Have you ever wondered exactly what ‘certified organic’ means or wanted to show your children exactly how their food is grown? Avi and Zehavit Mishtler open their organic farm up to the public for their annual farm walk in July each year.
At the Bio Organic Farm 3000 square metres of specialised green houses enable consistant production of organic tomoatoes and cucumbers throughout the year.
Good soil built up over many years with regular applications rich healthy compost applied regulary enables Avi and Zehavit to grow gourmet truss tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lebanese cucumbers and red capsicum throughout the year in the ground in their green houses.
Being grown in a protected environment gives Avi more control over every stage of the growth of these vegetables. He said “if there is excessive rainfall I control the air circulation with large curtains which can be raised or lowered as required and I use fans to create air movement”. “On hot rainy days” Avi said, “huge fans create enough air movement to dry droplets off the plant’s leaves protecting them from fungal problems”. Quarantine mesh also protects the plants from insects.
As well they produce mountains of fresh rich greens out in the open which they sell at Murwillumbah Farmers’ Market each week.
Avi said that soil that is alive with micro-organisms, grows plants that are stronger and healthier and more resistant to disease. All the little micro-organisms in the soil help to make the micro-nutrients – so essential to our health – available to the plants.
Avi and Zehavit, who moved to Australia in 2001, had travelled the world but were attracted to live and farm in the Tweed Valley because of its natural beauty and wonderful people. A strong factor was also the rich soil and lush farmlands along the Tweed River.