Freaks turn over a new leaf

TASMANIAN seed producer Seed Freaks has relocated from the Huon Valley to the South Arm Peninsula, with new owners Florian Bonenfant and Kate Tier carrying on the mission to grow 100 per cent of their seeds on-site.

Seed Freaks was founded in 2017 by Linda Cockburn and Trev Wittmer to produce heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for organic gardeners across Australia.

Linda and Trev were driven about sustainability, food security and the importance of saving seeds.

In October, organic farmer Florian Bonenfant and his partner, former opera singer Kate Tier, acquired Seed Freaks before relocating the production and packaging sites to Sandford.

They supply Australian gardeners with 400 varieties of organic seeds and have established a vegetable garden that supplies locals with locally grown produce.

Mr Bonenfant, who oversees system operations, seed quality and packaging, said they are passionate about soil, plants and ecosystems and want to have the least impact possible on the planet.

Maurice Henault is the seed manager.

The French-Australian couple fell in love with Tasmania in 2014 and now have 1.4ha dedicated to seed production at their property.

“We produce 400 varieties of organic vegetables, flowers and fruit seeds from tomatoes, carrots, beetroots through to kale, basil and chives,” Mr Bonenfant said.

To reduce waste, they established Wobble Stone Regenerative Farm, a vegetable garden using unsold seedlings to grow vegetables and herbs which are then sold locally.

“We harvest half an hour before delivery and only on demand to ensure minimum wastage of food. What’s not sold stays in the soil,” Mr Bonenfant said.

Ms Tier said the vegetable garden would remain a local initiative, with the potential to become a demonstration farm with an educational focus.

“I love that everyone we work with made us feel welcome, and everyone in the horticulture business is very supportive,” she said.
“After all, we are all working towards securing the future of the planet.”