Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 11th December

This week’s boxes feature cherries from Cherries Tasmania, an 85 hectare cherry orchard in Old Beach, established in 2003 by Nic and Traci Hansen. Cherries are a big export crop in Tasmania, with many being exported to Asia – and Nic has been in the news lately for an innovative and sustainable collaboration with another big agricultural exporter. Huon Aquaculture’s hatcheries produce a significant quantity of, well, poo… and fish poo is a great source of many of the nutrients that soil and plants need. Nic has been developing a process to compost the waste from the hatcheries into a usable fertiliser for the orchard, and is now using this product to feed the soil and the trees, and is also supplying it to some other local growers including Howard Hansen – yes he’s related – who has one of Tasmania’s biggest apple orchards in the Huon Valley. With the support of the Brighton Council, Nic’s already turning 400 tonnes a year of fish farm waste (about a quarter of the annual Huon Aquaculture poo harvest) into great compost, and is hoping to continue to expand this aspect of their business – although cherries are still definitely the main harvest! Head to this link if you’d like to hear Nic in conversation with ABC Country Hour about this project. In between running a cherry orchard and the considerable research and development that has gone into developing the system for collecting, transporting, transforming and applying what would otherwise be a unusable waste product, Nic also finds the time to be the president of Fruit Growers Tasmania, who have been working especially hard this year to make sure our delicious fruit will be picked and enjoyed by campaigning for more local farm workers and negotiating challenging post-covid arrangements for overseas labour.