Sugarloaf Produce is a small organic farm located at the base of Mt. Sugarloaf and the Kinglake Ranges. They are the 5th generation to farm this property. Composted organic matter is the key to growing their produce, and all of their compost is made on site using a mixture of farm green waste, cow, sheep and poultry manure, sawdust from their mill and other organic materials. Other biological techniques used on the farm include crop rotation, mixed cropping and mixed stocking. Beneficial compost teas are sprayed on crops regularly, and plentiful habitat is provided for beneficial insects in their vast bushland areas.
The Mushroom Company grows shiitake, shimeji, brown oyster, enoki, king oyster and black fungi mushrooms and sell them at farmers’ markets. In winter, they grow chestnut mushrooms and nameko as well, and they are the only company in Australia to grow nameko. The mushrooms are grown as spawns in test tubes, then transferred to jugs with cooked grains, then transferred to mushroom bags. No chemicals are used. They also sell growing kits if you like to experiment with growing your own. The only thing they spray on their mushrooms is clean water. If you visit them at a farmers’ market, Wendy will introduce all of the mushrooms to you, as well as some recipes for you to enjoy them.
The Mushroom Shed is a local grower of swiss brown and white mushrooms and also provide ‘grow your own’ kits for people who want to grow their own mushrooms at home. They also do a wide range of herb and veggie seedlings, in pots/punnets – concentrating on heritage and unusual varieties, with over 40 varieties of heritage tomato seedlings available in Spring. You can see Mark and Helen at farmers’ markets both locally and in other Melbourne suburbs. As a small producer, they sell only direct to the customer via farmers’ markets (no wholesale), giving the customer ultimate freshness and an opportunity to talk directly with the grower.