Small scale - nurtured by hand from seed to harvest
Heirloom Naturally specialises in growing old fashioned, nutrient dense vegetables and microgreens that not only taste incredible, they are visually stunning too. Nurtured from heirloom seed, grown utilising regenerative farming practises and hand harvested to order; this is how fresh, chemical free, local produce really tastes.
Frustrated at buying vegetables that within a day or two looked tired and wilted, Simone Boyd began growing vegetables for her own kitchen. Loured by the colour, flavour and nostalgia of heirloom vegetables (Sim is a self confessed "Nanna" at heart), she began growing only old fashioned varieties, and loved the anticipation of deciding "what's for dinner?" based on the seasonal produce available in the garden.
Having worked as a loss and grief counsellor for many years, Sim found plunging her hands into crumbly soil was incredibly good for her own well-being, and she found herself being drawn to the garden at every spare moment.
Wanting to share the delight of juicy white watermelon, vibrant red orach, crunchy purple carrots and earthy sunflower shoots, Sim decided to develop a small scale market garden on a recently purchased plot of farmland in Mansfield (Victoria, Australia).
Recognising the key to growing great vegetables lies in the quality of the soil, Sim and her husband Cam began the long term process of building living soil on their Mansfield property in February 2017, on what was previously an overgrazed plot of land with almost non existent top soil.
Heritage Berkshire pigs cleared weeds and fertilised the growing area, prior to truck loads of organic compost being added to form permanent beds. Now, after each crop is harvested, beds are broad forked and an additional layer of compost is added on top, allowing the soil microbiology to do the 'hard' work of pulling the organic matter down for the plant roots to access. Crops are then either seeded or transplanted by hand and nurtured through until harvest.
"Our ongoing commitment to no tillage, no tractor and no synthetic inputs ensures we are building a living, vibrant soil structure, which in turn produces top quality, real, nutritious and unique vegetables. This method is not only good for our vegetables and your health, it is also great for the environment as it keeps carbon within the soil, reduces water requirements and ultimately, regenerates the land.
We feel privileged to be growing for restaurants, cafes and the dinner tables of families in Mansfield and the surrounding North East region."
This is small scale market gardening at its best!
**In 2021 we also began selling a select range of heirloom seed. Following a shortage of bulk heirloom seed during the COVID pandemic, Simone began saving more seed from her most prized varieties. We are now delighted to be able to sell the excess seed to our wonderful customers and beyond. Check out our heirloom seed page for more information.