Starting a business is not for the faint hearted, but starting a farming business? Pursuing this idea is not just on a whole other level, it is in its own stratosphere. Especially with a management team that has no background in commercial farming whatsoever, except perhaps my father-in-law-to-be Paul, who hasn’t farmed commercially per se, but who has a keen interest in agriculture or rather, permaculture, has ‘hobby’ farmed and has at least made a few attempts in his life journey to find real alternatives to a troubled system which has brought him to many a regional community.
Why we 'went for it'
This is exactly why Ben and I decided to move to rural Queensland, to embark on a permaculture farm and organic food venture with Paul. Armed with buckets of enthusiasm, simple values and a yearning for something ‘real’, our pursuit of The Good Life means actively working on ‘being part of the solution and not part of the problem’. This means:
- a near self-sufficient lifestyle independent of the water and electricity companies;
- growing our own food, including the humane treatment and free range raising and slaughter of animals (Ben and Paul are not vegetarians unlike myself);
- building a permaculture farm and food forest;
- buying less to reduce environmental waste;
- buying local should we need to;
- attempting to earn an honest living from working the land;
- developing a business model that neither exploits the environment or the workers in it;
- creating nutritious organic fermented food products for market in response to the mass production of poor ‘food’ options currently available; and
- time for leisure and to be able to pursue our own hobbies such as reading, writing, involvement in causes we believe in and even playing dress ups for a blog if that tickles one's fancy (as it does mine!)
We're nuts about the farm but we're not 'nuts' (well maybe just a little)
With the average age of a farmer being 60+ years and in an industry that is notoriously back breaking as well as spirit breaking, even for farming families, a 'realist' may call us perhaps a tad naïve. We aren't oblivious to the challenges ahead of us. In fact, we know the entire idea is a big undertaking. A massive one in fact. But as with most things in life worth pursuing, we understand our journey won’t be easy. But it will be worth it, whatever the outcome.