When I was a child, I grew up on a farm, one my parents owned at Tumbulgum in northern New South Wales. As a child I loved the freedom that came with living a farm life and the luxury of having a backyard in which one could run and spread yourself without interference from others. I was barely eight years old when my parents sold that farm, but I never forgot the freedom I had in those few years on the land, sharing it with the animals and being part of nature. One thing I did not appreciate from my parent’s point of view was the amount of hard work it takes to run and maintain a farm. But I was soon to find out.
Many years later, and with many life experiences and children under our belts, my husband and I discovered a farm for sale. We had never talked of maybe one day owning a farm, but here we were with the opportunity to purchase a property unlike any other we had seen, and it was at a price we could afford.
Yes, it needed work (a lot of work) backbreaking hard work, and I guess if I’d known just how much work it would take to get it up to our standard, I may not have been so keen. I guess I should have recalled the laborious hours my parents had spent working their farm. In our case, it took years to clear the land, develop the soil, work the gardens, and renovate the homestead. Our soil was basically nothing but sand. We fertilised, using totally 100% organic compost, the smell well, it wasn’t great, but we knew how much it would help in the yield we produced. Twice every year we spread compost and the difference it has made is amazing. Ten years on we have beautiful pasture grass on which we run Dorper sheep and Pygmy goats.
When we began our little adventure, we searched for small farm equipment, travelling to various states conducting research, but there appeared to be nothing with which to toil the soil, irrigate etc for those with small land holdings. Most equipment was produced for large acreage, and it certainly was not fit for purpose for what we needed. We felt if we were experiencing this issue than so were other smaller land holders as well. With us and others in mind, my husband set out to create a set of equipment solely for small farms. www.greenpro.com.au His endeavour has proven to be the greatest asset to our farm and to developing the land.
Our property sits on 54 acres of which 22 acres has been set aside as a nature reserve. Our home sits just 50 metres from the beach on the shores of the Frazer coast at Toogoom just 15 minutes north of Hervey Bay. We have a beautiful estuary creek running through the property which has some of the best mangrove jack, perch, and whiting as well as mud crabs. It’s idyllic, and our family love to come visit to partake of the kayaking, fishing, and other facilities we provide.
We will never sell. I can not imagine a life away from here now. Each day I wake up to the sea rolling in, the sound of my Pygmy goats bleating for me to come love them. Apart from the sheep and Pygmy goats, we share our farm with two Maremma dogs, Warlock and Azura as well as a very spoilt Shiatzu names Molly.
We also have a two-bedroom cottage and a bunkhouse for guests to enjoy as they partake of the beauty of our farm.
My husband and I also run a manufacturing business on the Sunshine Coast. In my spare time (of which there is little) I write.
I have published several works and am currently working on a series of five novels to be released in the next year or two. I am currently working on manuscript number 4 having finished and edited the first three. The genre I write is fantasy/fiction feel free to visit my website www.jrmitchell.com.au