When Alex from Abundance Farm stopped into the Fair Food warehouse for a chat recently I was reminded of all the times I’ve heard someone say how they’d love to get out of the city, buy some land, plant some trees, keep a few chooks and grow their own food.
Alex and his partner, Kali, recently took that leap. After lots of looking they found a 97 acre piece of land near Beaufort that no one seemed to want. Walking the slopes they saw possibilities others hadn’t and upon discovering three springs those possibilities suddenly seemed even more possible.
After buying the land friends came to help; pitching-in to plant 35,000 trees, help build the chook and green houses. It’s a couple of years later and Alex and Kali are living off the grid in their beautiful teepee along with 330 chickens, a small herd of cows and several alpacas (no, they’re not in the teepee with them).
Chatting about cow/chicken pasture rotations and growing amaranth, plantain and dandelion for supplementary chook feed I feel like Alex could be the love-child of permaculture-founders, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Their 12 guiding principals seem as
We get onto chook predators, some farmers use maremma dogs to guard their chickens from foxes, but Alex reckons their llama’s make just as good a “guard dogs.” Llamas, however, aren’t effective against the occasional wedge-tail eagle, though Alex believes this is a part of deal when your aim is to increase biodiversity.
Alex calculates their free range stocking rates at around 23 hens per hectare, which puts the 10,000 hens per hectare allowed under new Federal Government regulations into perspective. I ask him how far their chickens can range before they hit a fence, “I don’t know”, he says, “we don’t have any fences.”
You can find Alex and Kali’s Abundance Farm eggs in the webshop.
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