So You Think You Can Farm?

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So You Think You Can Farm?

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.

Vintage lace dress: Dear Gladys Vintage Boutique / RM Williams boots: eBay / Prada sunglasses: My own / Photographer: Ben McGuire

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