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David and Sarah run the 46-hectare property with a commitment to sustainable and regenerative farming practices. David’s interest in food production started aged about 4 when he was taken by grandfather Herbert around the St Peter’s church vicarage garden in Burnham, and grandfather George through the allotments in Reading. David tasted fresh figs, heirloom apples, pears, plums and greengages, asparagus, squash, beans and potatoes and the seed was sown so to speak.
Sarah has worked in fashion and design and owned the iconic gallery small spaces in Redfern.
David began to apply his knowledge (BSc in Agricultural Botany) and passion for agriculture to farm life. We want to live off the land and to provide the best source of nutrition for our customers and ourselves.
The property has a history of beef cattle production with rich soils and good water retention. We have a small herd of grass-fed Angus and Hereford cows and grow garlic, shallots, potatoes, pumpkins and Italian and Japanese vegetables. We use organic and biodynamic methods, no chemicals and tread lightly on the land.Image Gallery
We are not trying to grow ‘everything’ to please all people nor satisfy ‘food fads’. Rather we want to meet customer demand for locally grown, fresh produce. We apply a Crop Value Rating on what we grow that incorporates days to maturity, yield/sqm, price/kg, length of harvest period, popularity and storage period
We produce several garlic cultivars – Monaro Purple, California Late, Italian Red, Australian White and Printanor. We benefit from Braidwood’s cold winters and hot summers.
We plant our garlic by hand in late March and harvest, again by hand, in November. Our garlic is air cured on drying racks and is available for sale in mid December. Our garlic can be stored for 3-6 months, depending on cultivar, in a well-ventilated, dry location.
Our potatoes are planted by hand in late October and are ready for harvest from the following January. We want our produce to taste like the food our grand parents would have eaten. Our potato cultivars are mostly heirloom or heritage and include pink Burgundy Blush, purple Sapphire, Purple Congo, Pink Eye, Dutch Cream, King Edward, Nicola and Up to Date.
Our shallots and pumpkins are high quality cultivars that you wont find in the high street and can be stored for longer periods. Cultivars grown include Canada Crookneck, Red Kuri, Winter Luxury and Musque de Provence.
We are thrilled to say that we are a NSW winner in the 2019 delicious Produce Awards in the From the Earth category for our heirloom potatoes (pink Burgundy Blush, Purple Congo, rich Dutch Creams and King Edward).
Soil management is our primary focus. We do not use herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or industrial fertilisers. Our compost is either made on the farm using Sydney cafe' coffee grounds, manure from our cows and biodynamic preparations or brought in as organic compost from Landtasia near Mulloon.
Our soil additions are sourced from Biodynamic Australia, YLAD or Nutrisoil. We use humates, fulvates and seaweed/fish solutions to improve the soil’s microbiology and structure.
We start with a green manure crop to help improve the soil’s character. The crop is worked into the soil using a walk behind tractor and the soil additions are then incorporated. We practice a four-year bed rotation with one bed only growing green manure each year.
We crack our garlic bulbs into individual cloves and soak overnight before planting in a seaweed solution. We plant our potatoes and shallots by hand and use an Earthway seeder for our other row vegetables.
We apply a 10-15 cm layer of rice straw mulch on our garlic and potatoes to supress weeds and retain soil moisture. Less mulch is used on our other vegetable crops. We do not drip irrigate our crops but water by hand if required.
Weeding is done by hand throughout the growing season and we hand pull our produce to limit mechanical damage.
Our garlic and shallots are trimmed and placed on drying racks to cure.
We are members of the Braidwood Garlic Growers Co-op, Slow Food and the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
North Sydney, 1st and 3rd Saturdays of month.
We are taking a seasonal break and will be back on January 18th 2020.
Forest Lodge, 1st and 3rd Sundays of month.
We are taking a seasonal break and will be back on December 8th 2019.
david@owlfarmbraidwood or DM @owlfarmbraidwood.