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How We Are Different

We are not perfect.  We make mistakes, we have bad days, and we can’t always manage things on the farm as well as we want to.  But we are always striving to improve, to achieve the vision we have in our heads and live up to the standards we expect from the people who produce food for our family.

Some farms share our ethos in some aspects, and not in others.  There is no right or wrong, but we believe in complete transparency, it underpins everything we do.  There’s no avoiding the fact that our farm is different to many others, and below we try to explain how.

At Our Mates’ Farm:

Apples are the most sprayed crop in the world, so we spray as little as we can, using only certified organic approved inputs, which means no “synthetic” chemicals

We don’t eliminate grass from under our trees, leaving our sheep to graze it through the year

We don’t treat our apples with chemicals after harvest to prolong their shelf life

At Other Farms:

They will advertise as “organically grown” or “spray free”.  If the apples are blemish free and look good, they have been sprayed, it is as simple as that.

They spray weed killer under their trees to eliminate the grass, which eliminates soil biodiversity

They treat their apples with chemicals post harvest to ensure they can last in storage for up to 18 months

At Our Mates’ Farm:

We raise our pigs on a complete, balanced and varied diet, including apples from our orchard

Our pigs always have access to fresh grass

We rotate our pigs so no paddock becomes overused

Our pigs can dig, forage and wallow

We grow pure “rare breed” Wessex Saddleback and Large Black pigs

We focus on low stress transport and slaughter

At Other Farms:

Other growers feed their pigs food scraps and kitchen waste as it is available, regardless of the nutritional requirements of the pigs

Some people believe pigs should live in mud, or confinement

Some people believe they can leave pigs in the same area indefinitely

Not every pig gets to express its “pigness”

Claim rare breed pigs based on appearance, but have commercial breed genetics mixed in to allow for poor diets

What happens when the pig leaves their farm is not their concern

Grazing Livestock
At Our Mates’ Farm:

We rotationally graze all our animals, moving our cattle at least every two days, and our sheep less frequently as the grass needs dictate

We focus on grass and soil health, using frequent movements to imitate natural grassland systems that increase organic matter in the soil, and improve grass coverage and resilience

We focus on low stress transport and slaughter, selling directly to our customers

At Other Farms:

Permanent paddocks are used, or “cell” grazing, where paddocks have animals in them for weeks or months at a time

They use other management systems allowing choice grasses to be completely eliminated, and providing the opportunity for parasitic worms to cycle in the animals, necessitating the use of worming treatments

What happens after the animals leave their property, often at saleyards, is not their concern

Nature And The Land
At Our Mates’ Farm:

We recognise the first custodians of this land, and want to continue in their footsteps, looking after it for future generations

We encourage biodiversity, both in flora, fauna, and the soil

We are working to reduce our climate footprint as much as possible, and we are constantly striving to utilise permaculture principles

We control animals that damage our orchard with a combination of fencing, trapping and shooting during the growing season, however we also maintain a 10 acre reserve of eucalypt forest which is home to quolls, bandicoots, poteroos, Tasmanian devils and wedge-tailed eagles

 At Other Farms:

The land is only worth what it can produce

Conventional farming methods eliminate any diversity in pasture grass species, tree species, insects and soil biota

The climate is the responsibility of governments, not individuals

Year round shooting of animals is the norm, with no provision of areas to encourage wildlife