we are constantly adapting to. So I was taken aback to find these photographs by local Diamond Beach photographer Andreas Tychon showcasing The Artisan Farmer‘s paddocks were taken at the same using different effects, including the use of infrared. Thanks so much for sending them to us Andreas – love your comment : “The Nabiac locale is great for this type of photography, lots of trees and grassy expanses as well as mountains and hills.”
Indeed, Nabiac may be a small village on the Mid North Coast, but we consider it the centre of the universe, with a bit of everything!
The effect of frost at The Artisan Farmer. Photographs by Andreas Tychon.