Our Easter eNewsletter. We hope you find it interesting.
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Easter 2015 eNewsletter

Jam Making, School Holiday Camping and Bullockies Old and New.

G'day Jay,

G’day friends of Gleneden Organic Farm and The Gleneden Bullock Team.

Jam Making and Fruit Preserving Workshop

March is a great month for late summer fruits. A visit to farming friends in Stanthorpe was a perfect opportunity to bring home a ute full of delicious organic apples, pairs and plums to distribute among the good food loving folk of the North Burnett. We had to make sure that we brought a lot because we needed plenty left for our Jam Making and Fruit Preserving afternoon the following week. On Sunday 29th a pleasant company of ladies (all the men must have been watching the cricket world cup final) peeled, cored, stirred and chatted away the afternoon in our kitchen to produce beautifully coloured jars of plum and rosella jam and bottled pears. There were many ideas and stories shared, including my Nan's plum jam recipe from my auntie, and everyone went home with some jam for their pantry.

Our 2015 workshop series takes a hiatus in April to make way for the annual Australian Bullockies’ Get-together which we are hosting in the week prior to Anzac Day. That will be a fun and interesting time, then in May we keep the bullock theme going with our inaugural Bullock Driving and Training Workshop on the 23rd and 24th. If you have ever wanted to try driving a bullock team or are interested in training some steers of your own this is the weekend for you. Places are limited so book in early to secure your spot. In each month through the rest of the year we will feature a traditional or innovative farming or kitchen skill. Bread baking, cheese making, bush blacksmithing and greenhide whip making will fill the middle of the year while spring will be a good time to focus on the vegetable garden.

On the Farm

This month we have celebrated the return of honey bees to Gleneden Organic Farm with the arrival of a wild swarm found in a hollow log on a neighbouring property. We moved the swarm about 10km away for a couple of weeks and then brought them back to a carefully selected spot near our house in Gleneden. They are still in their log but we will move them into a hive in the near future. A new type of hive that empties the honey into jars without disturbing the bees has been making headlines lately. Maybe we can get hold of one and move our new swarm into it.
The Easter weekend is going to be a busy one with a good number of families booked in to our camping ground. Some are planning to make the most of the farming and outdoor activities we offer while others are coming to do as little as possible in our rural peace and quiet. I will no doubt be doing my pied piper impression as I go about my farm jobs with a traipse of children following behind. It will be a good weekend to Christen our backpacker built portable gazebo which is just waiting for a final floor sanding as I write. We have plenty of room for campers right through the two weeks of the Easter school holidays with a working bullock team display and organic farm tour on each of the three Saturday afternoons.

Our animals are fat and happy on still mostly green summer pastures.  One more good shower of rain before winter will freshen up the ungrazed paddocks and stimulate the grazed ones to recover a body of feed before the growing season closes. Putting up electric netting for the sheep has been particularly challenging in the jungle of grass and legumes but it has been a good problem to have.


Bullockies Get-together

April 18-24 will be a great and busy week at Gleneden Organic Farm as we host the annual get-together of the Australian Bullock Driver’s League. Bullockies from around Australia gather once a year for a week of bullock driving, yarning and sight-seeing. We are excited to be the hosts for Queensland’s turn in the rotation. We welcome visitors during the get-together and new members to the League. Camping and some meals are available here if you would like to come and enjoy all or part of the week with the bullockies.

Bullock Driving and Training Weekend May 23rd and 24th

We are hoping the bullockies get-together in Gleneden will inspire a few intrepid spirits to become bullockies. Bullock driving, once a mainstay of our industry and culture, is truly a dying art in Australia and it makes a useful and interesting hobby. A great way to get a leg up into the forgotten skills of the bullocky is to come along to our Bullock Driving and Training Weekend on May 23rd and 24th. Participants will see The Gleneden Bullock Team in action at close quarters, then have a turn at driving the experienced team themselves. We have two pairs of steers ready to start their training and everybody will be able learn hands on how we start young steers into a career as working bullocks. Blacksmithing, bush timberwork and greenhide whip making are essential skills of the bullocky, so we will also give an introduction to these crafts during the weekend. Materials will be available to participants keen to make a set of gear to start their own steers.  Weekend cost: $180 per person including two full days of activity, all written resources, bullock gear materials and free camping. Workshop and resources without materials $120. Second participant per enterprise sharing resources and materials $90. It would be great if you could let potential bullockies know about our get-together and bullock workshop.

Grass Roots Magazine

Grass Roots Magazine have been kind enough to publish a story on Gleneden Organic Farm. The article is a thorough explanation of what we have been doing and hope to achieve on the farm with some of our practical experiences thrown in. If you would like to learn more about how and why we are farming it's all here.

Organic and Chemical Free Food.

Gleneden Organic Farm is not certified organic as our volume of produce does not justify the heavy time and financial cost of certification. Organic certification is important in multi-step supply chains where there is no direct link between farmer and consumer. As we sell direct, (we prefer to meet our customers here at the farm), it is easy for people to investigate our practices for themselves while gaining an understanding of where their food is coming from. I like to call this “customer certified organic”. Should we start marketing our produce through a third party organic certification will be a necessary step. We stand firm in our organic and regenerative farming principles and are honest in reporting our practices to our customers. For example, we have incorporated the cattle from my Grandmother’s property into our lifetime organic herd. As we butcher these new animals we will give clear information on their chemical free status, which is over 12 months and counting. The whole herd are is now following a Holistic Grazing Management rotation over both properties to the benefit of soil, pasture and animals, and our customers have access to a larger volume of meat and clear information. In the coming weeks and months we will have beef, pork and lamb available as sides, fresh cuts, cured meats, mince and sausages. We offer free camping with any purchase to help people really get to know our farm. Ask us a for an order form 0429137224.

Until Next Month

Until next month we hope your work/leisure balance is more level than ours and that your life is just as rewarding. We’d love to see you in Gleneden during the beautiful weather of Autumn. Please share or forward our newsletter to anyone who may enjoy it.

Have a safe and happy Easter in good company.

Rohan, Fiona, Eden and Jethro

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