Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Farm Talk

I have been asked to give a talk to School children - actually lots of them over the next three days. The Fitzroy Basin Association is holding a series of sessions for kids to learn about different types of farming. I think it'll be interesting because if we want to be able to buy Aussie Food, we need to have Aussie Farmers. And what better place to start than with kids - the farmers of tomorrow. They are also a blank slate and not influenced by generations of farmers that have done it one way. To feed the world, we need to use regenerative farming practices, and sadly there aren't too many farmers doing it that way. The modern farm uses practices that don't encourage regeneration of both native flora and fauna and our domestic animals and plants. I believe that we can look after both and hopefully will get that message across to the students (and their parents when they come along)

I'll be talking about the following topics and will expand on them over the coming weeks on this blog.

Our beliefs – they “why” we farm this way:

·         Wanted to save old rare breeds – intensive farming doesn’t suit these breeds so they are becoming very rare – we try to conserve our native animals, why not conserve farm animals too?

·         Ethical farming – animals being treated humanely – confined Vs free range

·         Healthy Food – healthy regenerative farming practices produce healthy, nutrient dense food.

·         Taking control of market forces

o   We can all make a difference by making different choices with regards to producing and purchasing food

o   We choose to direct sell our product – paddock to plate concept

·         Our farming and marketing style keep money in the local community – this keeps money circulating within the community – helps everyone

What we do and how we do it:

·         Daily check and feeding of pigs – each day starts with feeding pigs. Legislative requirements to check pigs each day

·         Weigh pigs each week for selling. Deliver to the abattoir each week. We supply some butchers, private delivery orders and sell at the markets

·         Wean every 2-3 weeks.


·         Outside fences are netting to keep out wild pigs and dingoes

·         Inside fencing is electric – 2 wires

·         Some portable water and shelters so that we can move from paddock to paddock when we move the pigs – we rotate the pigs to rest pastures

·         Compare ours to conventional – sterile environment, visitors (if allowed) need protective clothing, small packed pens, automatic feeding of antibiotics and other drugs


·         Kids are our future – kids have a perception that animals live happy lives on farms.

o   Advertisers target kids with colour etc – this is mostly false

·         Regenerative farming is the farming of the future – looking after the environment and the animals

·         More people needed as it’s more labour intensive – rural properties always looking for people

·         Might cost more, but pay now (for food) or pay later (for doctors)

·         Without Aussie farmers, we won’t have Aussie food

·         The kids today are the farmers of tomorrow – we can change - one kid at a time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

something finishes and something begins....

For the last four years I have had a full time job managing a local pastoral company. It's been pretty intense and very time consuming - challenging and rewarding at times! But, that is about to change - at the end of this week my job finishes. I will no longer be putting so much of my energy into an off farm enterprise and will be able to devote myself to our own farm and business full time. One of the reasons for working off farm is because our property is too small and not a liveable area.

We started breeding free range pigs as a way to make a better living off a small acreage. Our goal was for me to work until June 2014 because by then we thought that the business would be well enough established to replace my wage. Well this has happened a year sooner than planned, so now our goal is to just make it work!

I have not been keeping up with this blog mostly because my job was very demanding and the pig business used up any free time I had. Now I plan to use this blog to document the next phase in our life. I want other people to know the joys, the demands and the heartache that farmers face! Farmers work very hard to provide food and I want to be able to share with people just how valuable that food is by maybe giving an insight into a Farmers life.

I will be exploring the life of farmers (us mostly) who produce healthy nutritious food from paddock to plate. So I hope that you may follow this journey and learn to appreciate the true cost of what you feed yourself and your family. I will also be talking about food and how we grow and prepare real food - keep an eye on the recipe tab.
A vegie farmer at the Yeppoon Community Markets. If you live in the Yeppoon area, there are some great inexpensive vegies there every weekend!