Killiecrankie Farm in Glengarry, near Launceston.
Thanks to the Tasmanian Country newspaper; written by Roger Hanson.
A HORTICULTURIST has discovered success can come at a slower pace.
Lee Adamson-Ringk and her husband Chris Ringk have developed a system for sustainable growth of perennial plants at Killiecrankie Farm in Glengarry, near Launceston.
“Our philosophy revolves around being sustainable, which includes things like organic, low intensity and diversity of crop. We have tagged it as a slow nursery,” Ms Adamson-Ringk said.
Their 26ha farm includes some cattle and sheep for meat. They run 0.5ha of production nursery for perennial plants and another 2ha for Christmas trees.
Killiecrankie Farm started growing Christmas trees in 2009 and established the nursery in 2012.
The operation won a scholarship from not-for-profit organisation, Sprout Tasmania.
“We never stop learning. There is always another perspective or issue to address, be it plant nutrition or a new cultivar or unusual edible,” Ms Adamson-Ringk said.
The farm specialises in plants that have dual purposes and is trying to break ground as a free-range nursery.
“We provide plants with more than a single feature. They could be edible and beautiful to integrate into a garden.
“Our plants are entirely grown within our state reducing carbon footprints, reducing inputs and averting disease importation through local production.”
Their plants are grown in Tasmanian climatic conditions, not under glass or polytunnels.
“Our artificial inputs are minimized, if not completely removed. We use local materials and have a whole-farm plan dealing with all environmental issues on site and look at diversity across both our products and farm management.”
Ms Adamson-Ringk said her role combined all her experiences. She started in horticulture, shifted into pastoral agriculture and gained a degree in environmental science before moving into forestry in natural resources management.
“We offer a diversity that is broad, with high volumes of edibles for the home gardener, that are known to be hardy to our climate and provide ongoing longevity for a garden through its perennial rather than annual behaviour,” she said. “There is nothing more local than food from your own backyard. We support the idea that even if you grow three herbs in your garden or on a porch you contribute to global food futures.”
The Christmas trees had a slow start but now sell out each season. Customers can pick their own tree while it is still growing.
“We have such a great time at Christmas, seeing families who come back each year with their own traditions and watching their children grow,” she said.
The nursery is seasonally open and also sells online.
Photos supplied by Killiecrankie Farm