Organic farming is currently receiving a lot of attention. Many farmers are keen to give organics a go but are unsure about the process involved and it’s viability. A new video produced by Mark Shea of Overlander.tv, hopes to demystify organic farming by bringing together some of Australia’s top commercial organic and non-toxic farmers, and ask them how they manage their enterprises without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Mark joined a tour led by Nuffield Farming Scholar Don MacFarlane which took in ten different properties including the Victorian Agricultural Research Centre.
The great thing about the one hour video is that it allows the farmers involved to tell their own story on why they went organic, how they went about it and whether it has been a viable move. The video covers such diverse farming enterprises as organic cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs, grain, wine, fruit and vegetables.
Some of the farms included in the video are:
The Druce family farm “Green Grove” which produces it’s own flour and confectionary at their Junee flourmill. Alan Druce has been organic since 1962 and the success they are having with their Green Grove Organics operation in Junee is a fine example to country towns everywhere of what can be done to bring life back into the country.
The Statham Family property “Rosnay” near Canowindra which is setting up a grower-marketing group for organic wine, olives, potatoes and pastured poultry. The Statham’s wish to form an organic farming community at Rosnay, with 20 acre blocks available for purchase.
Nick and Fiona Chambers of ‘Fernleigh Farms’ near Daylesford, who farm organic vegetables, beef and grazing pigs. They have developed an export market to Japan. Fiona is a senior consultant with Rendell McGuckian Agricultural and Management Consultants and is involved in developing the organic dairy industry.
The Johnson’s of Wombat Wholefoods near Young show farmer’s how even with limited acreage, non-toxic farming can be successful. Sam Johnson runs laying and meat chickens in movable pens, free range turkeys, pigs, cattle and fruit trees. Sam has an on property abattoir and direct markets his produce to consumers and restaurants. An amazing system whereby any waste from the abattoir is used to fertilize his fruit trees and any spoilt fruit is fed to his pigs.
The Snowy Mountain Organic Dairy Farm near Cooryong. Stephen Whitstead was recently awarded Victorian Farmer of the year for his initiative in filling a niche market with low fat milk and cream.
Weekly times Farmer of the year nominees Gerry and Terry Browning of Yarrawonga, who have had great success using organic principles to rotationally graze their 350 cow herd in a single mob.
The video is full of good advice and good ideas. It is refreshing to hear farmers themselves talk passionately and succinctly about their operations.
Producer: Mark Shea B.A.(Psych.Soc) Music: Ross Williams