Collecting more waste & growing more food
Agri-Phoenix Feature: May Volp
Name: May Volp
I’m May, and I run a market garden in Meringandan, just outside of Toowoomba. It’s here on the family land I grew up on where I operate Full Circle Farm; growing specialty crops like microgreens, edible flowers, salad greens and other leafy vegetables. This is fitting as it’s also originally where my love for backyard gardening and composting, grew to be a love for farming.
Whilst small scale, Full Circle Farm has a mission of saving compostable waste from landfill, and using it to grow more food that gets sold back to chefs and the broader community. We have a huge problem in Australia where vast areas of land have been over farmed, in ways that are detrimental to our broader environment, and are now microbial deserts. Therefore part of my business involves working with local cafes and restaurants to divert food and coffee waste. I instead use the material to build compost that goes back into my soil.
This means my farm is very soil focussed. I’m interested in regenerating soil health and building living soil systems as much as I can on the land that I have access to. My farm is strictly no till, as I believe this builds healthier soil - when soil life is not disturbed. I am still learning, but am thrilled to see results only 2 years into building soil at my farm! The diversity and habitat for native wildlife has also been improved by several hedgerows of local native species.
I believe organic farming has huge potential in terms of regenerating land and ecosystems, whilst also providing nutrient dense food to local communities. As farmers, we have a responsibility to improve the land we work on, and to support the surrounding ecosystems.