North West Event
Rachel & Matt, Guide Falls Farm
Rachel first fell in love with the land as a child visiting her grandparent’s farm. After leaving school she ended up working in real estate, banking and eventually environmental law. However, falling pregnant with her first daughter was the catalyst for change. She and her husband moved to Tasmania, found their patch of earth to call home…and henceforth Guide Falls Farm was born.
Rachel saw this as her opportunity to make a difference in the world! Animals raised on pasture, treated ethically, moving around her farm and allowing them to mimic what nature had intended made the animals start to work with Rachel, rather than against her and this produced amazing results and high quality produce. Marrying farming, education and being part of the climate solution has driven her everyday since.
Rachel’s dream is for Guide Falls Farm to be one of the top tourism destinations in Tasmania, where people come to experience, learn, feel, see and taste going away feeling a stronger sense of purpose to do better for the land, the animals and the environment we all share. If people got a glimpse of farm life, even for a short while, and the riches it can bring to people and children...they will surely fall in love, just the way Rachel has.
Wouter Sels, Seven Springs Farm
Wouter Sels, from a historical horticulturalists family in Belgium, started 'deDoederij' one of Belgium's first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms, in 2010. Wouter started Seven Springs Farm and grows mostly vegetables with a team of 3 locals, whilst homeschooling 3 kids in the off-grid community of Lorinna.
With many more hills, rocks and wildlife then Belgium, the move across the globe didn’t deter to restart the organic and biodynamic CSA vegetable farm he founded in Belgium. The local context and challenges inspired him to put many more holistic and regenerative layers in place.
The current 2 hectare production drives the implementation of a multi plants and animals enterprise plan for the property, setting it up so generations to come might enjoy increased climatological and economical resiliency.
Gareth Shapiro, The Grain Family
Gareth is a self confessed ‘townie turned country lad’ with a passion for growing good food and a firm belief that farming is one of the most important jobs on earth. Gareth’s partner Tonia grew up on her parents’ dairy farm, Elgaar, but after a stint in the city Gareth and Tonia, together with daughter Ida, moved back to the family farm.
After a few years of successes and failures they’ve entered into a share farming arrangement with Tonia’s parents and are venturing out from under Elgaar’s wings to forge their own way as farmers. After a few years of trialling different grains and building up seed stock Gareth finally had enough grain to start thinking, “we better start doing something with this”. So with that The Grain Family was born. They are now certified organic growers of grains, pulses and seeds and can be found each week at Harvest Market in Launceston and Farm Gate Market in Hobart.
Pippa Mills, Glen Torrie Pastures
Pippa is a former graphic Designer, Mother of two and now farms Beef with her family in the NW of Tasmania while studying a masters of Primary Education. With Climate change forming a great motivator to learn about soil carbon, grazing systems and how beef is not necessarily the 'bad guy', Pippa began Glen Torrie Pastures Beef Boxes in an attempt to share the importance of what they do on farm.
Pippa has participated in a number of small business upskilling workshops, and is a member of the Board for Tas Produce Collective, a group that supports and promotes small scale ethical and future minded producers, from vegetable growers to breeders, and bakers.
Cabe, Down the Road Farm
Cabe is the owner/operator of Down the Road Farm, a large market garden in Lapoinya.
Cabe uses a range of techniques, from disciplines such as organic agriculture, natural farming and permaculture. He grows more than forty varieties of vegetables over three seasons. He runs a CSA veggie box program, is a member of the Tas Produce Collective, and frequents local farmers markets with his produce. He is an advocate for building community through strengthening and establishing local food systems.
Andy Jackman, Red Cow Organics
We are Certified Organic Dairy Farmers who work in a beautiful environment of North West Tasmania, Australia. We work with nature, feeding soil life, balancing soil minerals and improving the environment with the aim to work in harmony with nature. We create cheeses from our own cows milk that have been selectively bred for cheese making. Our Artisan cheeses are all individually hand made. Each cheese is turned and matured with care and is selected for it’s ripeness and maturity. We encourage a natural way of farming and all our animals are cared for with love and admiration.
Theresa Chapman (Soil Ecologist)
Theresa is a soil ecologist, working on soil carbon projects in Tasmania and completing a PhD on plant diversity. She believes that intensive agriculture and ecosystem functioning can coexist and is working towards a better understanding of ecosystem services, soil biological complexity and truly sustainable agricultural practices. She resides in north west Tasmania with her two children.
Dr Graeme Stevenson comes from Somerset in north west Tasmania and has 55 years of agricultural experience. He has run his own farm and worked on others farms as a farm labourer and manager, through his tertiary agricultural education, dairy extension and research, as an agricultural consultant and rural journalist.
Since 1993, he has been a passionate advocate and volunteer for Landcare Tasmania, a movement that brings individuals and groups together to improve the health of natural and working landscapes.
Graeme has been promoting healthy soils in Tasmania for over 30 years, in particular the role of dung beetles and earthworms in soil management. He has initiated and managed 27 Landcare/organic farming projects attracting $1.4m in grants majoring in on-ground works. He has 20 years of applied research into organic and biological agriculture as sustainable farming.
Allison Clark & Belinda Hazel, Optimum Standard
Optimum Standard was born in agriculture and their focus is to help build better futures for Tasmanian businesses. They love to help businesses bring ideas to life and help make the complex simple. They are deeply connected to the broader rural and regional communities in Tasmania, with both Allison and Belinda having grown up on farms in Tasmania.
Allison has worked on innovation and finding the right diversification strategies for business for over 15 years. Belinda was involved in agritourism over 20 years ago and has recently concentrated on selling the message of #howandwhywefarm. Optimum Standard leads Opening the Gate (a project designed to accelerate agritourism in Tasmania) and will bring some insights into our Business Diversification Workshop for you to consider.
Jenna & Zeb, Early Bird Market Garden
Starting with a bare 1 acre paddock 4 years ago on a small budget by being resourceful, hardworking & resilient, Zeb and Jenna have achieved to create what is today The Early Bird Market Garden. Their aim is to continue growing sustainable produce so their community has access to fresh and healthy food all year round. In their years of farming Jenna and Zeb have learnt a lot on their journey and are now in an exciting position to invest their time and resources into building and improving the farm's infrastructure in which they look forward to sharing with you.
*Photo credit Paul County.
Sulyn, Sulyn's market garden
Sulyn Lam is a self-taught horticulturalist with 30 years of experience establishing an urban micro-farm - Sulyn’s Garden - in South Hobart.
The seeds of Sulyn’s passion for producing were sown as a child of Italian and Chinese migrants who, wherever they travelled in country Victoria - Bendigo, Corryong, Echuca, Alexandra, Beaufort and Melton - always grew vegetables and kept chickens in the backyard to feed their family of eight.
Sulyn’s enthusiasm for establishing healthy soils grew from overcoming the challenges of sandstone boulders imbedded in heavy clay soils, littered with a century of accumulated urban debris, on a sloping site at -42.9 degrees latitude.
Kate Plaschke, Eska Farm
Kate spends her days caring for her family and their farm. Living under the watchful eye of Sleeping Beauty and listening to the mountain river whisper past; she is passionate about understanding how to support the eco system of their home and community to thrive. Dedicated to increasing diversity above and below ground; Kate is determined to learn her role in supporting positive growth in the relationships between each element, amongst their animals, plant life and each other. Having taken a pause from her profession as a Social Worker and jumped into the world of free-range pig farming; Kate is constantly reflecting on the parallels between the ethics of social work and regenerative farming.
Grace & Dylan - Broom & Brine
Broom and Brine Farm is a small no till market garden owned and operated by Grace and Dylan on Melurkerdee country in southern lutruwita. Broom and Brine Farm is an organisation devoted to the modest tradition of market gardening and is committed to growing vegetable varieties that highlight everyday culinary histories. They grow over 60 varieties of vegetables year round for their community supported agriculture program (CSA) which now has over 30 weekly shares.
Rich Butler, Glen Huon Dairy
Rich Butler is the farm manager of Glen Huon Dairy. They run a small herd of dairy cows and supply the milk for The Bruny Island Cheese Company. Rich, his wife Karen and their two kids moved from Devon in England to Tasmania in 2017 to run the farm, a showcase of sustainable, small-scale, organic dairy farming that is all about maximising animal welfare and milk quality.
Glen Huon Dairy is unlike almost every other dairy farm in Australia. Not being part of the industrial dairy system means Rich is able to make choices about how he farms which commercial dairy farms do not have the privilege to make.
Franca Zingler, Port Cygnet Cannery
Franca Zingler is originally from Germany and trained as a pastry chef in the Black Forest. She moved to Sydney in 2009 and worked for Adriano Zumbo as well as other popular restaurants and cafés. Franca completed a Bachelor in Business Degree, focusing on sustainability in the hospitality industry, and organised events with the Youth Food Movement in her spare time. She worked at Cornersmith Café and Picklery as a chef and teacher, hosting workshops and working on their cookbook. Having moved to Tasmania in 2016, Franca ran a catering business with her husband Asher before becoming co-founder of Port Cygnet Cannery.
*photo credit by Michelle Crawford
Afternoon session at Beaupre Farm
Matthew Evans, Fat Pig Farm
Matthew Evans is a food writer, farmer, television broadcaster and chef.Based in Southern Tasmania, Matthew lives and works on Fat PigFarm, a mixed holding where he tends a garden, makes cider, fattens the namesake pigs and tries to entice milk from two full cream dairy cows. Matthew’s personal farming journey has been the focus of six series ofGourmet Farmer on SBS, and he’s presented two documentaries,For TheLove of Meat, andWhat’s The Catch.Matthew is the author of over a dozen books on food, including the authoritative ethical meat manifestoOn EatingMeat, and his latest cookbookThe Commons. He’s an advocate for open, fair, accountable food and farming systems, and has pushed for honest labelling so we can all enjoy sustainable seafood.His latest book SOIL is a hymn to the remarkable, and underappreciated bit of Earth that gifts us life. It’s a swashbuckling tale of soil that arms us all with the knowledge and respect to care about its health.
Mitch Thiessen, Agrarian Kitchen Garden
Mitch began his journey into local, organic food production under his much loved mentor Tony Scherer. Over four years, he learned many aspects of mechanical and hand-scale market gardening. During this time they supplied local restaurants, stores and homes with diverse, organically grown vegetables. Alongside this role, Mitch worked as the Kitchen and Garden Specialist in Austins Ferry Primary School's MONA 24 Carrot Garden. This was a position Mitch held for 3 years and cherished because of its valuable impact on young people's appreciation for good food and good gardening. Over the last 3 years Mitch has been running the garden for Agrarian Kitchen. Applying regenerative farming practices to produce delicious, nutritious veg for both the Cooking School and Eatery restaurant. They are now in the process of building a new one acre garden in the Willow Court Precinct in New Norfolk. Whilst Mitch loves gardening for many reasons, his deepest interest lies in building healthy biological systems, which are productive, but are also restorative and sustainable.
*Photo credit to Luke Burgess
Colin Skidmore & Christine Bishop, Beaupre Farm
Colin Skidmore and Chris Bishop returned to Australia in 2018 after purchasing Beaupre Farm, a 40-acre ecologically diverse property in the Huon Valley, to raise full-blood Boer Goats to produce high-quality commercial goat meat for local markets. Colin a geologist and Chris a clinical epidemiologist bring a scientific approach to enhance their regenerative agricultural farming practice. Soil health is their passion and is considered critical to ensure humans, animals and land remain healthy and resilient to climate change. Colin and Chris use microscopy to evaluate the quality of their compost and compost tea. Rotational grazing of mixed cover crops also supports restoration of the farm’s diverse and fragile ecosystems. Colin and Chris aim to use their accommodation business for others to enjoy a paddock-to-plate farm experience; to support locally grown and made products and to share their learning and experiences of regenerative farming with others.
Ruth Langford, Nayri Niara
Ruth Langford has a diverse background in environmental/ social/ justice/ youth work and the arts and divides her time between projects that reflect her passion for people, culture, nature and justice. Ruth draws upon the cultural knowledge of her Yorta Yorta mother and the Aboriginal community of Tasmania where she was born. She established Nayri Niara a Centre for the Arts of Healing at Lunuwunna Alonnah, Bruny Island. Ruth is a talented musician, capable facilitator and the co-producer of the Strong Song Project which re-engages traditional practices of healing and sharing knowledge through song and storytelling. Ruth established Healing on Country retreats for community women experiencing violence within the family as Coordinator of the Indigenous Women’s Legal Centre, and has worked as a youth worker and coordinator for the Justice Mentoring Program assisting Aboriginal people reintegrating to family and community after long term incarceration.
Chloe Proud, LongHouse Hobart
Chloe Proud is a Hobart based entrepreneur and consultant, whose work has stemmed from businesses of her own design and development through to advisory and operations capacity for some of the states biggest events and tourism developments including; Nayri Niara and the LongHouse, the Spring Bay Mill, The Flinders Wharf, Tasmanian Juice Press and Ethos Eat Drink.
Her work centres around core principles of sustainable food systems to strengthen economic and environmental viability in agriculture and the greater food business and tourism industry. Her projects have followed comprehensive waste management strategies with a strong emphasis on provenance and small scale suppliers that authenticate the Tasmanian brand.
*photo credit Yolanda Zarins
Hannah Maloney, Good Life Permaculture
Hannah Moloney is a landscape designer, permaculture educator, best-selling author and change maker. She has two decades of hands-on experience in designing, building, managing and doing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming, permaculture and community development – all towards building climate resilience. She’s been a guest presenter on ABC’s Gardening Australia since 2019 and is an ambassador for Community Gardens Australia. When she’s not working on other people’s gardens and farms, she’s working on her own.
*Photo credit to Natalie Mendham
Leader in the kitchen
Adam James, Rough Rice
Adam James was born in Melbourne and raised in Chicago, Beijing, Moscow, Adelaide, Paris. He now lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania. Adam James is a self-taught cook, fermenter and experiment maker. His obsession is the alchemy of food preservation and flavour making. His work takes traditional techniques and adapts them to seasonal produce. Adam’s time in Tasmania began as the co-owner/operator of Hobart’s tricycle café which became an institution for simple, local and seasonal fare and was where his journey into fermented foods began.
He also has an ongoing relationship with the MONA and was responsible for the fermentation program for ‘Eat the Problem’ and has developed food waste reduction strategies for their restaurants and festivals. Adam runs his Rough Rice stall at Hobart’s farmers market most Sundays. He spends his spare time playing records, diving, fishing, foraging, exploring and hanging out with his son and chief flavour consultant Leo.
*Photo credit Adam Gibson
Master of all things
Dr Polly McGee
Dr Polly McGee is an all-purpose human being with over a decade working in innovation and commercialization and leadership program design and delivery for public, university and private sector roles. One of only 400 people selected globally to be trained by Dr Brené Brown to deliver Dare to Lead certified program facilitation, Polly delivers trauma informed leadership and therapy at the intersection of neuroscience, transpersonal psychology and personal narrative. Polly has a PhD in Gender Studies with research on gender, narrative and identity and is completing a Masters in Counselling, focussing on trauma.
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