A visit to Budgong
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit our new citrus grower, Heather Lacey, at her family’s property in Budgong. Budgong is a tiny settlement nestled into the hills in the south western end of Kangaroo Valley. It was late in the day when I arrived, so the sun had dipped down behind the ridge line. I also admit to being late to arrive as I had got a little lost navigating the nearby fire trails – it’s a somewhat out of the way place!
Heather supplies us with chemical free lemonades, lemons and grapefruit. She gave me a tour of the orchard and also showed me the beginnings of her other growing projects. I’ll tell the rest of the story in pictures from here.
Heather's property is nestled amongst the stunning ridge-lines and bush of Kangaroo Valley
One of the lemonade trees that has been supplying our boxes. It must have had a lot more fruit on it before our last order! Notice the droppings on the grass. The local roos and wombats provide the only fertilizer additives in this orchard! They keep the grass short, but unfortunately dont seem so keen on windfall citrus!
Lemonades are a sweet lemon, the result of cross pollinating a lemon with a navel orange.
The lemon tree, supplying us with about 10kg per week for wholesale and extras customers.
Heather also has about ten hazel trees, which should provide a bounty of hazel nuts in Autumn. The catkins are already out, something that wouldn't normally occur until spring in their native Europe. We hope to be able to sell these nuts through Food Connect when the time comes.
Heather came upon 7 tonnes of coriander seeds and beans that had sat in a warehouse for six months. It turned out that someone had not paid for them or the seller had gone under. After a bit of investigation she discovered that they were free to a anyone who would pay the cost of taking them away. So Heather hired a truck and got them taken down to Budgong! Her plan is to plough them into the paddock and see what happens. As a small-scale citrus grower, this will be her first foray into growing veggies on a large scale. She seems very laid back about it, mainly because there's no real cost involved and at worst the plants will act as excellent green manure. At best she'll have a big crop of beans and coriander in a few months, in which case Food Connect might event buy them off her - watch this space!