the farm • a visit and cracking macadamias
place // Byron Bay, New South Wales
colour // slate grey
sound // together, analog heart
word // growth
In the last few months a gem of a place opened their doors and welcomed their first guests. But opening The Farm was no small feat. With a beautiful mantra to grow, feed and educate, owners Tom and Emma Lane partnered with companies like Three Blue Ducks to source and cook wonderful meals from produce grown and harvested on the 80 acre property.
Across the way, you find The Bread Social and Flowers at The Farm, all sourcing goods grown locally. A gorgeous farmhouse invites you to daily yoga classes, and children are catered for with educational classes by Fork in the Field hosted frequently on site.
TRC: How long have you been growing and nurturing the idea of The Farm, a place where people get to be fed and educated?
The idea started four years ago when we were having our fourth child. We wanted to create a haven that we could escape from the city to and get them reconnected with nature and understanding where our food comes from.
The idea became very close to our heart and thought we could or should do it on a larger scale beyond just our own family. The idea of The Farm was born and began in late 2013 when we purchased the land.
A passion-come-life-mission, The Farm is a catalyst for greater change. Amazingly, according to an interview by one of the "Ducks" wife, you can't supply a restaurant from just 80 acres. But that sits perfectly fine with Tom and Emma, who encourage other local farmers to grow and sell produce to the on-site restaurant.
As Magdalena Roze explains, the setup allows local farmers to rent land from The Farm. Their produce initially sells to the Three Blue Ducks, and then left over produce can be sold elsewhere. The farmers are mentored and follow the "beyond organic" farming philosophy, which Roze explains, "isn’t about ticking the boxes of a certification that’s expensive to obtain, but about committing to chemical, pesticide and spray free produce and investing the money otherwise spent on certification into the farm."
You’re 100% spray and chemical free - what’s your top tip for someone at home growing veggies?
Plant health starts with your soil. If your soil is nutritionally balanced your plants will be more resilient to pests and disease. Depleted soils inevitably result in sick plants which are vulnerable to all sorts of nasties.
At The Farm we use a combination of cover cropping, compost, fish emulsion and crop rotation to ensure our soils are rich in nutrients and teeming with beneficial microorganisms.
One of the greatest delights was stumbling across The Farm's macadamia orchard. Captivated initially by the beautiful light, with the help of Aaron from Studio Neon we were soon indulging on the freshest, most beautiful macadamias.
The big property full of animals, veggies, flowers, orchards, and all sorts of edible yummies took me back to the imagination and wonder of childhood explorations.