Welcome & hello!
Tim and Deri-Anne Wyatt the owners and growers of Angelica Organic Farm welcome you to this website and online gourmet garlic shop.
Through our website,we aim to share with you our life on the land (sometimes intermittently!!) running our diverse, organic farm smallholding in the heart of Central Victoria's foodie provinces (10 mins from Daylesford). Angelica Organic Farm is an expression of our passion for high quality, seasonal foods, naturally grown largely by hand, with love and bursting with flavour. A major focus for us is heritage varieties. We feel it is vital for all people to reconnect with where their food comes from, how to prepare it, how it is grown and the producers growing it!
We hope to inspire and inform you about biologically grown, (very) seasonal produce, enjoyment of real food, sustainable food production and other related topics.
If you have other questions which we haven't answered for you within these website 'pages', please email us here for answers to those. You can also now follow us on Twitter (FOLLOW icon just above newsletter sign in): @angelicaorganic
GARLIC SHOP NOW CLOSED - 2015 garlic crop 100% SOLD OUT.
NEW?? Please SIGN UP for our Garlic NEWSLETTER - on the right hand side of this page (i.e. "Newsletter Sign Up"), so we can let you know annually when the ONLINE GARLIC SHOP re-opens for sales
AND for garlic sales/stock updates to ensure you're up-to-date (sometimes email newsletters 'bounce' for various reasons & you don't receive them) PLEASE also keep an eye on...
- this homepage/the blog
- Our Twitter feed @angelicaorganic
- Our Instagram feed @angelicaorganicfarm
- We do not take pre-harvest orders (paid or unpaid for). The online shop opens once the new garlic is ready for dispatch ONLY, & orders will commence ONLY then.
- We DO NOT take wholesale orders AND DO NOT supply bulk &/OR wholesale-priced eating, 'seed'or planting stock garlic (NO exceptions). We are a small Australian farm growing premium quality, 100% natural, certified organic gourmet garlic and other produce by hand for direct sale to discerning home cooks and professional chefs. We hope you respect our ethical & sustainable approach to running a family-based small business - thank you.
Go organic for you & your family:
- Food grown in season, under natural conditions is at it's peak, tastes better & is likely more nutritious naturally.
- Its NOT genetically modified (GM) - GM food technology is untested for effects on human health.
- Produced without toxic chemicals - No synthetic &/or petrochemical-based fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. No antibiotics, antimicrobials, hormones or other growth promotants.
- Certified Organic is your guarantee that you get what you are paying for (i.e. genuinely organic), that the food IS grown to the ethical & health standards you are expecting.
Go organic for the earth (& so for you!): Organic & biological food production is a form of regenerative & therefore truly sustainable farming, one which uses NO synthetic chemical inputs. It is more than the absence of chemically driven, monoculture, 'factory' farming. It promotes healthy, biodiverse ecosystems (i.e. natural genetic variety), true seasonality, premium animal welfare, healthy waterways & water conservation, essential soil microbe & topsoil regeneration.
In your lifetime you will consume over 100 tonnes of food & drink...SO 3 times per day you get to vote with your consumer dollar via your food choices as to what bearing YOU have on the health of the environment, the animals, yourself & your loved ones. Vote with your wallet & your fork for responsible agriculture!
Proudly 2014 Medallist, 2015, 2012 & 2013 Finalists for GARLIC in the national ABC delicious Produce Awards
Royal Agricultural Show Victoria's Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards
2015 - Silver Medal - Hard Neck Garlic * 2014 - Bronze Medal - Hard Neck Garlic
Please do not copy images or text from our blog or website without first asking permission AND without linking back to here. Many Thanks.
DISPATCHES FROM THE FARM
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Greetings organic eater friends!
Hope you are all enjoying, if not at least smoothly surviving, the 2015 'silly season'??
So, it's just past garlic harvest time again - i.e. late spring 2015... & my last post was end of winter 2014! Time flies while you're living the dream :-)
Other than more regular general 'farm happenings' updates, I have so many plans for so many topical posts regarding mindful food choices, food politics, local seasonal food production & more but alas running a small holding veg farm so far requires no less weekly working hours as each year rolls by (AND we are going in to our 10th year now!!!). The immediacy demanded by the farm in earning our living, its associated time sensitivity in dealing daily with living things, is unavoidable & mostly dictated by our locale's expressions of nature (think "4 seasons in 1 week" sometimes) & the variables/impacts we work with to produce vegetables as consistently as we can throughout the year.
I thought I would at least at this point 'kick off' my re-connection with the blog with a bit of a visual of this year's garlic crop journey to date, including the harvest which occurred recently over Nov 24 & 25. I have attempted to write this to you several times in the last 2 weeks!
The bulbs are immediately bunched by their stalks & hung in the shed to cure (skins dry)& to absorb the last nutrients from their stalks. Usually they are left to cure for around 2 weeks or so (depends how much humidity we get mainly). Then, we will cut off the stalks, trim & clean them up (by hand using toothbrushes - for real!) before they are ready for sale via the online shop. Remember good garlic lovers, the bulbs need to be well cured & dry before they can be safely posted as online shop orders.
Although a smaller crop than usual (intentionally) , the majority of the bulbs are again in the medium size range & a great size for culinary use. We didn't plant as much in autumn again, as we are now trying to build up our planting stock entirely from our own planting cloves without buying in from elsewhere.
Please imagine this pic rotated clockwise 1/4...it's of the garlic hanging & for the life of me I can't get it to upload the right way around or to edit it!!
We have just begun cleaning some of them up, starting with the ones we retain the stalks on so I can make our limited edition of pretty wee grappes for our pre-Christmas farmers' markets (sorry too complicated to send them via post for online orders - have tried it!).
The online garlic shop will open in the first week of January (after we get all the public holidays out of the way!) to start taking orders & to then begin dispatching orders the following Monday/Tuesday (Jan 11-12).
Meanwhile...local garlic lovers can purchase from us at our Melbourne farmers' markets or by appointment from the farm gate (possible Mon-Fri only) from now until all sold out!
Wishing you all a wonderful & safe Christmas 2015 & a brilliant, rewarding & healthy 2016!!
Thank you so much for your ongoing support & custom over the past decade! Farming may be hard work but it sure is a privilege to grow amazing produce for amazing & appreciative people xoxo
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Hello dear Readers & supporters of us/our farm, organic, ethical food growing of all kinds!
Suddenly we find ourselves hurtling through winter and towards the last few weeks of our produce season for a few months until new crops are ready, when we get some warmth and consistent, gutsy sunlight hours back again...
Behold - a melange of our local winter weather aesthetic of the past few weeks (incl. fog, wind, mostly grey, drizzle & rain, snow, the odd heavy frost followed by a stunning clear sunny day...)
GREY, WET HARVEST DAY
MATAHARI - SUNRISE ON A FROST MORNING
WEED HOEING FROST MORNING
CLEAR SUNNY DAY AFTER HEAVY FROST
And yep, it's also been another dearth of blog posts by me over the bulk of the season - forgive me? : )
It's been another big year for us farm-wise...and another 'mixed bag' (freak weather events, crop wins & losses, staffing ups & downs, equipment failure/damage but then upgrade with other items)...'that is', indeed, 'farming' as peeps like to say :) .
Polytunnel mayhem...our largest (3 bay) & most recent polytunnel addition (summer 2013) was virtually destroyed by a freak 24 hour gale force wind event in January - probably not viable to fix - very costly hassle!
The gale force 'cluster f#*%' Monday-Tuesday in January was soon followed by a 5 day heatwave (all days around 40degC or above) and several weeks of temp peaks and lows between 40degC & 18degC (approx)...that's very tough on veg plants, so we lost a few crops and lots of sleep through that, saved others and more or less 'escaped' with our sanity intact (people might debate that point?). We managed to keep on truckin' each week, attending all but 1 farmers' market (the 1 after 'cluster f#*%' Monday-Tuesday) and pleasing our customers and ourselves with some excellent produce despite it all!
We continue to produce great quality crops and gradually more of them (volume & variety for more months), become more experienced and seasoned year to year along our "zero generation" farming journey (i.e. no inherited farm, no farming family background - just us, 9 years in!) and for all the growing confidence and skills we accomplish, it seems we have chosen a long term (eternally?) steep learning curve trajectory! Pros & cons in that scenario obviously, but our passion for the land, producing wonderful food, selling that directly to the majority of our customers face-to-face does not dwindle. If we're honest, it is a tough gig much of the time and there are far easier ways to simply earn a living for sure - but our hearts are in this, both as a thing to do day to day (most days!) and for all the other reasons we do it (food security/sovereignty/ethics/love of quality produce/food fairness e.t.c.). We have indeed invested a lot in many ways over the past 9 years.
Much to our pleasure and gratitude, our lovely garlic has won more medals this year...a RASV 2014 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards Bronze Medal (hard neck garlic) & another ABC delicious Produce Awards Gold Medal (From The Earth Primary Produce - Hard Neck Garlic)
Gold Medal (From The Earth Primary Produce - Hard Neck Garlic)
So from here, we will attend all of our August farmers' markets, then 'defrag and reboot' over our annual leave for a few weeks, then 'reload' on-farm with new season crops and hopefully (weather gods willing?) be back at markets by end of Sept (Slow Food FM Sept 27) & the inaugural Carlton P.S. FM 4 October on wards and hopefully supplying restaurants again from November. Onwards and upwards from there for what we hope is a stellar, abundant year!
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Monday, December 02, 2013
Where to start this long awaited blog post !? I figure I should just start... :)
I apologize for such a long break in "Dispatches From The Farm". The thing is, sometimes there's nothing new/interesting to share about the farm (for weeks/months, esp over all those cold grey, 'pretty much just weeding & cleaning up' months!), there's no cute animals either and other times I'm too busy 'living it', then either too exhausted to 'relive it' or really want to share but either way, can't fit in a timely post :). Anyway, with a new produce season burgeoning, a wonderful farm team alongside us and some sun and warmth at long last, here we are!
Spring artichoke and herb flush!
To recap a little, last season was a bit of a 'dog' as they say...there were a few issues but no rain at all for 7 months over spring/summer and a non-coping 'under the circumstances' water bore and irrigation system was a total fizzer! That caused lots of stress and among other things prevented virtually all of our summer/early autumn crop plantings and led to a few summer losses...our last growing season was therefore truncated and our winter produce range has been rather limited :( . Every year brings its crop ups and downs though. Farming is always largely about timing but in our cool climate good timing is crucial for growing vegetables successfully, maximizing the length and variety of your produce season. The good news is we were able to resolve several probs including the bore capacity/irrigation problems by mid autumn. A neighbour had an unused water bore in the paddock right next to us and he & Goulburn Murray Water generously agreed to lease that bore to us. It's been quite costly to register and set up but a 'life saver' now we have water security no matter what the spring/summers bring for the duration we are on the current property. Comparatively speaking, we don't use much water to irrigate our crops but you can't get by without exactly what you need, when you need it and with it able to be distributed efficiently!
A slab for the new bore generator to live on. #excitingfarmpics :)
Bore gen 'home' good to go! Look how dry it was too?
Once it kicked in mid winter we had oodles of lovely rain unlike much of Australia and it has continued in useful amounts here and there through spring, which has been brilliant for the farm. Our springs are always unpredictable, vacillating from one extreme to the other, sometimes day to day. The challenge this spring has been that with the rain has come some shocking high winds and mainly too much cold weather for our/the veggie crops' liking...point being we are running later than we'd like with new season crops and even the garlic harvest will be a week or 2 delayed this year, to what we aim for. Mother Nature dictates when things are ready, not us or our customers!
September garlic and rain
Later in September...
Never-the-less, the farm is looking fabulous, with hardly a weed to speak of (where they don't belong that is) and lots of new veggies planted or sown and on the way, thanks in no small volume to my amazing husband and our 3 gun farmhands. I am looking forward to being on-farm with them a lot more very shortly and throughout the busiest months! :) Am also looking forward to having more stuff to blog about...
A few weeks ago
The new produce season is looming large!
Here's a few pics of some things we've had at farmers' markets lately...
Leeks & red curly kale
Red cored Chantenay carrots
Herbs, artichokes & Tuscan kale.
In the last week or 2, it thankfully seems that our spring weather has started to tip more towards warmth than cold and it is amazing how quickly all plants grow with a bit of warmth and photosynthesis. We anticipate harvesting the garlic next week. The garlic then requires curing for a few weeks until the skins are dry enough for it to be safely posted for online shop orders and/or stored over the coming months without spoilage as we sell it to farmers' market customers, locals and chefs. The other planted vegetables are now growing before our eyes (& a few things have 'bolted' thanks to the taciturn temps! e.g. rocket & Elk leaf...usual suspects!), so our weekly haul of produce for our appreciative farmers' market customers and supportive chefs will expand in variety and volume from now. Patience is a vegetable farmer's constant 'meditation' with one factor or another but we are very glad veggie abundance is almost upon us!
Assorted pics of produce 'here' or 'coming soon'...
Orsm Oak Leafs
Spring/early summer brassica with field tomatoes in background
Baby radicchio, endives and more oak leaf lettuce
Billy-liscious 'guarding' some broccolis!
On Friday this week we will be doing a "Pope Ups", an exclusive produce pop up stall outside "Hams and Bacon", Pope Joan cafe's wonderful produce store, East Brunswick,Melbourne. Very much looking forward to that (also bc we'll have access to gr8 coffee & tucker!). We tried a pop up last season and with very little publicity it went nicely, locals seemed to love the opportunity to get our fresh picked organic produce. Matt Wilkinson and his team at "Pope Joan" are champions of quality small scale ethical producers, using our produce in the cafe as well as selling much of it through "Hams and Bacon" (various producers meats, our garlic & some toms & veg and all sorts of other top Melb/Vic goods).
It's always a pleasure to share the lovingly grown 'fruits of our labour' with appreciative folk, whoever they are and it's a blessing to have the loyal supporters we have gained over the past 8 years since our farms' inception.
Here's to an abundant and successful new growing season!!
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Carlton (Primary School ) F.M.
1st Sat./Mo. 8am-1pm
Collingwood Childrens' Farm
2nd Sat./Mo., 8am-1pm
Hawthorn's Boroondara F.M.