Agriculture

Inside South Australia

I was  involved in a Brand SA project throughout 2016, sharing good news stories from the Limestone Coast for the Inside South Australia website.

Photo by Ockert Le Roux http://www.oxenburg.com

I was so lucky to have the opportunity to write about people I seriously admire, including photographer Ockert Le Roux, whose striking images are not only luring tourists to the region but inspiring locals to explore their own backyard. Brian and Benedetta Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery at Kalangadoo, vegan cook Leah Franklin from ‘just frank’, and the uber successful Generations in Jazz music festival (which is on again from May 5-7, 2017) also feature on the website. 

The 90 x 40-metre tent housing last year’s 6000-strong crowd was the largest big top South Australia has ever seen.

Mundulla’s Sustainable Community

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tidier, more community-driven town than Mundulla on SA’s Limestone Coast. It’s total tree-change perfection, from the gorgeous sculptures awaiting discovery on the walking trail…

To the historic buildings…

And those idyllic farming scenes that look straight from a film set!

RT Images and I made this video as part of Mundulla’s national entry for the KESAB Sustainable Communities award. We also have some more good news stories on Tatiara towns coming soon!

Robotic Dairies – PIEFA Project

Over the last couple of years, I have been working on the production of a series of videos for the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) and Primezone in conjunction with creative agency Hello Friday. We have filmed at a cotton farm, a cotton mill, a piggery, a fish farm, a hydroponic herb grower, an organic apple farm, a woollen mill, a lobster factory, native bush foods growers, restaurants…the list is long!

It’s incredible (and exciting) to see how far technology has come; there was none of that getting up at the crack of dawn bizzo at the robotic dairy we visited in WA – unless, of course, you get a smart phone alert to say that one of the cows hasn’t come in to be milked.

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Do-it-yourself milking

Technician Robbie Nichols and dairy farmer Malcom Hick explain how it works…

Wagner’s Rose Nursery Video

Wagner’s Rose Nursery is one of my favourite places on SA’s Limestone Coast – pure heaven is a paddock of pretty roses surrounded by majestic gums!

It is impossible to leave this property uninspired – or empty-handed.

I recently finished producing this video which provides an overview of the business:

 

Paddock to Plate – Potatoes SA

Potatoes SA says it’s time to see potatoes in their true light – as ultra-nutritious, versatile vegetables grown in clean, healthy environments.

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I worked on the production of a new potatoes ‘Paddock to Plate’ video hosted by wellness and nutrition guru Joanna Fincham from The Nourish Nook.

IMG_1088My kitchen played a cameo role during the cooking segment!

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Here’s the newly launched video:

Greater Hamilton – Instructional Video

The Southern Grampians Shire has developed an incredible online resource to help current and future investors discover the land use possibilities of Greater Hamilton. I worked with RT Images to create this instructional video which demonstrates how to use interactive digital maps to investigate growth potential according to soil type, climate, commodity or location.

Flinders Merino – Outback Magazine

There are few similarities between outback South Australia and Hong Kong, but a group of wool growers have found a common thread by sharing the journey from the sheep’s back…

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

To the clothes rack.

Source: AWI Ltd

Source: AWI Ltd

During a field trip to Hong Kong, the Flinders Merino group was astounded to discover that the final year fashion design students at the Polytechnic University’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing didn’t use wool in any of their garments, so they offered to sponsor one of their annual fashion shows in the hope of encouraging such an influential market to take on their product. The ‘Flinders Merino Australian Tour Scholarship Award’ gives winning design students an opportunity to travel from Hong Kong to the Flinders Ranges to experience the life of a wool grower in a journey beyond the bale.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

“When we were over there, we recognised that one way we could make wool very desirable to use in fashion design was to tell the story of where it’s from, and by bringing them here, we can give them the whole story – the family, the sheep, big skies, big pastures – it’s a good story to tell.”  – Julia Clarke, Pamatta Station.

It’s a Crocodile Dundee-type tale triggered by drought; transport a group of city slickers to the bush, and watch them fall in love with the landscape by spinning the ultimate yarn.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

My story on this unique ‘student exchange’ appears in the June/July 2015 issue of Outback magazine.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

“And what always amazes me is that they are so overawed by it all; they all love a lamb, but it’s also the first time many of them have been in a rural area and we will often find them sitting close together – they’re so used to being in a city environment, and it takes a long time for them to understand that sense of space that Australia offers.”  – Julia Clarke

James Nagorcka profile in Outback Magazine

Outback Magazine is celebrating its 100th issue!

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Long-time contributor John Dunn sums up the essence of this hugely popular publication in UP CLOSE:

“It’s been the aim of its writers to answer the call by noted historian C.E.W. Bean, who long ago lamented: ‘The truth is that there exists inside coastal Australia a second Australia of which most people know very little’. If Bean were alive today and able to read the 100 issues of Outback, we hope he’d think we were filling that gap.” – John Dunn

I am so privileged to also write for this magazine. It has given me an opportunity to meet and be inspired by some truly amazing people, like James Nagorcka (also profiled in this edition). After building his own tractor on his property just outside of Hamilton, Victoria, this unassuming Aussie farmer won contracts with US giant John Deere. “We’re as far removed from over there as you can imagine, but it certainly got them a machine much quicker than if they were developing it and building it themselves,” he said. Well worth a read!

James and June Nagorcka

James and June Nagorcka

Lucindale – The little town that could…and did.

I am forever intrigued by country towns – how they came to be, and how they manage to survive. Lucindale, in South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is the ultimate rural role model of sustainability. I shared the story of this little town that could (and did) in the February/March 2015 edition of Outback Magazine.

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“Small town, big vision” is its motto, and you would expect nothing less of a place which welcomes 22,000 visitors to its annual South East Field Days (the usual population is 400).

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The town also has a host of sporting clubs – including a triathlon club and a karting club – a country club, caravan rallies, camp drafts, music festivals and the unique exhibition Art in the Sticks, hosted by local farmer-artist Hamish Macdonald. He sums up Lucindale well: “Most little towns are dying, but our town has stayed alive because the town has decided it wants to exist.”

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South Australian Food Producers

It has been a busy few months uncovering the stories of some of South Australia’s most passionate producers.

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The work is part of a major national project designed to increase education about primary industries in our schools…teaching kids where our food and fibre comes from.

Rob2The passion, vision and lifestyles of the producers interviewed has been incredibly heartwarming and inspiring. They have built a strong foundation for the next generation of farmers and growers.