Frank and his son Michael have been running a local sawmill on top of a hill just West of Bermagui for over 30 years. But in recent times, the demand from the local community for growing has outstripped the call for cutting down. They are transforming their timber mill by surrounding it with lush and productive gardens producing seriously good veggies for sale.
Frank and Michael enter the best of their produce in the Cobargo Show each year. There’s actually a pile of award cards in Frank’s hands above, and if you look closely, along with great veg, the ribbon over Frank’s left shoulder is for “Best Packet Cake” – versatile guy.
Snails and other pests are apparently not a problem, and if something comes along it’s manually removed and squished before it gets out of control. Lots of bird life helps with pests, and companion planting, and rotating different plantings are, “….you know, just common sense,” confide the gently spoken pair.
Totally organic, the only input into the vegetable gardens at Frank’s is some saw dust, and loads of cow manure. In fact the soil is amazingly full of organic matter, and free of pest and disease. I suspect the hill top position with great drainage and fresh South Coast air flow all around helps the garden to thrive as well.
Michael’s yellow tomatoes are famous in town, as well as at the Bermagui Markets each Thursday afternoon, and just as sweet and juicy as their more popular red cousins.
Frank might say growing good food is ‘common sense’, but not many would agree with that. Those who’ve given it a go know it takes planning, caring, thoughtfulness, passion, dedication and lots and lots of hard work.
In fact, it’s like any flourishing marriage I suppose. With their incredible humility, I have no doubt that Frank and Michael’s successful relationship with the food they’re growing is all about commitment and patience.
…and it’s beautiful to witness….
….and not very common at all really. XO