Kolapore Gardens came about from a deep desire to make a positive influence in the world, work to fix a broken food system, and as a way to create more life-affirming, healthy nourishment for the local communities of the Blue Mountains & Collingwood.
A radically localized food system can provide healthier food for local communities, has a smaller carbon footprint with less shipping, and can cater to the local regions’ growing conditions and cultural preferences for flavours & varieties. It reduces our dependence on imported food, which often wreaks havoc on communities afar and choosing organic results in fewer agricultural chemicals finding their way into our water ways and bloodstream – it really is win-win.
Mike Reid started farming in 2007 and settled on what is now Kolapore Gardens, with his partner Jen, in 2010.
Kolapore Gardens is about 1.5 acres of intensively managed vegetable, herb and flower production, with plenty of tree-lines and wild spaces for beneficials, pollinators and other wildlife to make their home.
The gardens have always been managed organically (and were established on long-held grass-land for hay) but in 2016 Mike certified the gardens as organic under Pro-cert’s Local Organic Program.
Soil health is maintained through a careful crop rotation, the addition of good compost, and the use of greenmanure crops to feed the soil life. Mike annually tests his soils for nutrients and believes a balanced soil is one of the main keys to growing healthy, delicious crops.
Mike works with a team of part-time employees and has taken on quite a few interns and apprentices over the years to learn about farming (through the Collaoborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training – C.R.A.F.T.) – all of them and a few volunteers have played a crucial role in making everything work smoothly.
When he’s not farming, Mike can be found practicing tai chi, playing music or going for a hike with his dog, Ryley.