Applewood Kitchen Garden is one of the network’s ‘microproducers’ and is a half acre home and garden setup based just across from Ranelagh.

Bigger than an average vegie plot, but much smaller than a market garden, Applewood is being developed to feed myself as well as friends and family. However, as many gardeners know, it can be easy to overproduce at times and there aren’t always enough hours in the day or space in the pantry to preserve everything! So some of my excess finds its way to the HPN market stall – mostly in the form of fruit, herbs, herbal teas, flowers, vegies and salad greens. I’ve also started making small batch jams in a limited range. I think the idea of growing and selling produce might put some people off as too intimidating, or that they don’t have ‘enough’ but even just a few small bags of fruit and veg every other week is worth the effort.

My garden plot and mini orchard is a blend of form and function – with at least some of my efforts going towards making the space not just productive, but visually appealing also. Inspired by old European style ‘potager’ gardens, it blends order and chaos, where flowers mix together with vegetables and fruit. Very few of the garden beds are devoted to one single crop and are instead a deliberate mix of self sown surprises and small blocks of selectively planted crops. I grow according to organic/permaculture principles and use diversity to control pests rather than chemical sprays. The longer term goal is to expand to about double what I already have (including dreams of a proper greenhouse!) and to actually plan ahead instead of always rushing to catch up!

I blog a little sporadically, and sometimes about gardening over at www.applewoodandearth.com