Have you met Leni and Paul from Willow Grove Natural Home Garden yet? We popped out to their farm on Monday and got the grand tour with Leni, her four lovely children and their menagerie!
Paul and Leni have kept a 5 acre piece of Paul’s family’s land and started the hard yards of converting pasture to veggie patches about 4 years ago. They started with the vision of being self-sustaining but Leni wanted an income so she could keep the kids at home to school them and teach them how to farm. She started selling seedlings at markets and now has branched out to selling a whole range of veggies, depending on what works and what doesn’t work. There’s a lot of experimentation with different growing techniques and they have formed some great friendships with other organic farmers where they get tips and tricks. Even as Leni showed us her patch of dud carrots she was really excited by the patch of carrots that worked and you can see the real joy she gets from creating food out of the ground.
Paul is the ‘compost and worm man’ as Leni said she “doesn’t do worms” as she gingerly lifted the lid on one of their worm farms. They have an amazing system of creating liquid compost and moving it around the various plots along with multiple water crates – allowing them to rotate and grow crops on every inch of their 5 acres. They farm entirely without chemical and pesticides but the cost of attaining NASA certification is a bit much and Leni’s philosophy is that good, fresh food should be affordable!
Their eldest daughter Stephanie has recently set up a farm gate stall where you can buy fresh organic produce super cheaply (near the corner of Old Sale and Wilks Rd, Willow Grove) and we did just that before heading a few minutes down the road to Blue Rock Dam – a fantastic place to take the kids for a swim on a hot day these holidays.