Where it all began
It all started almost five years ago, sitting in a mining camp in WA, dreaming up ideas of what we could use the family property for when I stumbled across permaculture.
The principles of permaculture appealed to my desire to create, to design and to be in nature - and of course to eat good food!
Being a major food enthusiast, I had always relied upon other people to grow and supply me with fresh, quality produce, sometimes with difficulty. To be able to grow my own food was a very attractive proposition and so the cogs started turning….
The family property (a 22-acre small holding) had sat dormant for the best part of a decade, overgrown and somewhat run down. With fond childhood memories playing and discovering in the bushland and helping my pop pick beans, potatoes and corn, the patch of dirt was calling me home.
I envisioned a utopia. A diverse landscape with a year-round supply of fresh fruit, vegetables and wildlife. Land off which I could feed my family and friends. Little did I know that it would turn into an undying passion for growing and regenerative farming, the fruits of which I could share with my local community.
After several years working a full-time job (80 hours per week!), away from the farm, I would spend every spare moment I had researching and learning about farming – chicken systems, aquaponics, natural farming, permaculture design……systems to create abundance.
Two and a half years ago the day finally arrived where I thought I was ready (really, when are we ever ready for anything?!) to become a full-time farmer.
After saving my hard-earned pennies, I resigned from my job and returned to the property to have a shot at my dream.
This is where the learning really started, in all its challenging and exciting glory!
Farming is not a job that you go to and leave on Friday afternoon at 5pm. It’s a vocation. It’s a lifestyle. It doesn’t always work out the way you want despite the grandest of plans. But it’s bloody rewarding! To raise a plant from a tiny seed, to care for it and nurture it until it reaches harvest and that first taste when you bite into that veggie that you put your blood, sweat and tears into. It’s incredibly satisfying.
I didn’t come from a farming background. I was brought up on the land but never a productive farm. I have learnt so much from so many inspirational individuals I have been fortunate enough to discover on the world wide web. Imagine if I told my great grandfather today if everything he needed to know was already out there and readily available – for free!
My biggest heroes to date include Geoff Lawton (http://www.geofflawtononline.com/), Nick Ritar from Milkwood Permaculture (https://www.milkwood.net/), Richard Perkins from Ridgedale Permaculture (http://www.ridgedalepermaculture.com/) and Pat Coleby (https://www.farmingsecrets.com/experts/pat-coleby/) Jean-Martin Fortier (the market gardner.com) – these folks are on my key ‘blame list’ when I stand out in the pasture and wonder if I’m mad for doing what I’m doing!
As part of the blog that you are reading now on our website, we want to share with you what we’ve learnt and hopefully inspire others like my farming heroes have inspired me.