11 September 2023

SAGE Moruya courses offer fertile ground for expert tips on growing veggies

| Lucy Ridge
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Group of people in a farm tutorial

Joyce Wilkie (left) and Fraser Bayley (centre) teach a group of students at Stepping Stone Farm. Photo: Helen Okley.

Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced grower, you’ll know that there’s always something new to learn about growing food. To help share knowledge and grow its community, SAGE Moruya is offering a series of short courses for everyone from home gardeners to aspiring farmers.

Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla (SAGE) NSW Inc is a not-for-profit organisation involved in improving food security through a range of activities including the SAGE Farmers Market, Stepping Stone teaching farm, and the SAGE gardens in Moruya.

A group gathers near a shed next to garden beds for a gardening workshop

The SAGE gardens in Moruya will host some of the upcoming workshops. Photo: SAGE.

In addition to its long-term internships at Stepping Stone Farm, the team at SAGE is offering a series of masterclasses aimed at organic market gardeners, and a more informal series of afternoon sessions full of specific advice to suit anyone interested in growing food.

The Productive Vegetable Gardening Masterclass series encompasses five sessions covering everything from practical garden design to propagation, and irrigation to post-harvest care. The masterclasses will be led by Joyce Wilkie, Stepping Stone farm educator and long-time farming expert; Fraser Bayley, of Old Mill Road BioFarm; and Alison Walsh, a SAGE educator and experienced home gardener.

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“Our aim is to support and encourage the success of potential and existing gardeners and small-scale growers,” Alison said.

“The presenters have a wealth of knowledge and experience and are committed to teaching practical, relevant and useful skills, and the small class sizes guarantee a personalised and hands-on approach for all shapes and sizes of vegetable-growing enterprises.”

Five people use farm tools in a field

Participants will learn a range of skills, including the use of scale-appropriate tools. Photo: SAGE.

The masterclass series starts on 22 September, with a mix of one and two-day courses until December.

In addition to these masterclasses, Stepping Stone Farm will host a regular series of Friday afternoon seminars covering specific topics. Upcoming workshops include seminars on growing Solanaceae plants from seed, hoeing techniques, soil testing, and everything you need to know about the chicory family.

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The topic of each seminar will be seasonally appropriate and the team hopes to respond to the interests of the attendees to inform the program in the future.

The afternoon seminars will be on the first and third Friday of the month.

People working on a farm

SAGE aims to share knowledge and deepen relationships among the growing community in its area. Photo: SAGE.

The sessions aim to give new growers a head start on growing economically by helping them to avoid costly mistakes and giving them the skills to increase their production. The Eurobodalla area has developed a vibrant community of small-scale food producers and by offering these classes, SAGE hopes to build and share the collective knowledge of these experienced growers.

Participants can book into individual workshops or for the whole season of events. Courses will be held at SAGE Garden, 110 Queen Street, Moruya, and at Stepping Stone Farm, 107 Stewarts Road, Moruya.
For more information and to book, visit the SAGE website.
Follow the SAGE project on Facebook and Instagram.

Follow Stepping Stone Farm on Facebook and Instagram.

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