In the midst of a second extended lockdown, one of the positives has been a huge resurgence of interest in backyard kitchen gardens.

The Northern Rivers is a dedicated community of foodies. We are lovers of quality, nutrient rich food and are rightly also concerned about where it comes from and how it is grown. With COVID lockdowns and more time on our hands, we find ourselves staying within our homes and becoming increasingly aware of food security and self-sufficiency. Looking for positive projects to keep us busy we are seeing a new enthusiasm in establishing edible gardens.

Enter Seedlings Organic at the Mullumbimby and New Brighton Farmers Markets.

Established by Luke Sansom, Seedlings Organic have been an important part of the  local food chain for over 15 years. They produce edible flowers, vegetables and herbs from their five acre nursery in Tintenbar. While Luke has moved on to focus on the wholesale side of things, son Kyan is now heading up their Market operations. Kyan has spent 15 of his 19 years in the nursery and is more than happy to pass on his knowledge to marketgoers.

‘I feel really privileged to have grown up this way and to work alongside my Dad, to see the benefits of growing a product that is inspiring people’s lives in so many positive ways,’ says Kyan.

‘I love the Markets, being involved, and the connection with the customers one-on- one. To discuss the seedlings and know that they will grow into food producing plants is great, and I love receiving feedback directly from the customers.’

The difference between purchasing locally-grown seedlings and seedlings from a commercial nursery is that Kyan’s seedlings are certified organic with no petro-chemical inputs, and they work with the best seed breeders to provide the optimal varieties for our region.

‘We have really great partnerships and the dedication to fine-tune our process, we are intimately involved in the way our seedlings are grown and can ensure the highest quality’.

Kyan’s best advice when planting his seedlings: ‘stay clear of liquid fertilisers, you’re much better off sowing Green Manure Crops, or using a good quality compost if you’re short on space, and make sure there is plenty of air in the soil’.

The current enthusiasm has been really inspiring for Kyan who is receiving huge interest in his mixed seedling trays and lately has been selling out at every market.

Kyan’s next project is to launch a certified organic seed arm of the business with high quality seeds that aren’t available elsewhere in Australia.