The Dirt in Winter 2020

Winter by Chris McFerran  

Image by Chris McFerran, via ABC News Website

We live in the most beautiful place to experience cool days, fresh mornings of crisp air and a sprinkling of frost. Welcome to Winter 2020! Sit back with a hot drink and enjoy the read of our latest issue of The Dirt. 

The Latest Dirt

Introducing our New Board Members

Sprout Tasmania is run by a volunteer board who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from all areas. They also bring passion and commitment to supporting our members and producers to bring together our ethos: We have one passion, one purpose - 'Growing good'

Following our Annual General Meeting in May, we are very pleased to introduce our new board structure:

Justin Birchmore - Chairperson, newly appointed in May 2020

Justin is a company director with broad commercial experience. He brings extensive experience in both large company management to establishment and growth within smaller businesses. Justin also has experience in advertising, marketing, public relations and events management. He will be a wealth of knowledge to the board and will support the Sprout Tasmania family to grow stronger and bring new ideas to the table.

Tony Scherer - President, co-founder of Sprout Tasmania and long-standing member of the board

Tony has grown both vegetables and fruit crops commercially, started an organic wholesale and delivery business, is a guru on composting and co-founded Sprout in 2011. He continues to sit on the board and provide his knowledge and expertise to our members. 

Mark Massie - Secretary, continuing

Mark continues his role as Secretary of the board for another year. Mark comes from a 30 year background in the Navy, before establishing his own Dorper Sheep farm in the southern Tasmanian town of Geeveston. He participated in the Sprout Producer Program in 2016 which highlighted the benefits that Sprout is able to provide to small producers and the community as a whole within Tasmania and he is keen to ensure that others are able to likewise benefit.

Alex Jane Seager - Treasurer, continuing

Originally from the United Kingdom, Alex settled in Tasmania with her husband and very much calls Tasmania home. She has a background in Financial Management and Accounting and is continuing her role as Treasurer to ensure Sprout stays on track and remains financially viable for years to come

Don Thomson - member of the Board, newly appointed in May 2020

Don Thomson

Don Thomson has a diverse background as a farmer, agribusiness entrepreneur, landscape architect, agricultural systems consultant and rural sociologists. He is passionate about ethical and regenerative agriculture that supports vibrant local communities and thriving circular economies. He was a livestock farmer for 28 years, in Victoria and NW Tasmania, but since selling the Tasmanian farm in late 2019 he is focusing on using his design-thinking, research and evaluation skills to help not-for-profits and businesses break through actual and perceived barriers and identify innovative products and new ways of working to achieve more positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. 

Tim Russell-Jarvie - member of the board, newly appointed in May 2020

Tim brings over 20 years of knowledge in business, underpinned by a deep understanding and passion of aquaculture and agriculture production. His experiences range from sales and marketing in the wine industry, to understanding the inner workings of large primary production retailers, to promoting and implementing ethical codes of practice round animal welfare, product innovation and waste. His passion and experience will bring new ideas and approaches to the board and the Sprout Family. 

Larna Pittiglio - member of the board, newly appointed in May 2020


Larna came to Tasmanian as a tourist seven years ago and never left. Now a true-local, she is passionate about connecting consumers with producers, and is finding better ways to support those in the agricultural industry. Larna would like her time with Sprout to help grow the connections between producers and consumers.

This will rounded team will work together with our General Manger - Jennifer Robinson, Administration Officer - Carissa Devereaux and and the team of volunteers to continue to offer dedicated support, growth and guidance throughout the current difficult times and into the future. 

2020 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards


Congratulations to the following State winners in the recent "delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards" - these winners were judged by a panel of experts in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Judging was based not only on the quality and taste of the products, but also the innovation and sustainability practices followed by the producers. The state finalists go forward before a national judging where they will be rigorously tested and tasted by the country’s most influential palates before the national winners are announced later this year. We wish all of our local finalists the very best of luck!

And of course, a very special mention and Congratulations to our Sprout Family winners! We have six Sprout Producer Program graduates, one of the 2019 Small Producer of the year Finalists...AND...the 2019 Sprout Small Producer of the year award winner. Congratulations - we are so proud! Check them out here:

Congrats also to all other State winners including:

Events & What's On

Need some new 'blunnies' to keep your feet warm as toast this Winter?

Here are Sprout we are driven by the passion, dedication and support of our members, and in return we love nothing more than supporting them in return. Our members 

To celebrate the Winter season we are inviting you to join our Sprout Family and to say thank you we will put your name in the draw for a new pair of Blundstone Australia boots. 

Jump on now to become a member of the Sprout Family for only $60 and possibly win yourself a brand new pair of boots for Winter! 

Sprout Producer News

Sprout Small Producer of the Year Award - Kate and Iain Field from Tongola Cheese & Leap Farm

Sprout Small Producer of the Year

Kate and Iain were nominated by our community and were announced as the winners of the 2019 Small producer of the year. The pair are passionate about their farm and the community. Goat farmers who produce goat meat (and also some premium aged beef), they also run a milking herd of 75 Toggenburg goats on their beautiful property in Copping in Southern Tasmania. Their award winning cheeses are hand-made from their goats milk and a whole lot of love.

Kate and Iain are passionate about sustainable and regenerative farming practices and you can see that the community recognise the hard work, dedication and passion they have for sustainable agriculture. The amazing feedback they received from those in the community who nominated them for their hard work, dedication and approach to amazing produce. Nominations listed attributes like energetic, community minded, valuable to our local community and passionate.

Kate and Iain were so humbled by their nomination and their win for 2019. This award means so much to the producers who receive it, as it is recognition from their community for all the hard work, dedication and passion they have for sustainable agriculture on a small scale. Nominations for the 2020 Sprout Small Producer of the Year will open in July. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the announcement.

Broadchurch Farm are launching their new online store

Calum and Samara, from Broadchurch Farm, have been enjoying a bit of a break from their normal farm life recently with everything that has been going on, and they've taken the time as an opportunity to put together an online shop. Well done! To celebrate the launch, they have fresh beef boxes available as well as their pasture-raised chicken ready to order now!

You need to get in quick as orders close this Tuesday 9 June 2020. Head on over to their website to shop now!

Campo de Flori ready for their olive harvest and farm gate sales are back

Campo de Floriin the beautiful Huon Valley is excited to be re-opening for Farm Gate sales of their amazing produce on weekends only from 13 June 2020 between 10am-3pm. They have introduced a COVID-safe plan and are looking forward to sharing their range and welcoming visitors once again. Olive harvesting will begin in two weeks time and their lavender, saffron and olive oils are ready to buy now. Keep on eye on their Facebook page for updates and information. 

Huski Greens spring into action and stay busy


Huski Greens owners Mac and Oli have  been busy over the last few months finding new ways to connect with their customer and share products. They have set up Vege Box deliveries offering a free weekly delivery, every Saturday. Mac can be seen turning up with a bag full of goodies with a skip and hop to your door! Check out all the info and order options for their Vegie Boxes on their Facebook page.

They have also been busy with the planning of their new caterpillar tunnels - they are very excited to have this project underway and we can't wait to see the end result. Keep up the great work! 

To find out more about all the amazing work Mac and Oli have been up to over the last few months check out their profile on our website.

Our Community

2020 Rural Women's Awards

A huge congratulations to four Tasmanian women who were nominated as state finalists for the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award for 2020. The state winner was announced on 26 March - congratulations to Karen Brock on her win! Read all about the four inspiring Tasmanian Women and more about the award and its program which will be open for new nominations in 2021. 

The Flower Room is looking for new suppliers

The Flower Room in Hobart are looking for new members to join their co-op. They are a not-for-profit and work with makers and growers to provide quality local products to the community. If you are interested in offering your goods for sale at The Flower room, contact Allison Ryland via email to discuss your produce and the membership options. 

Olive Harvest at Lauriston Grove

Lauriston Grove - will have commenced their Olive Harvest for the season. Due to COVID-19 restrictions they are unable to run their "Groove in the Grove" this year, but they are extending an invitation to friends, family and those who are might want to join them over the coming weeks to come and grab a rake and enjoy the cultural experience of the Olive Harvest with them. Social distancing is easy in the grove, so if you are interested simply email Marco and provide your contact details and preferred dates to attend. Marco will send you details to be COVID-Safe and all the information you need. 


Workshop - Soil Carbon

AgriProve are hosting two online webinars for Tasmanian farmers interested in running their own soil carbon project. The forum will include what soil carbon farming is and how a soil carbon project works, the farmer experience, how it can improve your productivity and profitability and how you can get started in Tasmania. The webinars will be run in the evening on 16 and 18 June 2020. Registrations are now open -

Workshop - Mushroom Cultivation

Forest Funghi are now running their Mushroom Cultivation course via correspondence. You can sign up at anytime and complete the course at your own pace. Find out more and sign up on their website. 

Workshop - Business Resiliance

FREE Masterclass! Marisol Miró Quesada and Business Tasmania are running a free online business resilience program. Register for the "How to create a resilient small business without getting stuck" session to be held on 16 June 2020.


The Dirt in Autumn 2020

As we farewell the warm Summer days, welcome the beautiful Tasmanian Autumn with the crisp, cooler days, changing colours and shorter days, you should sit back and enjoy the read of our latest issue of The Dirt.

Latest News

We are very excited to announce our 2020 cohort of the Sprout Producer Program. We have six amazing producers to introduce to you!

Click on the links to find out more about each producer and their farms:

Rob Mather - Valley Fresh Farm 

Rob Mather has over 25 years experience in parks and natural area management working in both Sydney and Hobart.  In April 2019 he exchanged his management role at the City of Hobart for the challenge of establishing a chemical free market garden in the beautiful Huon Valley south of Hobart.  Years of being progressively more desk-bound were taking its toll, so instead of adopting a stand-up desk, Rob opted out of the desk entirely for a farming life. Read the full story here!

 Valley Fresh Farm Rob Mathers 

Bec Rumble & Paul Hallier - Lone Goose Farm

Meet Bec and Paul from Lone Goose Farm. New to Tasmania and to farming, they made the move (and giant leap of faith) because they’re passionate about sustainable, regenerative and ethical food production. Find out about their Muscovy Ducks and the story behind the name Long Goose Farm here.


Christine Bishop - Beaupre Farm

Chris, new to both Tasmania and farming is now focusing her energies away from a career in international health development to establishing a small Boer goat stud in Southern Tasmania which aims to produce high quality commercial goat meat for local markets.  As well as having some very cute, inquisitive and affectionate additions to the farm, her goats will be part of a broader weed eradication program which will use regenerative farming practices such as rotational grazing of mixed cover crops to restore the farm’s diverse and fragile ecosystems. Find out all about Beaupre Farm here.

 Christine Bishop - Beaupre Farm

Mac McGuinness & Oli Wichman - Huski Greens

At Huski Greens - they are all about living local! Located in Southern Tasmania, the power of community and the importance of knowing your farmer is what drives Mac & Oli to continue to grow and supply direct to the local community through farmers markets every weekend and sell direct to local cafes, restaurants and caterers. They are proud to say they do not use any harmful chemicals or pesticides and believe in real organic growing techniques. Learn more about their passion for micro greens here!

Huski Greens

Sue Manning & Narelle Johnson - Bridgenorth Berries 

Susan and Narelle have been friends since the early 90's. In 2017 they both left their mainland lives and moved back to Tassie to their picturesque berry farm in Bridgenorth, near Launceston. So began the steep learning curve of improving and building up their berry business. Crops of boysenberries, youngberries, raspberries and blackberries are staggered over the growing season. This allows them to pace the picking and selling of their produce and enjoy meeting customers at local markets and at their shed door. Find out more about their berry products here.

Bridgenorth Berries

Rebecca Reed & Dylan Hall - Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes

Carrying on in her parents footsteps, Rebecca Reed and partner Dylan Hall, are proud and passionate about their produce. At Tasmanian Natural Garlic and Tomatoes, the standards are high and their philosophy is simple: "Don’t offer anything that we would not be delighted with ourselves". They devote many months of careful planning and preparation into delivering every one of their products through organic and biological means. Find out how many varieties of Tomatoes and Garlic they produce here.

Tas Natural Garlic and Tomatoes

Events & What's On

  • Cross Pollinate 2020 - Watch this space! We are currently reviewing the conference events and feedback from Cross Pollinate 2019 to plan another great event for 2020! 
  • Workshops & Events 2020 - planning and scheduling is underway for our workshop and event program. We will keep you updated, or you can check our Events page, follow us on Facebook or sign up as a member to be the first to know about our fabulous events and workshops on offer for 2020!


Sprout Producer News

On Saturday 1st February 2020 we hosted our annual In-Out Day for the Sprout Producer Program of 2019-2020. A day of celebration for the previous years cohort to officially graduate and reflect on their year of learning, development, friendship and success and consideration about "Where to from here?". It is also a welcoming to the new cohort for the 2020 program, the beginning of a year of learning, self education, mentoring and forming a support network with like-mind people under the guidance and support of the Sprout team.

The past and present cohorts spent time together sharing thoughts and ideas over a beautiful spread of local produce!



Our Community

  • The AgriGrowth Loan Scheme is an initiative of the Tasmanian Government providing low interest loans to Tasmanian farm businesses and agri-food businesses. Find out more information from the Department of State Growth here. 
  • Women in Agriculture are offering a one day "Public Speaking Made Easy" workshop. Find out more and register here.
  • FermenTasmania & Eat Well Tasmania are hosting a "Re-think packaging" workshop, with a selection of guest speakers, information about sustainable packaging and recycling. Includes Trade Show and Lunch. Find out more here.
  • Tasmanian Tomato & Garlic Festival - Sunday 15 March: find more here


Donate Now