Forcett, TAS

Southern Fields is a vegetable farm in Forcett, southern Tasmania, 32km east of Hobart, run by the Houston family. From small beginnings 7 years ago, they now supply Iceberg, Cos, baby Cos and winter cauliflowers to the Tasmanian market.

The 120 ha dryland sheep farm at Forcett was purchased in 2011 for its basalt soils rich in organic matter and ideal growing climate. With the addition of Derwent River water from the South East Irrigation scheme, 35 ha of the farm has been developed under solid-set irrigation.

Ben, Amy and Colin are now coming to the close of the first cropping season at Forcett. Their aim on this farm is to improve the soil structure, biology and fertility. In the coming year, the extension team will be trialling bio-stimulants, cover crops and ways of minimising soil erosion in an effort to find effective ways of keeping healthy soils for the future.