Over this last summer i have developed a new farm space located at Arcadia in the north west of Sydney. It has a dramatically different climate from where I live up high in the Blue Mountains to the west, and now allows me to grow things that have been almost impossible to grow here. It is quite a distance to travel but is a hugely useful addition to growing space. It is currently a weekly trip to develop the space and cultivate and harvest plants.
The focus is on growing lower maintenance herbs, spices and vegetables that need lots of space and the extra long warm growing season.
It is a warm temperate almost Mediterranean climate.
It has an early warm spring and an early hot dry summer with rain in February and March into autumn. The winter is short and cold but does not get frosts. It is ideal for growing a lot of different food plants including those originating from places like Mexico, South America and Mediterranean foods like olives, garlic, chili, capsicums etc. It is also ideal for growing those that just can’t survive the radical weather changes in the mountains and that need a long summer with some heat and sun.
It is set up totally using organic techniques and will still take some time to build up the soils properly but it is already very promising.
There is a deep natural ground water spring fed dam that houses a lot of native wildlife. There is a ton of wildlife on the ground too like wallabies, bilbys, native rats and mice, snakes and a lot of birdlife. Fencing is essential and netting will be critical for some crops too.
There are many test beds in now and I have found most things have grown well so far.
Test beds so far include small crops of edamame, eggplants, various beans, squash and pumpkins, corn, tomatoes, yacon, pepinos, potatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers, artichokes, passion fruits, capsicums, aji and chili, strawberries, garlic and many different types of perennial and annual herbs.
The soils have not built up enough yet to plant out the deep root crops but that will be done next spring when they have settled more.