At one end of the spectrum is the biologically diverse ecosystem, where a vast number of species (plants,animals and micro organisms) live in balance with one another – this is a most stable and resilient system.

At the other extreme is monoculture, where an extensive tract of land is cultivated with a single crop – this is an inherently unstable system, totally reliant on fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides to maintain food production.

We believe that the closer an orchard comes to resembling a diverse natural forest (and we’re not talking plantation forestry here!):

- the greater the quantity of food produced

- the greater the value of the food produced   

- the lower the inputs needed to be purchased

- the better the quality of life of the people working the land

- the better the health of the people consuming the food from that land

It is important to remember that food production based on monoculture and long distance transport is a recent experiment, which has been running for only about 70 years. In contrast, for thousands of years people have been growing food on small, mixed farms producing a wide range of fruit, vegetable and animal products for use in their local community.

We believe the days of monoculture are coming to an end. Small scale organic farming is the way of the future, and we are here to show that a small, mixed farm is an increasingly viable enterprise in this rapidly changing world. Read on to see what we do…..

Sophie Thomson and the Gardening Australia Team visited last May as harvest was finishing. How dry the orchard looked then! It was a long hot summer.