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Rooks Little Farm, Ventnor

A 5-acre permaculture paradise with alpacas, chickens, guinea pigs and bees

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Veggies 🥦   Berries 🍓   Fruits 🍋    Nuts 🌰   Bees 🐝   Chickens 🐔

Meet the gardeners and their garden

Three years ago, Bhavani and David moved onto this 5-acre property in Ventnor. Facing a blank canvas of bare paddocks, they held two ‘introduction to permaculture’ courses on their property over the first summer. This enabled them to learn and decide on a plan for the property. You will now see three years of flower-filled, self-seeded cottage and vegetable gardens filled with bees (with both standard and flow hives on the property), an orchard with chooks and guinea pigs, paddocks with alpacas and dams full of wild birds and frogs. In 2022 they have added their terraced wetland pools.

How does your garden grow?

Our goal was to follow the practice of permaculture and regenerative farming methods to plan, position and fill the gardens. All our gardens are made as no dig beds. Plants are left to go to seed for a self-sufficient cycle. We believe that diversity is a key factor in garden and soil health. We use the cut and drop method, to leave the soil undisturbed. We get mulch from road side cuttings, and make rich compost from coffee grounds and vegetable scraps collected from local cafes and supermarkets..

What are some of your gardening challenges?

With no town water, our farm relies on tanks and two dams. Our gardens are well mulched to reduce water needs. Extensive planting of natives to manage the local conditions mean we only water the veggies. Over 2000 Indigenous species have been planted around the property to reduce road noise, wind, and create microclimates and cosy smaller spaces. To reduce the impact of strong, south-westerly winds, we have created windbreaks out of recycled materials.

Be inspired and learn!

Bhavani says: Over the past year we have been successful in using our garden and kitchen waste to create our own gas for cooking through the home bio gas system. All our selection of plants and animals have a reason and purpose. For example, I grow comfrey on the edge of garden beds to stop kikuyu grass from taking over, and worm wood is grown to give to the chooks to reduce mite infestations.

Garden extras

Dried herbs, teas, eggs, alpaca wool and any other produce I will have for sale.

A flow hive expert will offer demonstrations on the morning of Saturday 4th February.

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