Producers to open their gates to foodies, green thumbs

Producers to open their gates to foodies, green thumbs

Farmers, producers and avid gardeners across the Samford Valley will be opening their gates to the public next month to showcase a number of edible gardens for the public to visit.

Foodies and green thumbs will have the chance to explore 10 private gardens and three working farms as part of this year’s Samford Edible Garden Trail.

Held on May 14-15, the trail aims to inspire people to gain the knowledge they need to grow their own food at home, as well as understand the importance of supporting small-scale growers.

After a successful event last year where eight gardens participated, founder Susanne Engelhard says the 2022 trail be bigger and better.

“This year we will have 13 gardens for people to explore. There will be some gardens who took part last year, as well as come new ones for people to explore,” Susanne says

“There will be something for everyone to enjoy – whether you are interested in suburban gardens, raised garden beds, wicking beds or permaculture gardens.

“It is your opportunity to explore a garden and talk to the owners so you can gain some inside knowledge on how you can create your own garden at home.

“For the first time, we also have two gardens with vineyards, which is really exciting.”

The three farms taking part in the weekend will be Millen Farm and The Mini Farm Project, Loop Growers bio-intensive farm and My Food Garden - an organic, biodynamic garden.

“At Millen Farm there will be opportunities to purchase local produce, and there will be a Farmer’s Market where people can take home a wide array of local products like honey,” Susanne says.

“There will also be a coffee van, lots of open space for people to throw out a picnic rug with pre-paid hampers, hands-on activities for the kids, and a special art exhibition featuring local artists.”

Cafes and restaurants in Samford and the surrounding regions will also be taking part in the weekend’s festivities by offering discounted dishes featuring locally sourced produce.

Photos courtesy of Mary-Ann Shapcott

More about the organisers

The Samford Edible Garden Trail (or The Trail as they like to call it) is a not-for-profit community initiative of the Samford and Districts Progress and Protection Association. 

The Trail is organised by a handful of volunteers who are local to Samford and surrounds. Each of them shares a love of eating food that they have grown themselves and have a passion for contributing to small acts of change that can grow into something much bigger.

The group was started in 2020, when Susanne and a group of local mums created the concept of locals opening their amazing backyards to the public to share their knowledge.

When Queensland went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group started filming the gardens and shared the content online instead.

The concept was so popular not only on a local scale, but also nationally and internationally.

When restrictions started to wind back in 2021, they hosted the first inaugural Trail, which sold out.

All money raised from the Trail event will be put towards creating a community garden in Samford Village for everyone to enjoy.

The community garden is set to open on May 13, with special guest Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia flying up from Sydney that morning.

This year, a one-day adult pass costs $10, while a two-day pass is $15. It is free for children to attend.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased here.

Highlights of the weekend

Here is a sneak peek as to what you will experience during the Trail on May 14-15.

● 3 Apples Hilltop Escape - Creative, productive use of a challenging block with breathtaking views with an orchard on a slope, over 65 fruit trees, developing vineyard, enclosed vegetable garden and extensive range of native edibles. (Newly featured)

● Millen Farm and The Mini Farm Project - Local innovative young urban permaculture farmers share the amazing yield results they are achieving with their small scale diversified organic farming

methods - incorporating a collaborative community initiative that supplies local charities with one third of all fresh produce that is grown. (A return crowd favourite!)

● Upcycled down-to-earth garden - A tradie’s garden complete with mini swale vegetable garden and orchard built on a slope, nutrient dense soil created from truckloads of horse manure, 

and upcycled wicking beds (a return crowd favourite!)

● Landscaping for productivity - A clever landscaping to capture water run-off into swales of dwarf bananas, an enclosed growing area with fruit trees, pineapples and passionfruit - all

protected from birds, and terraced garden beds for easy access and useability (a return crowd favourite!)

● Tree changers acreage escape - A four-acre beginners cottage garden, complete with raised beds, an orchard, herbal tea garden and of course... chickens - shows what a desire to

escape city life can achieve in a short year or two. (a return favourite! Also featured on Gardening Australia)

● Perennial permaculture garden - A stunning and pretty permaculture garden blending perennial vegetables, fruits, and flowering plants and arbours - complete bee heaven! (a return favourite! 

Also featured on Gardening Australia)

● Water saving wicking-beds - A great garden for beginners and water savers. Learn from a gardener with decades of wisdom on how to establish these beds to efficiently grow (with

surprising high yields) vegetables, subtropical fruits, herbs and citrus. Also featuring top bar beehives and chickens. (Newly featured)

● Live, Work and Grow - Inspirational design for suburban village living, with a small permaculture garden and verge packed full of edibles-sanctuary of space-saving dwarf fruit trees, living mulch, 

vegetables, flowers, interesting recycled materials and structural features. Adjoining Landcare projects to the property. (Newly featured)

● Productive Italian Garden - A thoughtfully designed formal garden, incorporating an orchard and vegetable beds in long rows, featuring a diverse range of edibles, irrigation and

composting systems and a unique chook house enclosure, with various beehive types. (Newly featured) 

● The Hillside Food Forest Garden -Discover a food forest cleverly designed on a slope with swales to channel water flow and dense planting for biomass, along with a formal style kitchen garden 

where daily pickings are abundant from various growing structures and wicking beds. (Newly featured)

● Loop Growers bio-intensive farm - Working with local restaurants and cafes to collect excess organic materials, that would otherwise go to landfill, and to bring it back through the farm via 

worms, goats, chickens and compost piles, to cycle back as fresh produce and integrating community engagement is a living example of what is possible in considering the life cycle of

living truly sustainably. (Newly featured)

● My Food Garden - An organic, biodynamic garden in a 200-metre square patch, using crop rotation and intercropping to optimise production. There are methods of educated management on 

display, with an extensive range of perennial and annual vegetables, herbs, fruits and tubers for abundant daily pickings. (Newly featured)

● The Hilltop Garden - A sustainable house and garden shared with a wealth of in depth knowledge and experience, with an abundant subtropical orchard with over 220 trees - 80 which are bush tucker trees, and an aquaponics system you won’t believe. (A return crowd favourite)

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