Sally Ayre-Smith and Marcus Skipper moved to the Macleay Valley seven years ago with a dream of starting their own sustainable and organic farm. With no agricultural experience, Marcus, a builder, and Sally, a television producer, turned 25-acres in Sherwood into a thriving garlic farm, which now produces over four tonnes of garlic each year.
Sally is passionate about inspiring others to make the transition into small-acre, organic and sustainable farming. Here are her top ten reasons for choosing to create a sustainable farm:
- Working with and for the land in a way that nurtures it, not destroys it.
- Growing the best quality food for people who understand the benefits of eating chemical free food.
- Learning how important good soil management is to everything you do as an organic farmer.
- Being part of the community of like-minded farmers – sharing our experiences and learning from each other.
- Making a decent albeit modest living from the land rather than living on the land and having to work off the land.
- Teaching and mentoring other new young farmers to farm this way.
- Everyday as organic farmers we are challenged by conditions outside our control and learning how to overcome these and work with these elements is very satisfying when we get it right.
- Living on and with the land – there is nothing quite like this lifestyle, especially when you find a way to make it economically viable.
- The physical nature of the work – I love working hard outside physically – it keeps me fit, healthy and happy.
- I feel a sense of responsibility for the small acerage we are the custodians of – looking after it and using it to produce food that is healthy and people want to eat is just about as good as it gets.
Read the full story of Marcus and Sally’s incredible garlic farm http://macleayvalleyfoodbowl.com.au/producer/sweet-water-farm-garlic-organic/