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.
Because plenty has been happening here at Boxgum. Our son Sid has made the decision to return to the country from life in the city and become a farmer, which was unexpected but such a delight. Along with our two daughters Annabel and Molly we now have all our family interested and involved in the business. The enthusiasm and energy they bring is a huge and valuable resource and a real joy to Claire and I.
While the last few months have been dry and the “drought” word is beginning to spill from people’s lips we are feeling positive for the future. The pigs and cattle are continuing to thrive and we made the most of good rainfall the district received through December and January, converting any moisture into grass. I like to think of it as a ” haystack in the paddock”, and this is now carrying us into winter while maintaining good groundcover for when the rain returns.
As part of this positive future and our desire to continually learn and develop our produce, we have taken the leap and decided to develop our own boning room and smokehouse on the farm. We will build the modern facilities within the structure of our beautiful 100 year old round-poled timber shed. With the plans now with the local council we are hoping to soon get cracking on building this fantastic facility, so we can experiment and create wonderful, interesting smoked products and bring the full boning and packing process under our control. We just love the idea of the growing, butchering, packing and enthusiasm for good food and land management all coming together under one roof.
To encourage our customers and anyone interested to get connected with their food source we are holding our Annual Open Day on Sunday 3rd May. We are anticipating beautiful autumn weather, the last of the warm blue days before the onset of winter. The cold snap we had for the Open Day last May (when we all retreated inside in front of roaring log fires) surely won’t be repeated. The day will begin promptly at 10am with the obligatory cuppa then proceed up the paddock to look at the various groups of pigs and cattle with varied discussions about animals, their welfare, land management, grasslands and grazing, native wildlife and woodlands and whatever else comes up, no doubt including the vital connections between the land and the city. As stated succinctly by Joel Salatin “Everytime we eat, we participate in farming”.