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Farmers are a resourceful bunch, constantly adapting to weather, the economy, the animals and more.
MacGyver has nothing on these folks!
Over the last few weeks, the inventiveness and resilience of the local small-scale producers we work was at front of mind.
I was talking with Warren Wiggins at Boorabee Dorper about the lushness of his paddocks. While the rain has plenty to do with it, the secret to just how spectacular his paddocks look (and by extension, how healthy his meat sheep are) is in no small part due to how he and Marina manage the farm. They’ve worked out an effective and efficient way to fertilise the paddocks with their secret weapon: a fermented broth of seaweed. Kind of like kombucha for the fields if you will. But instead of laboriously spreading or watering it on, the concoction gets mixed into the sheep’s water troughs so they can *euphemism* spread it for him!
Then there’s Georgina and Morgwn over at Brooklet Springs Farm. They make their own mobile chicken tractors, taking Morgwn’s experience as a builder, and applying it to architecture for chooks. Their constructions allow them to move the chickens daily, working in with the movement of other animals on the farm, pecking, pooing and scratching away. The clever part is that they designed the tractors for the meat chickens, and have now adapted it for the egg layers and are now looking to repurpose the design for pigs too.
It all just got me thinking about the prerequisites for being a farmer. If you had to write a job description for primary production, it would list everything from mechanic to manual labour; finance to animal husbandry; marketing to scientific analysis.
And somehow you need to be a magician who can conjure 25 hours into a day to get it all done!
Seriously, who’d be a farmer!
But above all else, the thing they need more than any other skill?
A sense of humour!
Luckily, there’s plenty in the Northern Rivers who have that in spades. So come and meet them. I’ll introduce you!