Vegetable Growing in Big Way on the Fertile River Flats Near Tumut

16 March 1945 The Land

By Our Special Representative

Mr. H. Sawkins, of Numeralla, Blowering, near Tumut, has a mixed farm of 125 acres and until recently when he took on vegetable growing was mainly engaged in dairying.

He has 62 head of stock and at present is milking 38 cows which produce 30 gallons of cream per week for the Tumut Butter Factory.

Mr. Sawkins originally came from the city and for five years was a share fanner on Numeralla.

He bought the properly about two years ago and has since gone in for vegetable growing under Government contract.

The 20 acres under crop comprise 10 acres of carrots, 5 acres of tomatoes, and 5 acres of potatoes.

The carrot crop is one of the best in the district and Mr. Sawkins expects a yield of 15 tons to the acre. The contract price is 15 a ton.

Pool Machinery Aid

The Batlow Machinery Pool has a depot at Tumut and Mr. Sawkins said he could not have carried on without the help of the Pool. Machintry from the Pool did the initial cultivation and sowed the carrots, ploughed mill sowed the potatoes and did the cultivation for the tomatoes. The pool will also probably assist in the harvest.

With the Nunan Irrigation System installed, Mr. Sawkins has no drought worries.

His red loam river flat farm is irrigated from thie Tumut River.

A few miles nearer Tumut is "Innisfail," owned by Mr. F. J. Bourke, who is said to be one of the largest growers of vegetables under contract in the Southern Riverina.

In 1944-45 Mr. Bourke had 50 acres of cabbages, 46 acres of carrots, and five acres of tomatoes.  

He has just planted out winter crops of carrots, 10 acres; parsnips, 8 acres; beet, 4 acres; cabbages, 13 acres; and onions, 3 acres. Mr. Bourke has eight share farmers and a total of 14 men are employed on vegetables alone.

Previous to 1932 maize had been the principal crop for over 60 years on Mr. Bourke's farm, which was originally owned by his father and grandfather.      

There are 2,040 acres on "Innisfail," including the 282 acres of river flats.

Mr. Bourke carries 320 head of Hereford cattle, and 1,000 Merino ewes and wethers.

Prior to going in for large scale vegetable production he was also a raiser of fat lambs.