Archives For Farm

Vitamin leek

October 5, 2014

wiki leeks
The word is out! The leak on leeks is that it’s high in Vitamin K* (29.3%) and Manganese+ (13%), making it a very healthy vegie. With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulpur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. In fact, there’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable in your meal plan every day.


 *Required for protein modification and blood clotting.
+ Required fby the body for proper enzyme functioning, nutrient absorption, wound healing, and bone development.


Kale vegetable the tassie farm

Kale isn’t just a must-have in your diet, it’s also a must-be-seen in your vegie patch. This on-trend vegie also happens to be healthy and tasty too. While there are many varieties, The Tassie Farm grows ‘Russian Red’, otherwise known as ‘Ragged Jack’. Another type is ‘Cottagers Kale’ which just so happens to be Peter Cundall’s favourite – legendary ABC Gardening Australia presenter.

As Peter will tell you, Kale is full of vitamins and minerals (see additional health benefits below). Other varieties include Blue Curl Scotch, Curly, Lacinato, Redbor and Two Peters (not named after Peter Cundall). This wonder leaf is a great addition to any salad or as The Tassie Farm can vouch, Kale chips and smoothies are delicious. Recipes will be posted here soon!


  • Filled with powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids
    to help protect against various cancers.
  • On its own, it’s a low calorie food that is high in fibre and has zero fat. 1 cup of leaves has only 36 calories, offers 5 grams of fibre, and zero grams of fat.
  • Because it’s a good source of fibre, it aids digestion and intestinal cleansing.
  • High in iron that’s good for proper liver function and per calorie. Kale has more iron than beef.
  • Per calorie, kale offers more calcium than milk.
  • High in: Vitamin A – good for vision and skin. Vitamin C – helpful for your immune system, metabolism, and for hydration. Vitamin K – for protection against various cancers.

Other links:


Pruning fruit trees

July 27, 2014

Pruning cherry trees the tassie farm

Winter is the time for pruning deciduous fruit trees, so The Tassie Farm has been busy tending to its apple, pear, apricot, plum and cherry trees. These trees will fruit well whether they are pruned or not but if the trees grow too tall the fruit will be too high and hard to reach.

When pruning, remove and clear the clutter within the tree, so the centre of the tree is open, allowing the sunlight in. Too many competing branches will stop the tree fruiting properly. Prune low and crossing branches, any dead or damaged branches and remove any inward pointing branches. When cutting, choose an outward pointing fruit spur to ensure branches grow out.


Growing garlic

July 3, 2014

 garlic the tassie farm
Growing garlic is a science. You plant in winter and harvest in summer. Sounds simple enough but there are little tricks and tips that will help give your crop a healthy boost. Preparation is our No.1 ‘must-do’, so here’s The Tassie Farm way to prepare the soil:

You may remember our post on 29 May when we picked the last of our tomatoes Well, when we did, we dug the bed through, adding a lot of natural compost before covering it in hay. About a month later we added worm wee and poo, sheep poo and organic fertiliser We then dug up the soil (again) and relaid the hay. Last weekend we lifted the hay and just like magic, the soil was rich and wriggling with worms. We then planted two garlic varieties – Tassie Purple and one from neighbours Mary and John, called the ‘Rural Gift Garlic’ (make-up name). Once again that faithful old hay went back on top to keep the weeds at bay and the soil moist. In total, 80 cloves were planted and we’re hoping this will see us through until June 2015.

If you can’t plant your own garlic, you can buy it here: or

Growing tomatoes

May 29, 2014

saving tomato seed

Now that tomato season has officially ended (in Tassie), it’s time to start thinking about growing tomatoes for next year! This is what our next door neighbour Mary’s mum use to do. She scooped the seeds out of her favourite tomato (ours is the Ailsa Craig), dried them out on a paper towel, then cut them into small strips. She put the strips in pots and placed the pots somewhere warm so the seeds would propagate – and then by Spring, she was ready to plant her tomato seedlings.


growing tomatoes in tasmaniaGrowing tomatoes can be touch and go, especially in Tassie. Most years Kerry and Nick have been in the red but this year it’s been a bumper crop. According to Tasmanian grenthumbs, the cut off to  plant is by Hobart Show Day, which is late October.

In 2013, Kerry and Nick took a punt and planted their tomatoes in early December. They planted a number of varieties into their well composted vegie patch. The most abundant was the Ailsa Craig  pictured above. Thank you to neighbours John and Mary, who have been successfully growing tomatoes in Tasmania for years. They gave these seedlings to Kerry and Nick.

Late planting meant a late harvest. In fact, it wasn’t until mid March 2014 that the green fruits blushed a passionate red and The Tassie Farm was boasting sweet, home grown tomatoes. Even today, Kerry and Nick are still harvesting and processing their tomatoes. So far they’ve made, chilli jam, tomato and sweet fruit chutney, semi sundried tomatoes in oil, tomato ketchup and their first batch of passata.

The best thing about growing tomatoes is that you don’t need a big patch – just a pot with some rich compost and the right variety for wherever you live. If you’d like to relish in more tomato stories, click here


Scores of summer fruit

April 4, 2014
summer fruits tassie farm 2014
Summer has vanished but the season’s tastes still linger. Plums, apricots, mulberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries – all grown on The Tassie Farm. Here is the score sheet for our small but memorable harvest:
Plums 8/10 thanks to our bird netting.
Apricots 4/10 (ordinary) but plentiful enough to make two batches of jam which scored 9/10.
Mulberries 9/10. We didn’t net and there were still mulberries to pick at throughout the season. Even the ducks enjoyed a few of the low hanging fruit.
Blueberries 6/10. Not a bad score especially seeing it was our first-ever crop. We probably enjoyed two or three desserts.
Strawberries 3/10 very disappointing harvest thanks to greedy rabbits. All up only a few bowls full.
Cherries 10/10 and we even were able to enjoy some for Christmas and wear them as earrings!

The Importance Of Chook Poo!

February 20, 2014

The chook poo in this photo was taken at a farm gate just outside Anglesea in Victoria. As many ‘regular’ Tassie Farm fans will know, chook poo features in our children’s book ‘The Importance Of Poo!’ Here’s an extract:

Cluck! Cluck! Chook’s Poo. Makes greener grass.
Yuck! Yuck! Chook’s Poo. From a chicken’s…bottom!

Oh indeed! and chook poo is big in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. It therefore has a higher nutrient content, than cow or sheep poo, because a chook’s diet is so intensive – anything from calcium supplements (which strengthen their shells) to compost.

Chook poo’s ‘pootency’ has its pluses and minuses. Its high nitrogen levels make it great for fertilising lawns and for use in the vegie garden. But it also has greater phosphorous levels too, so using it long-term on native plants, such as banksias, grevilleas and waratahs, can kill them.

So, the trick is to only use chook poo once it’s composted down or when you’ve diluted it. This will make sure it doesn’t burn your plants. Ideally ‘aged’ chook poo is the best: 6-9 months if you can find some!

Tip: If you’re buying at the farm gate ask if their chook manure has been mixed with bedding materials, such as sawdust. This will dilute nutrient levels.

the -tassie-farm-summer-weather
Weather on Tassie Farm has been a little like the weather in the Higgledy-Piggledy Farm ebook, ‘The Dairy First Ice Cream Christmas’ – Topsy-turvy and upside down as if Tasmania were in the northern hemisphere. Everything but snow has been thrown at Taswegians over the past week – from sideways rain, inside-out umbrella winds and the demand for roaring log fires. If you’d like to purchase a copy of ‘The Dairy First Ice Cream Christmas’ (or any of the Higgledy-Piggledy Farm ebooks), just click on the widgets on the right hand side of this blog for your free sample. The ebooks are only $1.99 and $3.99 each and 50% of sales will be donated to the Cambodian Children’s Fund (30% iBookskstore royalties and  20% authors’ costs).

Possum not-so-magic

November 26, 2013

Possum destruction is rife on The Tasie Farm. Last weekend it was the apricot tree. The more branches that are broken off means the less apricot Jam Kerry makes over summer. And of course, because the fruit isn’t ripe, Possum not-so-magic only ate the leaves. Picky possum.