Media Release: Young Farmers Scholarship recipients sow seeds for success

Media Release: Young Farmers Scholarship recipients sow seeds for success

Tara and John Butler

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Young Farmers Scholarship recipients sow seeds for success

The recipients of the 3rd Willunga Farmers Market Young Farmers Scholarship are quite literally sowing seeds for success.

Tara and John Butler, both in their early 30’s, will be using the scholarship to enhance their fledgling seed business.

‘We will be focusing on growing open pollinated heirloom vegetable seeds,’ says Mrs Butler.

‘Our seed lines will be selected to continually improve the genetics and local adaptation, enabling us to provide strong, healthy and viable seeds.

‘John and myself will also be supplementing the seeds with the vegetables they are grown from, so customers can experiment with the vegetables before they plant the seeds.’

The innovative vision for this business is what caught the eye of the selection panel, which received a number of exciting and well presented applications.

‘The Young Farmers Scholarship continues to grow.’ Says Pip Forrester, Willunga Farmers Market chairperson.

This year we received a wider variety of applicants offering more innovative agricultural projects, all of which would see the Fleurieu Peninsula reap great benefits.’

‘While it was a close competition, with the support of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board we are proud to offer Tara and John a $15,000 scholarship to get their agribusiness on its feet.’

The timing of this announcement coincides with Kate Washington’s debut at the Willunga Farmers Market.

Ms Washington, recipient of the second Young Farmers Scholarship, has spent the past year working on transforming a disused vineyard into a viable market garden.

‘It’s been an incredibly challenging but very rewarding experience.’ Says Ms Washington, who is excited to offer her organic veggies for sale at the market from Saturday 19 December.

‘Transforming the vineyard into a market garden has been a slow but successful way to use available land to grow veggies.

‘Through building up the organic matter in the soil, I’ve been able to transform a sandy plot into a viable market garden through regular composting and minimal tillage within a matter of a few seasons. I’ve been able to use the existing infrastructure in the vineyard, which has been very helpful and by increasing the biodiversity of what’s being grown on the land, I’ve seen an increased disease and pest resistance developing.’

The one thing both 2015 and 2016 recipients have in common?

We hope to eventually be able to support our family solely from our farming enterprise,’ says Ms Butler.

 

For the editor:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Pip Forrester.
More detailed information on the Young Farmers Scholarship can be found here.
Willunga Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organization providing fresh, locally grown produce direct from the farmer.
Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8am til 12:30pm,