June 2020 - An update and feature following the interesting times during the COVID-19 isolation period
Mac and Oli are the fun-loving, hard working couple that are the heart and soul of Huski Greens. They are also the face that you see when they make their newly created Veg Boxes that they now offer, with free delivery direct to your door every weekend. The downturn in business due to the COVID-19 restrictions saw them facing a crop of produce and limited options to distribute it. But they worked hard, made plans and embraced new ideas, new platforms and their loyal customers were quick to follow these new ideas and support them.
We had a chat with Mac & Oli to catch up on how things have been going over the last few months:
Mac and Oli say loyal customers have helped keep their business afloat during the COVID-19 restrictions. The pair moved their staple market vegies to a new home delivery format so customers could continue enjoying their chemical-free micro greens and vegetables. Mac said that their devoted weekly customers saved their farm.
“When COVID hit, our sales pretty much dropped to zero. So, without our Veg Boxes, we would have had to make some drastic decisions to ensure our crops didn’t go to waste,” she said. “We stopped going to the markets and supplying to restaurants, so having other outlets was very important.”
Customers have found Huski Greens Veg Boxes through online platforms such as the We Eat Local app, Salamanca Market online, Farm Gate Drive-Thru and Buy Something Tasmanian. “These new platforms were developed so quickly and were honestly a lifesaver for us. It really shows how committed Tassie is in supporting their small producers,” Mac said.
During the break from weekend markets, the pair have used their downtime to start building some season extension caterpillar tunnels. “With Oli’s ingenuity and buying the raw materials instead of the ready-made pack, we were able to save a good chunk of money. We should have the first tunnel up by mid-June,” Mac said. “Our field crops have really slowed down with the cooler weather, so we need to get the tunnels up ASAP so we can increase our production.
“We’re also planning on doubling our field growing space in the next few months, so we can really ramp up production in Spring.”
The couple have recently started back at markets, with their first appearances at the new Hanging Garden Green Grocer looking promising. “It’s such a beautiful market. All of the hanging plants, smooth tunes and helpful staff make it a very pleasant day. We even sold out at our first market,” Mac said. “The Hanging Garden team have done such a great job at ensuring customer safety as they come through the market. Everything is very well organised and by-the-book.
The couple have said that they will be returning to Farm Gate Market in July but will be continuing their Veg Boxes. “We’re excited to head back to Farm Gate market in July. But we will still be offering our Veg Boxes once we return to the markets. We want to make this a permanent part of our business.” Mac and Oli offer a $20 and $30 Veg Box of seasonal chemical-free produce that is home delivered every Saturday.
Other businesses such as Bruny Island Cheese and Collide Wholefoods have also collaborated with Huski Greens.
Well done guys - keep up the great work!
Huski Greens is a small urban farm that grows healthy and nutritious Micro Greens, leafy greens and root vegetables without the use of any chemicals or pesticides.
Micro Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can find and use a fraction of the space, water and equipment compared with traditional farming practices. Huski Greens' Micro Greens are grown in their small green house in shallow trays which are hand watered and grown under natural sunlight. Every tiny little micro green is harvested and packed by hand, and therefore checked and sorted with painstaking attention to detail - only the absolute best quality produce makes it out the door.
Their field was prepared using hugelkultur, a horticulture technique that uses wood debris and compost to create garden beds. The idea being that this technique will help to replenish the compacted and depleted soil beneath. Where possible Huski Greens source all of their seeds from Tasmanian suppliers, however this is not always possible and they sometimes need to buy seeds from interstate or very rarely overseas. The Huski Greens operation is small-scale to ensure a high quality product and to help maintain a sustainable local food culture.
They do not use harmful chemicals during any stage of the growing, harvesting, storing or packaging processes. All packaging is 100% compostable and they are currently working towards a zero-waste operation.
Meet the duo that make Huski Greens: Mac - a marketing professional and Oli - an entertainment lighting designer, had no previous farming experience. However the pull to living a more fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle was strong. After dreaming of a farm for years and becoming truly fed up with the grind of Sydney city life, they packed up their life and moved down to Tasmania in July 2018.
Their motivations were clear - a healthier, slower lifestyle, where they could create a sustainable farming system to provide good, nutritious food to the local community. They were inspired by some of the small-scale sustainable and ethical farming greats, including Eliot Coleman and Joel Salatin, who use age old methods of farming to heal and regenerate the land. Mac and Oli started trading at Tassie markets in October 2018 and now attend Salamanca Market, Harvest Launceston and Farm Gate Market Hobart every weekend. They have many happy café, restaurant and food business customers as well.
The Huski Greens duo continue to stay connected to their local community by sharing unique produce & farming ethos to encourage others to care about their food and environment as much as they do.