We are farming on 15 acres about 3km south of Franklin. We have a northerly and easterly aspect, with heavy clay soils. We get a lot of winter and spring rain, usually with showers through summer.
We grow vegies for the local farmers markets and restaurants, and a few vegie boxes for local families and organisations. We sell fresh apples and other fruits, as well as value adding to ensure a spread of income throughout the year. A young hazelnut orchard should be producing saleable quantities in a couple of years. Milking cows provide our milk and meat. Milking goats will be doing the same when they reach maturity. Our farm is open seasonally to demonstrate how a permaculture property can be productive, sustainable and an awesome place to live.
The produce is grown using organic and biological farming methods. Small animals are used extensively in the market garden and orchards for pest control, weed and grass control and fertilisation. Cattle, sheep, goats and horses graze under a holistic grazing regime to ensure an active and healthy soil life.
I have farmed most of my working life and still love it. It is important to me to know how my food is grown, and to know that I am feeding my family clean food without depleting or poisoning the environment. Growing our own food and then scaling up to provide for other families, means I can both work from home and have the flexibility to fully parent my children. I believe it is critical to remove the destructive chemicals from our daily lives through clean food and education.
I am aiming to build a viable and sustainable business around my biologically thriving farm, that enables me to have a healthy work and play balance. I believe we have a responsibility to share our knowledge and experience with those who are interested in pursuing a sustainable lifestyle.