Samford Edible Garden Trail 2020
"The seeds of the future live in the food you grow today"   
( Annette McFarlane )
Samford Edible Garden Trail
... inspiring people to grow food!
Jenny Kato's Permaculture Garden
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When you visit my garden you will see? 
  • How I use permaculture principles in my garden
  • How I place my veggies and flowers together to manage pests 
  • How I manage weeds in the garden and which ones you can eat 
  • How I use kitchen scraps in the garden 
  • Strategies I have used to create and improve soil in the garden 
  • A verge garden waiting to be planted up 
  • My small orchard becoming a food forest 

I have loved gardening and playing with plants from an early age. I used one of Mum’s good baking trays as a window garden by my bed when we lived in Melbourne, I would rescue sick ferns from the garden and give them new life and I would sprout any seeds I came across! 

I spent my early years climbing trees and playing in the garden all day. As I grew up that love for plants, animals and gardening turned into a passion for regenerative agriculture and healing our planet.
In 2010 I was fortunate to move to Highvale with my family. We bought a 2 acre block where I could create my dream garden. Sadly we bought a property with very little soil and a lot of decomposed granite! Over the years I have learnt a lot about creating a thriving productive soil and improving the soil you have.

In 2013 I completed a Permaculture Design Certificate that took my knowledge to a new level and I continue to engage with further learning and training. I applied my new knowledge and my garden became even more productive and fun. 

My aim is to grow 80% of our fresh veggies and experiment with plants that can provide other uses in the home such as luffas. I love spending time in the garden and observing the changes and all the creatures who live in and visit it. 

I love sharing my knowledge and helping others create their dream edible garden. I look forward to showing you around.

Anne Pearson's Garden
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I am a registered teacher and NDIS early intervention provider. I work with children with developmental issues and special needs. My edible garden and our animals are an important part of the program for these children. 

We carefully chose the animals and the layout of our property to support the children and their families. We use raised garden beds so that everything is at a height suitable for maximum participation by children. 

The children help with planting and looking after the garden. They help choose the crops and enjoy the harvest.  Often the vegetables don’t make it to the kitchen as they’re munched before hand- straight from the plant!  To maximise their experiences they write and draw about it in their journals. 

To support children who have sensory issues we provide opportunities for the children to taste, touch, smell and enjoy the garden on multiple levels. Being able to grow and touch the food helps them to learn about it and be encouraged to try new foods and smells. 

The response from the children and their families has been phenomenal! It really is a Field of Dreams! 

When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • How we designed the layout of the garden especially for children with special needs
  • Our different raised beds and how they are beneficial to our children, especially our sensory gardens.
  • Why animals are so important to children (and adults!) and how we develop the relationship between our animals and our children.
  • ​Some of our interesting plants that help stimulate the senses!
McCauley Family Garden
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What can you see in our garden? 
  • 7 raised beds, a lemon tree, macadamia tree (established when we moved here), chickens and an area for growing sprouts and seeds. 
  • A patch with native Australian berries and edibles.
  • A patch growing western herbal medicinals such as moringa, elderberry, Okinawa spinach, Brahmi, comfrey, red clover, wormwood, dandelion and more. 
  • 5 patches with culinary herbs and vegetables.  We also grow our own sprouts for salads and smoothie. 
I spent much of my childhood immersed in nature and spending time on family farms in New Zealand. I guess you could say farming and growing is in my blood. But then again I think it truly lives in all of us, the ability to connect with nature and figure out how to work with it.
In 2014 we were living in San Francisco where I studied my permaculture design certificate at the Urban Institute of Permaculture. Prior to this we had lived on one of Sydney’s most sustainable streets where we grew food in our front yard. I’m passionate about inspiring others to grow food no matter what their living situation. We have grown food in many situations, as home owners and now renters. In small shared gardens to larger spaces.

We are passionate about passing this important knowledge to my children as we have come to understand that healthy soil = healthy bodies. And a connection to nature is a very vital contributing factor to balanced minds, bodies and spirits.

I approach most of the raised beds using permaculture principals and mix up what I plant together to protect one another, rather than use a mono crop situation which can be more susceptible to pests.

We have experimented with worm farms which haven’t worked so well, so we are now looking to build a composting system. We use comfrey as a Natural fertiliser as it is very nutritious for soil. We soak it in water and pour the liquid back into the garden. I also blend any waste from juicing or food prep in a blender with water, strain and pour this back into the garden. It’s all nutrition!

Our dream is to create a fully sustainable homestead where we utilise all waste. We would like to create a food forest and have more animals and hopefully one day do this amongst a like minded community of friends.

We like to pick off short term goals and projects as it is all learning and experience. This next few months goals will be devoted to nailing our composting system and learning the art of preserving foods. 
Our Little Farm
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When we moved to this property we were fortunate that it came with established fruit trees, a few nut trees and some raised vegetable gardens. I was so happy to have the bones of the garden in place couldn't wait to bring the edible garden to life and add some of my own creative touch.

I want to grow food for so many reasons. I want to set an example for my children about how food is grown so they can appreciate the effort that goes into producing food. I want them to learn gardening skills and develop a love for it so that it becomes a natural part of their life as they grow. And I am also doing it for myself as I find edible gardens beautiful to look at and something about being surrounded by fruit and veggies feeds my soul. 

I've been planting comfrey plants and nasturtiums around fruit trees, planting cuttings of flowering plants to attract bees like perennial basil, lavender and marigolds, and also plants that I will be able to use as mulch such as lemongrass and arrowroot. 

I have young children who take up much of my focus so I'm often wishing I had more time to work in the garden but I make the most of little moments when I can grab them. 
I have a goal to pick something from my garden everyday, and this keeps me motivated to keep going and keep planting. I plant lots of seeds and seedlings that shrivel up from the heat, get eaten by animals, get scratched out by brush turkeys or die because I've forgotten to water them. I fertilise the fruit trees when I remember but its never as often as the books say, and when I prune them I have a niggling voice in the back of my mind wondering if I am doing it right. 

But despite all of my bungles and mishaps, some plants make it through and thrive, and my garden grows little by little. It not only brings me joy to have an edible garden, but when we pick and eat from our garden I know that it is the best feeling in the world. 

When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • Established fruit and nut trees and how we care for them.
  • How I build the soil in the vege gardens using lots of organic matter, and how to keep worm farms in top condition.
  • Chickens and ducks! And planting cuttings of flowering plants to attract bees.
  • ​The plants I grow to use as mulch later such as lemon grass and arrowroot.
  • ​How the garden is family friendly and also how I get my children involved in the garden so its not seen as a chore!
The King Family Garden & Rainforest
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What can you see in my garden? 
  • Cute chickens that all the family love and how we have our chook pen uphill from fruit trees so our fruit trees get a boost when we hose out the chook pen! 
  • Our banana circle and how we have used our banana trunks to grow seedlings.
  • Raised beds, no dig gardens, and our wicking bed, and how we rotate what we grow in our beds, as well as companion planting. 
  • Charlie's bean tee-pee, Jenna's green house, and Tom's and mum's edible garden mini-golf course in the making!
  • ​Grandpa and Grandma's amazing Aloe beds, and hopefully Grandma will share her recipe!  
  • ​Fruit trees planted uphill from our banana circle to capture water run-off, as well as our paw paw and cassava patch.
Mum started making the Aloe aborescens medicinal brandy about 7 years ago after she read a book by a priest who has been helping communities in South America grow the plant so that they can use it to help boost the immune system, cleanse the body, and fight a whole range of cancers.  Mum makes up this concoction every 3-4 months and mum and dad drink it over 10 days.  If we are lucky, I will persuade mum to share her recipe during our virtual tour!    
Hi!  I am Christine - or 'mum' in The King Family Garden.  I love gardening and have gardened all my life. 

As a child I was inspired by my grandfather (Reg Powell) and my aunty and uncle (Joyce and Jack Mitchell).  They gave me a love of growing organic food, plants and trees, and everything wood.  Grandpa and I watched Gardening Australia together, he taught me basic wood working skills, and we spent a lot of time in his garden in Hamilton.  We also visited Uncle Jack and Aunty Joyce at their home in Samford or at the markets regularly and eventually moved out to Samford too during my teenage years.  

I loved the semi-rural life.  I spent most of time growing veges, planting trees, and playing with the chooks and my dog, and ended up studying agriculture at University.  I left Samford in my mid-20s for a career in sustainability, food security, and poverty alleviation and was lucky enough to work all over the world.  

Throughout my 30s, I had a 6 acre property on the outskirts of Toowoomba that I designed using ecological systems principles.  I did my PDC with Morag and Evan Gamble in 2000 and realised that permaculture had drawn from many of the indigenous farming practices that I had seen in countries that I had worked.  

Now I am back in Samford, caring for my parents who are now in their 80s, and am grateful for the joy that my children and my grandparents bring to each other every day.  We live across two houses with a rainforest in between that my uncle planted.  Samford is home. 
Before I moved back here, mum and dad had planted quite a number of fruit trees around the property and established 5 raised beds out the back of their house.  Dad rarely gets out in the garden now, but mum still enjoys watering her plants and caring for their different aloe species they have.  

I have put on a removable home (shell almost) and renovated it.  With the help of Jenny Kato (Living Patterns Permaculture) who did a spectacular permaculture plan for me, I have established many raised beds, a wicking bed, and no dig beds, as well as a small orchard, more bananas, and a paw paw and cassava patch.  I am also trying a few things out that my uncle taught me - and have my first batch of white beech seedlings from seed!   

My daughter has set up a shade house and is practising raising seedlings as her first steps to having her own seedling business.  She also looks after the chickens. My boys like to play in the garden rather than work in it, but do help out on occasion.  They love watching things grow, especially when seeds first sprout.     

Jenni Guse's Edible Garden
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My garden is place of learning: Learning about growing food, but also learning about myself.

SOIL: The first and most important lesson I learned when I began this journey ten years ago was that good soil is the starting point for successful growing. I found out that under the ground there is an enormous workforce of fungi and microbes that, just like us, need air, water, food and shelter. So, I began using a fork to dig into the compacted soil to let in air and water. Then I added well-rotted cow manure and compost for nutrients and a thin layer of mulch for shelter. 

It’s taken ten years, but now when I dig the fork in, it goes right up to the handle with very little effort. The compost bays are the engine room of the soil improvement program, and growing comfrey around the edge of the garden provides some of the green matter for the compost as well as the basis for a fertiliser – comfrey tea.

SEASONAL PLANTING: The next lesson was about choosing seeds and seedlings of crops that are in season. I prepare the bed first with compost and aeration, if needed. Then I try to mix up the veggies in one small patch. For example, in a half square metre, I’ve just planted a few seeds of lettuce, cabbage, shallots, kale and spinach. I’ve found that planting like this confuses some of the insects that attack my plants. After a few weeks, I’ll prepare another bed and repeat the process. In this way, I’m hoping for a continuous supply of fresh produce.

PERSONAL LESSONS: I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be perfect; that I can learn from my mistakes; that there is plenty of advice out there and wonderful people who want to share their knowledge with me; that eating from my garden and sharing my produce with my family is one of life’s utter joys! And that when I’m submerged in the garden, and gently removing the unwanted weeds, I’m one with the plants, the bees, the breeze, the sun. It’s a real meditation.

When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • A vege patch with such diversity it will make your mouth water!  
  • An established orchard that has been built on swales, and how you could build one too!
  • Compost bays and tips to build your compost bays to ensure you have the best mulch and compost.
  • ​How the cattle yard has been set up to be functional, how I manage our cattle, and why cattle are great for regenerative agriculture.
  • ​Examples of the different types of food I make from my garden and some of my recipes that our visitor love!
Millen Farm
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What can you see in at Millen Farm? 
  • Jenny Kato, one of the founding members of Millen Farm will give you a brief history and share insights on setting up this community owned and managed venture.
  • ​Arran Heideman will take you on a tour of the farm, talk about system design, and show you how they grow organic produce, what is important in soil preparation, water management strategies, organic pest control, and more!  
  • Jenni Guse will give you an overview of Millen Farm's educational mission and tell you what workshops and tours you can can be part of in the future. 
  • ​How to foster ownership and motivate volunteers!
  • Lots of photos and videos of community activities, including Millen Farm's weekly markets. 
Millen Farm is a not for profit organisation in Samford Valley.  The physical farm site is approximately 5 000 sq metres of leased land within the Samford Commons precinct within walking distance of Samford Village. Our aim is to be a catalyst for an expanding local food system in the region.
At its heart, Millen Farm is a community-owned sustainable enterprise that has been founded, established and managed by the community, for the community.  We are a unique venture because we are creating a sustainable, alternative food system for you to be a part of, where the entire supply chain uses local processes and resources. The Farm is designed to support the production of locally grown organic fruit and vegetables. 

Millen comes from the language of the local Toorbul tribe and translates as ‘place of feasting’, an appropriate name for Samford, with its fertile ground and history of agriculture.

We would like to show our respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, of elders past and present, on which Millen Farm takes place.

Our tagline ‘Learn, Grow, Feast’ was born when considering the key elements of the farm:

Learn: One objective of the farm is to support education (both formal and informal) by providing guidance to both the beginner and the experienced food producer alike. Exciting courses in what to do with excess harvest including pickling, preserving and cooking are offered as well as the plethora of agricultural workshops we host.

Grow: Although a not-for-profit business, Millen Farm will operate as a commercial farm and local, organic, seasonal produce is available for purchase. The produce can be bought at the weekly Real Farmers’ Market held on site or via a box subscription service managed by the Farmer. The farm also aims to raise awareness of current food production systems, food transportation and nutrition.

Feast: Millen Farm is named in acknowledgement of the ancient communities who gathered here to share food. Our vision is that Samford cafes, restaurants and shops will embrace this tradition by promoting seasonal, locally produced organic food. We welcome and encourage people from all walks of life, within the Valley and further afield, to be part of this exciting community venture.
Arran's Permaculture Market Garden
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I started Powerful Owl Permaculture 7 years ago with a small market garden built on contour with grass paths that supplied 20 box subscriptions and a weekly market.

Since then I have been on a whirlwind journey that has lead me to also design and build the Millen Farm market garden and tree systems whilst helping others in the community to get excited about growing their own food.

The market garden takes a regenerative approach to food production with the use of strata building and successional harvests in an annual system with a diverse planting style.  

In the last few months we have been hard at work building another market garden and the growth rates here are astounding. Nearly all the rows are installed and we have been frantically planting our beds for the box subscriptions.

This time around with this second market garden we are going intensive style with a real lean towards agro-ecology which means our planting style will be different to most market gardens. 

The plantings will be annual as well as perennial which will lead to a diverse and continued harvest into the future and also thinks about the generations that follow us.
When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • A beautiful permaculture market garden and house garden set on 20 acres of old growth regeneration.   
  • The house garden which is more for fun than food production with its naturalised swimming pool and water harvesting systems. 
Hidden House Food Garden
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What can you see in our garden? 
  • Wicking beds - the herb’s love them so we’re trialling them for veggies too along with some no dig beds.
  • Citrus and avocado plantings and many other fruiting trees
  • Chickens and movable coops 
  • A successful banana patch that’s also providing passionfruit and pumpkins. 
  • Native and food forest plantings that provide food for wildlife and people.
Our garden started around fifteen years ago when we purchased a bare 5 acre block of mostly grass with a dry creek bed and various local native trees growing along it.
Back then we were full of ideas and enthusiasm but had little knowledge of gardening. Coming out here on weekends over the years we planted out some larger elements: a citrus orchard, avocado orchard, food forest trees and native habitat. Amazingly that’s worked out more or less ok and the majority survived. However, I’ve since realised we’re very lucky to have lovely rich red soil and many things grow rather well in it. Including weeds!

Now we live out here full time we’re re-imagining our garden design and trying various aspects of garden systems, including permaculture-based solutions, to make the garden more manageable and sustainable long term. Often this means revisiting all the things we’ve done and applying new knowledge. We get so much enjoyment from this ongoing challenge, it’s addictive.

For example, in the now semi-mature traditional citrus and avocado plantings where pests have become an issue, we’re looking into maintenance systems to develop around the trees to keep them healthier without using chemicals. The ‘polyculture’ idea appeals greatly - a soil enriching, pest limiting garden based on vertical complimentary plantings that is productive as well as enjoyable. What’s not to like? We’re going to give it a go!

We’ve had free-range chickens (and moveable coops) for a few years now and have become hooked on these feathered friends not only for eggs, poop and pest control, but also as providers of entertainment and (think baby chicks) wonder.

The ongoing themes out in our garden revolve around creating enjoyable outdoor spaces, supporting and increasing native habitat and producing food for the table and our friends. This travels inside with sprouts and most recently kombucha and kefir forming part of our kitchen flora. There’s much to learn here!

A few years ago I joined a social gardening group, Samford Local Growers. This group have monthly tours around their varied gardens to discuss successes and failures, how to grow certain things and share knowledge. It’s been a great part of living in this area, and gave me ongoing inspiration and information on growing things locally. We share excess crops, plants and cuttings, and recipes for using up produce. The bringing and sharing of tasty morning teas over a chat is an additional pleasure.
Jill's 'Connected' Garden
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We live on just 2 acres in a granny cottage next door to my son and his family.  We live a frugal, simple life. We believe in a 'connected' garden. 

Our rescue chookies, vegies, food trees, bird baths, compost, potting area, worm farm and 'entertainment' areas are all close and connected so we can enjoy our little garden life.

My regeneration strip has my bananas, citrus, curry tree, sweet potatoes, ginger, arrowroot, chillies, flowers and herbs. 

Easy, no dig, chop and drop - mulched from compost so lots of volunteers. 

Close to my house there are chookies, a worm farm and compost for easy working.
My basic compost and potting table is close to everything for ease of use. As you can see our free range chookies help turn it over.

When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • ​How everything in our garden is connected and through this connection everything benefits.   
  • How my garden inspires my art! 
Jason Spotswood's Food Forest
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What can you discover in my garden? 
  • Swale based food forest with pintos peanut living mulch
  • Cirtus orchard and Mango tree line
  • Besides the many varieties of standard fruit plants, uncommon fruit plants such as Araca Boi, Kwai Muk, Flacourtia - Shipton's Flat, Pink dragon fruit, Dwarf Ducasse banana, White Jaboticaba, among others 
  • Orchard design ideas, particularly plants which can handle shade, strong winds, wet soils and soils lacking nutrients 
  • Path composting, use of logs for fungi, and the value of rock minerals
  • Property management using animals such as chooks and sheep 
  • If there is time, how we developed a veggie garden built on the worst soil in the property
I am a Canadian/Australian whose love of gardening was nurtured growing up in a household where composting and veggie gardening was the norm. My first crack at growing my own produce started with garlic where I would plant the bulbs before winter and they would push through the barely thawed soil in early spring. When I moved out, it was to go from Ottawa to Calgary. I spent a lot of time converting the side and backyard into gardens. But the veggie growing was hard going due to the short summers that would often cool down considerably at night.
After meeting my future wife and moving to Wollongong (with my compost bin), I discovered that you could grow something very exotic to a Canadian in Australia. It was an orange. I was in awe and soon had a Washington navel orange tree along with some other selections such as some mulberries and blueberries. I spent countless hours looking through the Daleys catalogue. But I was limited in terms of what we could do with the backyard containing a BHP slag subsoil and the front dominated by a Liquid Amber tree.

So 5 years later after extensive reseach we purchased 5 acres in Mount Samson. Our property was selected in large part as it has a spring-fed creek. Two years after that we moved up.

After we moved to Brisbane (mid 2008), the first thing to be done was to establish the veggie garden. Then after a year of site analysis, I established a dedicated citrus orchard over top sub-surface treated effluent irrigation, mangoes along the western edge of the property growing in a poor clay-deco soil, and the flagship of the property which is a swale-based food forest. Pintos peanut covers much of the orchard now and pigeon pea is used to establish new areas for cultivation.

I use a path composting technique in most of the garden areas. Thus I literally walk over my composting system. Compost worms thrive in my food forest where passionfruit climb Lakoocha (Artocarpus lacucha) and Kwai Muk (Artocarpus hypargyraeus) fruit trees. Coffee bushes thrive in the shady understorey of the fruit tree canopy. Salvias and other insect attracting plants are throughout the orchard. Dwarf Ducasse bananas dot the property, with Jakfruit and edible Bamboo creating impressive wind barriers. Logs and palm trunks are used throughout the orchard to help encourage fungi, and microbes are sprayed 2 to 3 times a week to help improve the soil biology on the property.

Chickens and ducks free range around the food forest, and sheep rotationally graze the paddocks.

If you are curious, come and explore where you will learn from my successes and celebrate the compost of my failures.
Martine's Edible Farm
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We are a family of five and we live on a hobby farm in Highvale with lots of animals for company. We have a passion for living as sustainably as we can on our property. We have fruit and nut trees, a newly established vegetable patch, worm farms and honey and native bee hives. My husband and I take care of the beehives. We have nine European honey bee hives and in summertime we check them for honey almost every 4 weeks. 

 Our edible trees include, mango, paw paw, black and white mulberry, jaboticaba, bananas, orange, grapefruit and even a black sapote (although it has not give us any fruit since we planted it 4 years ago). Currently we're harvesting kiwanos (horned melons) and loofahs. I have discovered that the young ones taste like zucchini, however if you leave them on the vine a bit longer they are definitely no longer edible. Then we use them dried in the kitchen or the shower.
Our veggie garden is a recent family project and it is what you would call a work in progress. A few months ago it was a small fenced area on the side of a hill that was overgrown with grass and weeds about a metre high. We decided to clear the area with the help of our animals so we brought in the sheep and alpacas. It took them three days to eat it all down for us. We then went about making our garden beds. Because the whole area is on the side of a hill, we needed to create terraces all the way down the slope that would become our garden beds. 

Each garden bed is about half a metre wide so that we can easily reach across, and we used logs from our property to hold it in place. Just below each garden bed is a narrow path, also about half a metre wide, and then below this the next garden bed and repeating this all the way down the slope. We are happy that this setup up as it gives us easy access to work on the slope, and with the narrow paths, we have maximised the space for growing. We have covered the paths in woodchip which will suppress weeds and break down over time. Next year, we might be able to plant in the paths instead of the garden beds!
I volunteer at Millen Farm one morning a week and so I quite often end up with some left over seedlings that I bring home to plant. It is still early days, but at the moment, we have a mix of asian greens, herbs, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce and cucumbers growing. We will keep adding to it each week and in no time I hope it will be thriving!

When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • ​How everything in our garden is connected and through this connection everything benefits.   
  • How my garden inspires my art! 
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What can you discover in our Utopia? 
  • What can be achieved with minimal knowledge and budget but a whole lot of heart and determination
  • How to recycle, upcycle and repurpose materials to create beautiful garden beds 
  • A living fence made up of native trees, shrubs and bush tucker sourced from our Wompoo Native Nursery monthly subscription
  • Raised garden beds incorporating both a worm farm and the Hügelkultur method which allow us to feed all our food scraps directly to the worms in the veggie gardens 
  • 3 Native bees hives which we foster from Tony the Bee Man
  • A citrus orchard with Mandarin, Grapefruit, Kaffir Limes, Lemons, Limes and Finger Limes 
  • A fruit orchard featuring multiple Mango trees, Avocados, Guava, Lychee, Paw Paw, Apple, Cherry, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Nashi Pear and Feijoa  
  • A newly established Dragon’s Den and Dragon’s Lair 
We started our little edible garden when we moved out to Cedar Creek just under 2 years ago. We had ambitious dreams of creating our retreat as an escape from normality, connecting with nature and becoming self-sufficient. 

Even though our veggie beds are only a few months old we are loving seeing them come to life and are already imagining the day when we have enough fruit and veggies from our garden to feed our family and share as well.
Built on trial and error, as well as loads of love, energy and effort, our gardens are a manifestation of our research and ideas and mostly built by hand with recycled materials. My family love art and creating so our gardens are an evolving canvas for us. 

We have been really lucky to be surrounded by talented and generous family, friends, neighbours and community members who have shared their knowledge with us and inspired us along the way. 
We love that we can walk through our gardens gathering fresh berries, herbs and salad greens to snack on and add to our meals. 

Some of our current projects include learning how to make jam and kombucha from our Rosellas, exploring companion planting, fermenting our first NutGrass Tea and establishing a worm farm in a bath tub. 

It’s important to us that our two boys are involved in the projects and care of the gardens, we have a bit of system to reward them for their hard work and energy and they love seeing the fruits of their efforts when foraging, but really hate weeding. 

Each project is a bit of experiment to be honest, we still have loads to learn and do. 

Although we are amateurs we hope that by sharing what we have been able to create, we can inspire others to trust in their ability and just start their journey.
Mount Samson State School
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“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Audrey Hepburn

Blessed with beautiful green spaces, fresh country air and plenty of willing gardeners, Mount Samson State School has always  had some kind of edible produce growing on campus. Principal, Susan Hughes, had seen the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) Program in action. Recognising how the program enriches the curriculum and supports the development of 
meaningful life skills through engaging experiences, Susan put forward a proposal to P&C and staff to join the SAKG program.

In 2019 we officially began our SAKG journey. Mount Samson State School embarked on the ambitious project of an edible garden, perfect for our school environment.  We began the process of planning how our garden would look and operate. We removed an old playground and used this as the site for our initial vegetable garden area. Its close proximity to water, shed storage, covered area and a classroom with a Kitchenette and oven, made it the perfect place to get started.  Our ever hard-working groundsmen constructed a beautiful garden space based on a cross design with four quadrants and four arbours, maximising the space for both ground dwelling vegetables and climbers. 

Learning opportunities in our garden for both students and staff have been immense. The SAKG program complements our curriculum perfectly as we begin to incorporate the garden into classroom activities whenever possible. Findings learning opportunities in the garden for our students is easy - measuring, counting, weighing, life cycles, biology, reading recipes and seed packets - the ideas are endless. As the garden grows and expands, we hope to draw more and more of our school  community into the area to make it a real focal point and gathering space. 

When our patch was ready, we planted our autumn crop in March, making the most of the wonderful rainfall at the start of the year. Having a ‘young’ edible garden has not precluded us from enjoying bountiful harvests however. In the last couple of months, we have harvested dozens of pumpkins, corn,  tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant, bok choy, pak choy, celery and even a very small but sweet pineapple. 

We are very grateful to our sponsors Bendigo Bank and Mr Van Der Ark from Stratco for their generous support. We are also  grateful to everyone who shared their expertise in the early stages. We would especially like to thank Jenny Kato from Living Patterns Permaculture for her design ideas and guidance, and Peter Kearney from My Food Garden for sharing his knowledge 
about improving garden soil. 
When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • ​A Garden tour – The vegie patch “Paterson’s Patch”, edible gardens, native food garden, native beehive, worm farms and
  • Garden Construction – How the gardens have evolved over the past year.   
  • Learning Opportunities in the Garden – Some of the ways students have engaged with the garden and the valuable learning
  • ​The Harvest – the bountiful harvest that the edible garden has supplied 
Kate's Happy Clover
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What can you discover at Happy Clover? 
  • The wonderful health benefits of sprouts, particularly broccoli sprouts!
  • ​How to grow sprouts easily - basic set up to more complex set ups
  • ​My finished sprout products (and the whole value chain - farmer to market!)
  • My no dig garden bed 
When I think of what to grow in my food garden, I think about what I want my family to eat every day! We have a crazy amount of lettuce and spinach, because we eat lettuce and spinach every day : )
The way I make my soil is the way my Mum taught me many years ago, and it has never failed me, we get great veggies all the time. The way my Mum taught me was the way Annette McFarlane taught her many years ago now, which I call the no dig method or the layered method. 
Step 1: layer of sugar cane mulch or lucerne
Step 2: layer of manure 
Step 3: layer of green grass 
Step 4: layer of sugar cane mulch or lucerne on top to seal in the moisture

Because I volunteer at Millen Farm, I'm lucky enough to get some of the leftover seedlings. At the moment from Arran, I am growing: 

White pak choy
Green pak choy
Other things I’ve got growing is: 
Parsley, Spinach, Rocket, Basil, Strawberries, Amaranth sprouts, Broccoli spouts, Sunflower spouts, Wheatgrass, Mint, Celery
Madi Mushroom
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We are all becoming more aware of where our food comes from and the impact we are having on our environment.  At Samford Valley Mushrooms we are a family owned business, working hard at producing sensational gourmet produce that makes the most of the exquisite natural environment of the Samford Valley in South East Queensland. At the same time, we are equally focused on reducing our environmental footprint, Reusing wherever we can; and Recycling closer to zero waste.  

We are firm supporters and contributors to the regenerative farming ethic - producing wonderful food and leaving the environment in better shape than when we began. At SVM, we started with a waste product - coffee grounds and we have successfully developed a method to convert a throw-away product into sustainable, gourmet mushrooms.

When we enjoy our coffee from our favourite baristas and cafes, the leftovers from the brewing process (grounds) typically makes its way to landfill where it breaks down into methane gas. Methane is 84 times more potent to global warming than carbon dioxide.

We rescue those grounds thanks to the support of our wonderful coffee partners, use them to grow the freshest, most flavoursome mushrooms you will ever try, and the used coffee is converted to mushroom compost!   In 2019 we saved more than 1000 kg from going to waste. Our goal for 2020 is 2,500kg! 

We grow a variety of mushrooms onsite which are offered in a range of products from fresh mushrooms, to medicinal extracts and even jerky – with more products on the way!

We started with a passion of mushroom growing and decided to create a business that brought the local community healthy and sustainable produce whilst being ethically and environmentally conscious.

We look forward to showcasing how we turned a passion into providing for our community on a bigger scale, along with how we keep environmentally conscious, sustainable and some of the benefits mushrooms can bring to you and your garden!
When you visit my garden you will see: 
  • ​The mushroom process from start to finish   
  • The procedures, equipment, designs, tips and tricks that help us stay sustainable and environmentally conscious
  • The final product (mushroom compost) and its real-life benefits​
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Samford & Surrounds
  • Super Soils: Love soil? This category focuses on everything soils. From composting to worm farms, to organic fertilisers, to fallow systems and primary plantings.
  • Principles to Practice: Interested in different gardening systems? Find out about permaculture, biodynamics, companion planting,  community supported agriculture, regenerative agriculture, and many more.  
  • Community Capers: Find out what gardeners and gardening groups are doing to contribute to community. From community hubs, local cafes, demonstration farms, local growers groups - you will be inspired!
  • Birds and Bees: Come along to the gardens in this category and see everything animals - including beekeeping, alpaca farming, growing plants for birds and butterflies, and everything chickens!
  • Family Fun: Need ideas to keep your children busy in the garden?  Come see forts, mystery gardens, mini-golf, adventure-lands, and much much more. 
The Digital Building Blocks of a Successful Online Business
Samford & Surrounds
  • Super Soils: Love soil? This category focuses on everything soils. From composting to worm farms, to organic fertilisers, to fallow systems and primary plantings.
  • Principles to Practice: Interested in different gardening systems? Find out about permaculture, biodynamics, companion planting,  community supported agriculture, regenerative agriculture, and many more.  
  • Community Capers: Find out what gardeners and gardening groups are doing to contribute to community. From community hubs, local cafes, demonstration farms, local growers groups - you will be inspired!
  • Birds and Bees: Come along to the gardens in this category and see everything animals - including beekeeping, alpaca farming, growing plants for birds and butterflies, and everything chickens!
  • Family Fun: Need ideas to keep your children busy in the garden?  Come see forts, mystery gardens, mini-golf, adventure-lands, and much much more. 
We’d love to hear from you.
Please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you quicker than we can sprout some micro-greens .

Susanne Engelhard
0413 241 648

Dr Christine King        
 0409 405 765
We’d love to hear from you.
Please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you quicker than we can sprout some micro-greens .

Susanne Engelhard
0413 241 648

Dr Christine King        
 0409 405 765
Copyright © 2020 Samford Edible Garden Trail.  All Rights Reserved.   Samford, Australia.