A double win for our mighty whey-fed vegetable garden

The Cheesemaking Workshop & Deli’s veggie garden has taken out a first prize in Coffs Harbour Garden Club’s for the second year in a row!

Our own Wayne tends these amazing garden beds – which are 6m x 1.2m wide, and about a metre tall with layer upon layer of fertile goodness – at our rural property at Emerald Beach.

Wayne has built up these beauties over the past 12 years. They are rich with compost, straw, earthworms and – our star ingredient – nutrient-packed chook poo!

The gardens are part of a self-sustaining ecosystem which we have here at The Cheesemaking Workshop. Every workshop we run leaves us with a lot of whey – a protein-rich, probiotic-packed liquid which goes home to our 50 chooks, or, as we like to call them, our buff little body-builders!

Their manure is worked through the veggie garden soil by hundreds of busy earthworms, and the mighty vegetables and fruit that we grow from this are served back to you for lunch and morning tea whenever you attend our workshops. So, it literally all starts and ends right here.

In this year’s Spring Garden Competition run by the Club, Wayne won the Category 14 (Vegetable Garden Large, Over 4 Metres) for the second year in a row. And it’s no wonder – the garden beds are absolutely heaving with goodies – including: Zucchini, spinach, parsley, green beans, red and golden beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, basil, cos lettuce, spring onion, eggplants, mint, coriander, oregano, thyme, bell chili pepper, white and yellow nectarines, yellow peach, red apples, limes, mandarins, pears, mangoes, mulberry, olives and pomegranate. Yes – it’s basically an entire green grocer shop that we’ve got growing up here!

Wayne uses no pesticides, keeps any potential four-legged or winged thieves away with a simple bird net, controls weeds with mulch, and estimates that he works on the garden for just half an hour a week to keep it all ship-shape.

Asked how he learned to grow all this amazing food over the years, his reply is short and sweet: “Trial and error. You just stick it in the ground and it’s supposed to grow.” Congratulations, Wayne!