Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 8th 2019
Farm fresh, animals & bees and good food near Byron Bay
When planning your holiday to an area that is not known to you, it is a good idea to find as much literature on the area as you can, so planning your daily trips is easy and you are not back-tracking to what you want to see. These days the internet can provide you with a good start; however, I like to have a printed copy of a brochure to ponder over before I get there. Getting in touch with the Visitor's Centre in the local area is a good start, as they can send you valuable information and know other areas, which are worthy of a visit too.
The idea for "The Farm" near Byron Bay came from Tom and Emma Lane watching their three-year-old daughter in the veggie patch, eating beans that were grown in their backyard garden. From that point in time, they knew that if they could provide this for their daughter, then they could for the rest of the community. They stumbled across an 80-acre former dairy farm and purchased the land in 2013, embarking on a journey which has proved ideas do come alive.
Not having any former farming knowledge, they partnered with experienced farmers having the same values and forged other relationships with similar businesses in Europe and USA. Their goal today is as simple as it was when it all began and that is to plant out the veggie patch, nurture it to a ripe and healthy product and inspire a new generation to continue the legacy.
The Farm is a working farm, complete with vegetable gardens, Ag Shed, Dairy Bails, Bee Hives and Chooks, Pump House, rainwater tanks, produce store, café and restaurant, bakery, barns, garden shed and worm-ticklers and more. There is plenty of off-street parking, free of charge and you are encouraged to take the 1.5-kilometre self-guided tour at your own pace around The Farm.
On my arrival, I decided to take the leisurely stroll around The Farm to get a good idea of where everything was, before stopping at any particular area. There are Guided Farm Tours available – Icons of the Farm Tour, which start at $20 for an adult and Educational Horseback Tours, which run in conjunction with The Farm and Zephyr Horses. The Horseback Tours start at $65 per person and have an age limit of 12 years and above. More information on these tours, the times they run and private tours for larger groups can be found on here.
The walk did me the world of good and I stopped at the fences to talk to the pigs, cattle and chickens, although they were probably wondering "what a strange animal I looked like"! It was lovely to see families enjoying the day either picnicking on the grassed areas, sitting at the tables and chairs or enjoying the playground area. Kids played with balls on the lawn and the grass looked so lush that I could have easily laid down and rolled over and over; it was inviting.
Families enjoy the grounds of the Farm (Author's Photo))
The Farm adheres to strict organic standards when growing and uses only certified organic sprays to control pests and disease when required. They have carried out numerous soil tests and found that the soil is free from any remnants of chemicals used prior to their ownership.
For those interested in learning more, workshops for both hobby farmers and industry workshops are available throughout the year. You may like to learn how to keep bees in your home garden, make great compost, DIY Skincare or learn more about backyard ecosystems.
Good Food, Beer & Wine at The Farm (Author's Photo)
The Three Blue Ducks Restaurant was so popular that the line was way out the door just waiting for a table, so you need to plan your visit to make sure you are there in plenty of times for breakfast and lunch. Much of the fresh ingredients used in cooking at the Three Blue Ducks comes straight from The Farm, with the focus on using seasonal produce to create their unique dishes. The bar has a total of 56 taps ready to pour for thirsty patrons. You may prefer to order a picnic hamper and enjoy a family event on The Farm grounds, as many were seen to be doing on the day I visited. The restaurant is open for dinner Friday to Sunday from 5.00 to 9.00pm.
Do not forget to pop into The Bread Social where Thomas Scott, Sam Saulwick and Paul Giddings bake everything from organic sourdough to buttery pastries. They also try to use as many local ingredients as possible, making a visit to the bakery a scrumptious stop indeed. If an ice-cream is more to your liking, the Baylato – Gelato van has a number of flavours.
Catch up with Jordon for some great tips at Garden Shed Nursery (Author's Photo)
After experiencing all of the above my last stop was of course the Garden Shed Nursery, where I met Jordon, a very passionate and educated man who not only inspires his customers with ideas for home-growers but also has a food industry background and will give you heaps of tips on which herbs are best for the dishes you create at home. Jordon also is the owner and operator of the Wormtickers organic nursery at The Farm. He prides himself in growing the best quality chemical free seedlings using permaculture principles, organic techniques and companion planting all in biodegradable pots. When you purchase your plants and herbs from The Garden Shed, you know they are of the best quality possible. The herbs I bought from Jordon have grown very healthily at home and I'm pleased to say delicious to eat on my watering rounds at home. Jordon received an "Australian of the Day" CBA campaign award in 2015 and also makes regular appearances on "The Today Show" as their resident gardening expert.
Byron Bay is just under two hours from Brisbane and if you are looking for a Sunday drive, "The Farm" is the first place to consider. It caters for the whole family, young and old, where friends meet and new friends are formed.
The Farm is situated at 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale and is open daily from 7.00am to 4.00pm. Entry is free. Check them out on the website or telephone 02 6684 7888.