A great group of subscribers joined us on a sunny Sunday to visit the Weiers’ property at Linthorpe near Pittsworth (past Toowoomba). We all had fun strolling through the paddocks and picking corn, beetroot and radishes, and some lucky kids got a horse ride in. Mark and Kathy described which veges grow best on their soil using organic methods and how they concentrate on those instead of fighting nature (because there is no way we can win against nature!).
Kathy described how they try to look after the land, so that the land can nurture us. They have around 30% tree cover on their property and are constantly trying to plant more trees to provide habitat for birds and koalas. As their soil often dries out and cracks, exposing the tree roots, the planting has had mixed success so far, but some patches are growing well.
Mark and Kathy told us about the effects of the January floods, where in the short term they couldn’t get out into the fields to harvest or plant because the ground was waterlogged. The long term effect of soil microbes being drowned reduced the germination rate of new plantings. It wasn’t so much that the nutrients were gone, soil tests confirmed that the nutrient levels were fine, but more that the oxygen was gone and the microbes which depend on it. Through a process of trial and error, Mark worked out which microbes he had to introduce to get the soil back to its former condition.
Every crop he has planted since then is getting better and better. He reckons he’s cracked it now and his delicious beetroot and radishes will be back to full size and health soon. Thanks go to Mark and Kathy and their daughter Gaby (son Ben was off playing sports) for making us so welcome on your farm!