I like to think of our farm as a large green biological solar collector, harvesting the energy of the sun and turning it into a living biomass of plant and animal species. For only green living plants through photosynthesis are able to capture and convert solar energy to matter upon which all biological life exists.
To be fruitful sunlight needs to fall on green leaves, if it hits bare ground it produces nothing.
This is an edited version of a talk I gave in August at a Ginger Catering event organised by Janet Jeffs at the National Arboretum in Canberra. This was one in a series of events that showcase local producers in the Canberra region, where Janet invites the producers to talk about their passion for farming and being involved in the local food network.
The time has finally arrived for the re-appearance of the highly irregular Boxgum Grazing Newsletter, which has not been sighted for a considerable number of months. Responding to the none-to-subtle jibes from other family members about its comatose state, this is a situation I plan to rectify, with more frequent updates about what is happening, on the farm, at the markets and with our desire to produce the most amazing food available.
Following two years of La Nina and substantial rain, including two of the largest floods seen around here, since early April the tap has been turned off and we have reverted to a typical Autumn - dry weather, beautiful blue days and increasingly frosty nights. I think Autumn is my favourite time of year; the heat of summer has gone, the cold and wet of winter is yet to arrive. The nights are cold enough to warrant a wood fire and yet the days are warm enough for a T shirt.
Well what a week it has been. For days we had been watching BOM, the weather bureau's website, which foretold of deluges across inland NSW and our region was in the brightly magenta coloured zone indicating over 200mm of rain. With an impending sense of dread we prepared as adequately as we thought necessary, moving the cattle to higher ground and providing extra straw in the shelters for the pigs and moving any in obvious waterways.
Claire and I are passionate about producing great food at an affordable price and doing so in a way that builds both the productive capacity of the farm and the environment for all the other species that live here. We firmly believe that healthy nutrient rich food comes from biologically active soils and it is our role as farmers to manage the plants and animals so as to increase the health of the soil and its capacity for sustaining life.