Garden of Life: Jack’s Northampton garden blooms with flowers & vegies
Down along the winding East Isseka Road, south-east of Northampton, we find Jack Davoren’s place across the Bowes River, set among farming land.
The countryside looks great with all the recent rain.
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Jack’s venture — a mix of intensive agriculture, featuring an area of Geraldton wax trees, with a mix of colour in the flowers from whites to pinks and some later hybrids — is one of the main features of his operations.
“We have been here for three years now,” Jack says.
“The wax trees were here when we came, but I have extended into growing vegies as well.”
“Are you here by yourself?” I ask. “My partner and my mother help out on the farm when they can,” he said.
“We market locally as much as we can, with the platform markets, restaurants and if there is, hopefully, a growth in production we will send off produce to the Canning Markets in Perth.
“But local grown produce is becoming popular in Geraldton.
“We have banksias that are doing well as a native product and mangoes, dragon fruit, figs, pomegranates are growing well. We are trialling out other things to extend our selection.”
The veggie patch he has here is rather large compared to our backyard variety, as you can see in the photo. In the rows are broccoli, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, kale and celosia. They are watered from his own water supply, on drip irrigation and grown over plastic.
It’s good to see young people having a go in the country, but it hasn’t been all that easy for Jack.
Last year’s terrible dust storm damaged his garden and this year, with a large area of melons planted, along comes cyclone Seroja.
“In the morning after,” Jack says, “I went out and all the melons were gone! Blown away.”
He needed to compensate for lost income and has been working part-time in cyclone repair work around Northampton. It is rather ironic that the storm that bought so much damage, created work opportunities for many people.
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