Lauren and Michael Layfield set up Felds Farm on dry land near Bagdad in the south and came to the attention of food lovers for the quality of their vegetables and for their crusty loaves of sourdough bread that they sold at the Bream Creek Market.
But this part of southern Tasmania is a cruel place to try to farm anything but hardy sheep, so they have now moved their operation to a beautiful site near Lillydale in the north of the state. They have leased land from organic beef producers Summerlea Farm (we will be posting about their farm in the near future) just north of Lilydale.
Here Mike and Lauren are taking advantage of the small plot of land (between two and three hectares) with good soils on the river plains of the Second River which winds through the Summerlea property. The plot crouches under the looming Mount Arthur which controls the weather and directs the strong southerly winds which sometimes roar up the valley.
Wandering around their property and listening to Mike and Lauren outlining their plans, we were totally captivated by their enthusiasm and drive. Their vegetable plot is already a monumental effort that has allowed them to run a stall at the Harvest Market in Launceston this season selling their organic produce.
An important aspect of what they are doing is the avoidance of monocultures. The vegetables range from delicious carrots to cabbages of various varieties to the prized delicata squash plus many more varieties. But there are also plots of grain that are being grown to support their bread-making activities.
We look forward to seeing how things change in the future as they work out the best way to manage this slice of paradise. They sell their produce at the Launceston Harvest Market.