Gary and Kathy Harm, together with their son James and daughter-in-law Ashleigh, grow the most beautiful tasting Biodynamic broccoli, cabbages and cauliflowers at Mt Whitestone, near Gatton, 100km west of Brisbane.
Gary's Grandfather bought the 250 acre property in 1930 and used it for dairying and pig production. His father began growing potatoes and onions, but the underground water proved too salty so he changed to brassicas, which can tolerate more salt. Gary and his father farmed conventionally, but Gary began looking for a better way as the soil became increasingly hard over the years. Crops would not grow well no matter how much fertilizer was used.
This is where the decision to grow organically started. Gary did extensive research and abandoned the previous growing methods, and converted to an organic farm. They had many trial and errors, while trying to find a way to protect the crops without using insecticides. After becoming certified with BFA, Gary thought that the Biodynamic way of farming was the way to go, and adopted those farming principles and practices.
About 100 acres of the farm, mostly river flats, is used for vegetable growing, with about half of that growing a crop at any one time, and the other half being rested in green manure or fallow.
The Harm's begin planting at the end of January and continue until the end of June. They plant 14,000 broccoli, 5,000 cauliflowers and 2,000 cabbages per week during the 25 week period. They harvest from April till October.
Broccoli is harvested into large bins, and later packed into boxes and iced for transport to market. The caulis and cabbages are packed straight into boxes. A transport company then brings the produce into all the capital cities along the east coast.
From a situation of impossibly hard soils and poor crops, the Harms have completely turned their farm around with Biodynamics, producing the most beautiful tasting, long lasting, sought after broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages....all of which Lettuce customers have been enjoying each year since 1999.