Author: Heidi

Feature story

Very excited to see our story featured on Humans Who Grow Food. Here it is:

Meet Heidi and Missy from New South Wales, Australia ??

“Missy and I met at our local playgroup and we quickly became friends. Our shared passion of growing organic food for the health of our families inspired us to design a veggie patch on Missy’s property in Jilliby on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

The veggie patch needed to be low maintenance, highly productive, organic and beautiful to walk through. We found all these elements and more in the mandala garden design. It’s basically 7 circular garden beds surrounding a central circular garden which are all 4 metres in diameter. The chickens are especially important as they are rotated onto harvested circles to eat any weeds or pests, dig and aerate the soil and add fertilizer. Mulching has been effective for weed suppression and water retention. Netting and encouraging beneficial insects are efficient for pest control.
We save seeds and grow plants that are especially adapted to our environment on the Central Coast.

We have a strong emphasis on recycling and repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. We’ve collected recycled bricks as borders, used discarded reinforcing mesh for a pumpkin arch and have almost enough bike rims to build a beautiful dome. Looking after the environment and sustainable living is not only important for us but also for the healthy future of our kids.

The most rewarding aspect of farming other than eating the freshest most delicious food ever, is seeing our kids enjoying the garden, too. The veggie patch has become so productive that we’ve started selling veggie boxes to our local community through our Facebook group. In addition, over the last decade Missy has grown increasingly larger crops of organic garlic with this year showing great promise, weather permitting, to be the most productive to date.

We’ve also been working closely with our local cooperative to promote food production in our area. In the future as the Central Coast Veggie Patch grows we will have CSA (community supported agriculture) veggie box seasonal memberships available. As a naturopath and herbalist, I am excited about the prospect of teaching workshops on such topics as making herbal teas and their benefits and for the kids to explore where their food actually comes from and how it grows.”


Finding earthworms throughout the veggie patch is a wonderful sign. They improve soil fertility by improving aeration, drainage, and converting large pieces of organic matter into rich soil.

Sweet potato planting

We placed 4 sweet potatoes in water and they each produced around 7 plants with roots called slips. Slips are laid sideways in 15 cm deep holes, 30 cm apart and covered up to top leaves. This encourages the growth of sweet potatoes from the covered stem.

Soak the ground to get the slips established.