Tucked behind the dunes of Gunnamatta beach on the southern end of the Peninsula, Peter Carlyon and Robin Koster-Carlyon have cultivated a thriving ecosystem that is prime for producing organic and biodynamic seed.
Purchasing the seven-acre property in 2007, the pair set about enriching and reinvigorating the soil. The guiding foundation for Transition Farm was simple: "healthy soil yields healthy plants and healthy people."
Working closely with nature and permaculture principles, they transformed the property into a market garden oasis, building humus and establishing diverse native corridors and hedgerows to enhance the farm's life and diversity. The pair hoped to ensure food sovereignty and security for their community by supplying locals with homegrown produce.
For ten years, Transition Farm provided locals with weekly vegetable boxes via their Community Supported Agriculture(CSA) program. Each box was packed with vibrant, chemical-free and nutrient-dense produce, and seasonal memberships would often sell out upon release.
Before long, Transition Farm was supplying 120 local families and fine-dining restaurants in Melbourne. With limited space and their produce in high demand, they had neither the time nor the space for unproductive plants. Producing good seeds was essential.
In early 2020, feeling that biodynamically grown, regionalised seed was the basis of food sovereignty, Robin and Peter shifted their whole focus to seed production. Their first release went on sale in July 2021 and included more than 95 species and cultivars, from striking heirloom tomatoes to show-stopping zinnia varieties. All of the seeds are grown, harvested, dried and packed on-site.
Locally grown, organic and biodynamic seeds are bred to thrive in low-input growing conditions and carry the genetic history of acclimation to our Southern Hemisphere, southern Victorian latitude and climate and flavour.
The good news is that we can all now experience the fruits of Robin and Peter's labour; by sowing their carefully cultivated seeds and creating our own diverse, resilient and thriving backyard ecosystems. It's a homegrown solution for improving the health of our produce, people and planet.