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Turning around a Downward Spiral, at Ben and Risa's Luxury Chicken Farm

Updated: Nov 18, 2023


Organic Chicken farm at Dawn. Photo by Dan

Farmer Dan has an Honour's degree in Economics. Maybe that's why he produces spectacular, naturally-raised eggs, chosen by top restaurants such as Jaques Raymond. But one day he realised he was in a perilous situation. The more he succeeded in business, the more bleak the free-roaming farm was growing. Water ran off the soil, instead of soaking in. Once-lush paddocks were bare or weedy. Time with his beautiful wife and child was dwindling. Risa his partner was a veterinary assistant with her own dreams of doing delicious, traditional things with piglets and lambs, commercial barriers were getting in their way. They decided it was time to call in the troops. Thats how I met them, as part of Crew Gardenfarm.


Time has passed.

Recommendations were implemented, and the miracle happened.

Here is the story of how we can change direction.



1. Get a Diverse Team


Bob Tatnell - Natural, integrated-system farmer

Michael Stahl - Former Australian Government Systems

Gerhard Grasser - Soil expert, Foodweb pioneer and pig farmer

Elly Glenton - Whole Food Collective Founder, regulation compliance consultant

Cecilia Macaulay - Permaculture home design, Lean Process design, illustration.


If you add up our years, we are as old as Yoda. The force flows better when we get together.

2. Create a simple, inspiring vision

Get the farmer's wish list and worry list, and turn it into a doable vision. After that, we will work out the nuts and bolts of how to get there, with all of them achieved. In our case:


Live in a fertile and beautiful farm

Let your vision guide your actions each day

Have enjoyable meaningful work that profits you

Have more time to do the things you like

Enjoy healthy food from your property

4. Identify what's going well. Expand on that



The fairytale is happening. Happy pigs, animals roaming in forests, lovely wooden structures that bring a timeless atmosphere, and inventiveness and care, as seen in the treehouse, attract volunteer workers and keep the family motivated and dreamy.


5. Identify what's missing. Work out how to put it in.



Before: The Downward Spiral

No food for worms, so, No tunnels for air and water, so, No happy plants, so No food for anyone

Proposed Treatment: Creating upward spirals

Sun feeds Plants. Plants feed 'sugar' to soil life. Soil life takes care of plants

Before

Chicken-ravaged land. They ate all the food and made dustbaths. Rain washed topsoil down the hill

First 'After'

Remediation begins. Chickens, soil and baby plants can all be happy together.

Second 'after'

From desert to lush, by putting some logs in the right place


Get us to your farm


If your farm is doing it tough, or you simply want to make paradise for all creatures, hire us. The Department of Agriculture and even Centrelink want farmers to succeed. They have all sorts of grants and allowances that will cover our consulting costs and sometimes help with the cost of drought-proofing, landcare, and sustainable infrastructure that we will recommend.


Contact Gardenfarm, get the right team of experts over, and feel the love.


Gerhard Grasser, your enthusiasm spills over!


Gardenfarm has partnered with Landcare's natural farming mentoring program. Here we are on the 9 News, showing new farmers how to create an ecosystem of support for all creatures, on their farms.




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