In between pruning, fixing netting and building a mega new veggie patch, we occasionally get some time off! Recently, we managed to take a Friday out to visit Margan Estate in Broke. We went for a cooking workshop and lunch hosted by chef Michael Robinson, but the highlight was touring the amazing biodynamic kitchen garden that feeds Margan’s restaurant with up to 90% of its produce.
The food philosophy behind the fine dining restaurant at Margan is very much paddock to plate, so a huge one-acre patch – including a fruit orchard and a gorgeous chicken coop – has been set up to supply the busy kitchen. When we visited, we harvested cherry-sized radishes in rainbow colours, and wandered through rows of fennel, kale, carrots, strawberries, micro greens, leeks, broccoli and more. Chefs tend to prefer small veggies and leaves – they look prettier on the plate – so it’s a tough job (managed by one very energetic woman!) planning and maintaining this garden to ensure there are dainty vegetables available every day of the week, plus tiny micro greens to display in miniature white pots on each table.
We were totally inspired by the garden – not only did it look gorgeous, everything was grown with care and following biodynamic principles. If you haven’t heard of biodynamics, it’s a method of organic farming that focuses on soil fertility and considers all aspects of agriculture as one. It follows an astrological planting and sowing calendar and involves some out-there fertilising methods – think burying cow droppings in a cow horn! The end result is environmentally friendly farming practices, healthy soil and amazing produce. We follow biodynamics as much as we can at Misty Valley Farm and, of couse, we never use chemicals on our berries.
We highly recommend checking out Margan Estate – and we’ll keep you posted on our own veggie patch as it progresses.