New mentor program for organic market gardeners

An organic crop from Eden's Edible on Mangrove Mountain.

Expressions of interest are open for a new mentor program designed to support up and coming organic market gardeners on the Central Coast.
Part of the Central Coast Sustainable Farming Project, the year-long initiative is an opportunity for a select group of people to receive mentoring from experienced market gardeners from Soil Systems Australia and Mount Tamborine Organic Garden.
Project manager, Ms Sonia Lee, said NSW TAFE had also come on board.
“There is an opportunity for participants to gain credits towards a Diploma in Organic Farming through TAFE’s National Environment Centre,” she said.
The program will kick-off in early 2018 with a training day.
Topics will include: Site selection; Marketing; Equipment and tools; Crop selection and rotations; Soil nutrition; Insect and disease management; and Timetables and Challenges.
Participants will then go on to develop garden plots at Ms Eden Fanelli’s market garden, Eden’s Edibles, in Mangrove Mountain.
“I see it as a great opportunity to fast-track my learning with ongoing practical education for 12 months and the interaction with other growers,” Ms Fanelli said.
The project is also supported by organic market gardener veteran, Mr Michael Champion.
“I see this as a unique and exciting opportunity for farmers to learn small-scale organic market gardening, guided by mentors who have many years’ experience.
“Whether you have a farm you want to develop or want to learn the skills of managing different crops, all aspects will be covered, including marketing,” said Mr Champion.

Media release, Dec 21
Nikki McGrath, Greater Sydney Local Land Services