SPP 2018 Applications
Applications are now open for the 2018 Sprout Producer Program scholarships!
Are you a small producer keen to connect with other small ethical producers in the state, get expert advice and mentoring, visit other farms to see first hand what they do and focus on your business model in 2018? Then apply for one of six Sprout Producer Program scholarships now! Applications are open, visit our Sprout website to download the application form. Hurry, as they close on Sunday 22nd October!
The Sprout Producer Program is a one year accreditation for small and start-up Tasmanian producers that involves an induction day, educational units, field days and mentoring.
The program takes the recipients on a year’s journey from start-up to production of crop, stock or value-added product. They will also receive assistance in branding and marketing their products.
If successful, producers become Sprout Producer alumni and commit to the program for an additional year following accreditation – this allows producers ongoing presence on Sprout’s website, membership of Sprout and the right to use Sprout stickers/logo.
To apply click here to find out more and download the application form.
What have Tasmania’s first Christmas Tree growers been up to since being one of Sprout Tasmania’s inaugural Producers Programme ?
We’ve have been busy planting of course ! Back then, nearly three years ago, Killiecrankie Farm was struggling to market their Christmas Trees. Now in our ninth year we have since broken the niche and established a flourishing Pick Your Own Christmas Tree Farm in the North of the State. Each Season we see many of our regular Christmas Tree Hunters, often with new little family members in tow or interstate holiday visitors, and a crop of wonderful new patrons to our little Farm. Last year we sold out, took to hosting School Holiday Program walk-abouts and increased our range of unique bespoke Christmas Wreaths.
It hasn’t all been peaches and cream though. Our Christmas Trees took a real flogging two years back after a series of unusual weather events meant our budding trees took up “toppling”. Great rainfalls and rapid seasonal growth meant Christmas Trees didn’t bother putting roots down, follow that up with 120km winds and you can guess many trees had a little lay down aka toppling. It was a natural phenomena experienced by many Pine growers across the North of Tasmania, so we weren’t alone in our growers angst. Tack on a drought which took out 80% the plant Nursery in a brief and devastating irrigation mishap and its been a pretty tough couple of years for our family.
What we continue to learn is perseverance is almost fathomless when driven by a passion. We’ve had to pick up extra off farm work to pay for the short falls and repairs, but as always plans are afoot to improve what we do and expand, if not a little tremulously, towards our long term goals. It’s a tough and busy road but one which is very familiar Producers small or large scale.
This year our regular visitors will see the constant changes as the Farm matures. Our informal gardens are growing, as are the numerous hedges we’ve added over the year. They’ll check in our little Woodland which was heavily thinned last year and enjoy the now closing canopy in the heat of Summer, set out a picnic rug before toddling over to meet the rather demanding Wiltie Horn Sheep who insist on an ear rub (and your sandwich!). We still run our PYO Season very low key, maintaining a relaxed atmosphere, a visit to the countryside of the West Tamar to combat the madness of the “silly season”.
If you are out and about our way on weekends in December do drop in for a visit.
Happy Spring to you all !
Lee & Chris Ringk
Congralations to Campo de Flori who were award winners at the recent Huon Business Awards. Lisa and David took out top honours for Best Online presence and were also finalist for Designers, makers and creators!
The teams at the Kingborough Community Enterprise Centre and Huon Valley Business enterprise centre put together this event, showcasing the wonderful businesses in the Huon region. Here are David, Lisa and David Moore (L-R) from I Hate My PC who was a sponsor of the award, as was Frances Bender from Huon Aquaculture.