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TAS Country : August 26th 2010
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 27, 2010 News Moriarty farmer Alan Wilson is always keen for a challenge, and starting up a hydroponic culinary herb operation has been just that, reports Karolin MacGregor ALAN Wilson's enthusiasm for trying new crops has produced significant diversification over the years from what once was a typical mixed farming operation on his 105ha property, Hamley. Mr Wilson and his wife Judy have been growing fresh market vegetables, including cauliflowers, cucumbers, and silverbeet for the supermarkets for a number of years. But now Mr Wilson is growing culinary herbs for wholesale company Tasfresh. ''I've farmed all my life and I got bit tired of spraying a shifting irrigators,'' he said. ''It's been a challenge and it's good to do something a bit different.'' Mr Wilson's introduction to herb production came a few years ago when the family started growing potted micro herbs for the high-end restaurants. They grow celery, rocket, coriander, purple radish. mustard and cress, carrot, purple kohlrabi and red cabbage. The small pots are mainly used by chefs. Mr Wilson said the small herbs had the same amount of flavour of more mature plants. Two hot boxes are used to promote germination of seeds in the small pots, which are then placed in a small greenhouse. The potted herbs take between one and two weeks to grow, depending on the variety. An increasing demand for culinary herbs has now seen them expand production and install a new specially designed greenhouse that has a nutrient film technology hydroponic system. Mr Wilson said a major advantage of the new hydroponic system was the ability to recycle water, which also prevented nutrient wastage out of the system. Coriander, which is one of Mr Wilson's main culinary herb varieties, was first planted in the new system a few weeks ago and is performing very well. The new system will be computer-controlled and nutrients are added to the system automatically as needed. Mr Wilson said a major advantage of greenhouse production systems was the amount of control the grower has. As well as coriander, Mr Wilson grows basil and continental parsley which are this three main culinary herb crops. He also grows mint, sage, chives and watercress. During the warmer months, Mr Wilson grows bok choy using an outside hydroponic system. As the weather warms up and demand for herbs increases Mr Wilson will ramp up production. NBN rollout in poll limbo TASMANIANS will have to wait until the outcome of the federal election for progress on the National Broadband Network. NBN Tasmania Co said yesterday it was suspending tender processes and would not be hiring new em- ployees during the post- election period. The Coalition vowed to scrap Labor's $43 bil- lion fibre-optic rollout if it won the election. ''NBN Co will con- tinue to operate, plan and use existing re- sources but will seek to minimise any dis- cretionary expendi- ture,'' the company said yesterday. ''NBN Co will not award any new signifi- cant contracts. Where appropriate, NBN Co will postpone or suspend significant existing ten- der processes during the post-election phase. ''Affected vendors will be notified. ''NBN Co will suspend employee interviews and will not issue any new offers to potential employees.'' The company says it has advised suppliers they have the option to delay participation. Invermay Cycle World 6326 2729 Moonah Bikeworks Suzuki 6228 6626 Scottsdale Scottsdale Suzuki 6352 3070 Ulverstone North West Motorcycle & Small Engine Services 6425 3337 SUZ0579/TC $1000 FACTORY CASHBACK ON SUZUKI FARM ATVS & $250 ON TROJAN UP TO *Includes GST, excludes Government orders and insurance claim repurchases. Offer may be extended a t Suzuki Australia s discretion. See your Suzuki Australia Dealer for full Terms and Conditions. Offer is available from Suzuki Australia Dealers only for new Suzuki models purchased and delivered between 1 May 2010 and 31 August 2010. claim repurchases Offer may be extended a t Suzuki Australia s discretion epurchases Offer may be extended at Suzuk kiA i ustral ali ia sdiscretion suzuki.com.au
August 19th 2010
September 2nd 2010