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Adelaide Hills Farmcast April Edition

In the Adelaide Hills Farmcast April Edition, Belle Baker looks at farming jobs Adelaide Hills lifestyle farmers should be planning for in April. We’ll cover everything from fecal egg counts in sheep,  drenching programs, and snails.

This episode was recorded at Mount Barker Springs at the home of Kate Phillips and James Trebilcock. They have goats, heritage breed chooks, sheep, horses and dogs the size of horses!

And Patrick (Pods) O’Driscoll has a chat with Rob Murphy from the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board about your options for rabbit control. The good news is; none of the methods work on the Easter Bunny!

We hope you find this show helpful and welcome your comments below or email Belle or Pods at

You can play the episode, below, or search for Adelaide Hills Farmcast in your favourite podcast app, on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

Also, remember that each episode has chapter markers, so when you’re playing, you can skip to the next section easily.

00:38 Adelaide Hills Farmcast March Edition


01:30 Adelaide Hills Farm Almanac / Farm Calendar


Fruit Trees and productive gardens

  • First and foremost you need to be thinking about good hygiene and cleaning up under your fruit trees.
  • Autumn is when you should be applying liquid fertilisers
  • You might be starting to note a few snails around your property or hanging around the edges of your kitchen garden.One rather satisfying way to get rid of snails is to go looking for them and squash them on site! The best way to manage snails in large areas is to prevent them. Spray fence lines and any areas that accumulate weeds – in and around sheep and cattle yard is a classic! Or – The other option is to cultivate the ground. There are quite a few organic or natural methods you can try to manage snails and their ugly cousins, slugs including applying coffee grounds


  • This is the time to be applying single fertilisers. Which fertiliser you’re applying will depend on the results of the soil test you did earlier this year…Most soils throughout the Adelaide Hills are low in Phosphorus so that is a good place to start. This is also the time of year to spread Lime and Gypsum.We have a few clients booked in to spread Lime in April. Lime increases the Ph of the soil. This will release or make the trace elements more accessible. On a smaller scale, Gypsum is very handy around the home garden.Please, please, book your contractors early – there is a shortage in the Adelaide Hills so this is not something you want to leave until the last minute!


This is covered by Kate in her interview, but the main points she covered were:

  • There is an increase risk of Laminitis in horses and (fat) ponies. As such, Kate manages their food intake by supplementary feeding in stables and limiting their time on green pastures.
  • Collecting horse dung and taking it to the vet for analysis of worm burden so that the right type and amount of drench can be administered. Kate keeps up a strict regime of drenching every 12 weeks.
  • The horse rugs are retrieved and checked for holes, damage and cleanliness ready for regular use as the seasons get colder.
  • Responsible horse ownership requires a constant program of care. Kate’s horses see a dentist every 6 months, the farrier every 8 weeks and she maintains a good relationship with her Vet in case she needs to call them out of normal office hours.

12:10 Farmcast Interview: Rob Murphy

Pods caught up with Rob Murphy from the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board in Littlehampton recently. He wanted to discuss the options for the control of Rabbits and dispel some of the myths around the preference and safety of some of the methods. It turns out that the best solution is a combination of many!

Pods and Rob Murphy
Pods talks with Rob Murphy from the Hills & Fleurieu Landscape Board about Rabbit Control options in the Adelaide Hills


23:26 Farmcast Co-host: Kate Phillips

April’s Farmcast was recorded at the home of Kate Phillips and James Trebilcock on their property at Mount Barker Springs. Here Kate talks about her background in Agriculture, her time in Japan running a Trail Riding School and what she will be doing with her horses in April.


Kate and Belle
Kate Phillips and Belle Baker from Adelaide Hills Farm Serivces cleaning out a trough on Kate’s property

While I was on site with Kate, we cleaned one of her plastic water troughs, which had a stuck bung. There’s a video of the effort, which we’ll be sharing soon.

I brought along a few cheeses from Section 28 Cheesewrights in Woodside to share with Kate. Their flavours are strong and ideal to accompany a good red. Today we peared them with Oakbank Flavours Fruit Pastes. There are so many small or artisan providores in the Adelaide Hills. If you know of a delicious local food we need to try as we traipse our way around the Hills, please let me know.

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