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This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.

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Markets

We probably grow anywhere between, probably somewhere around, 50 different vegetables in a calendar year, that’s totally different like herbs and vegetables and that’s so diverse compared to most conventional farming and even our marketing’s quite diverse like we have local markets and probably a dozen local shops and we send to the agents city markets in Brisbane. We’ve got a really strong focus on local marketing and we feel pretty comfortable with the fact that we’re sending stuff no further than the Brisbane markets. And the markets in Brisbane really take some of the lines that we can grow easily or excess lines, like we don’t actually spend a lot of time accommodating them.

We’re a lot keener to be selling locally but having said that Brisbane is handy for us and there are some areas that we’d like to look at sending more to them. But that’s more financial like, farming’s difficult, like you’ve got to juggle, you can’t instantly increase your market but by sending to the city markets you can actually increase them quite quickly, you can reach more people quickly, so you could pick certain lines and get bigger in those lines quite quickly to finance projects, so it’s easier to get in and out of but your local marketing and your shops and stuff it’s slow and gradual growth so without city markets you know when we used to send to Sydney and Melbourne that’s how we got our funding for dams and roads and you know got into organics quite quickly because we could grow huge numbers of things quite quickly. But the profit margins aren’t there, there’s always a cost you know. There’s always a cost to sell volume usually has problems with it you know, you’ve got to grow over a larger area which is more difficult to manage and lower prices because they’re wholesale prices, so you know then you’ve got to run more staff and get more bunches off quicker, ship more off, and so we’ve opted mainly for that lower footprint and higher end price so that we can grow less and manage it better to get a higher end price and then it’s easier to run less staff and farm less land and get a higher end price.

I mean there’s always monetary challenges because unfortunately we live in an economic world and to create change you need money so if you want to implement strategies or build a learning centre that gets down to money. But then I suppose if you can sell the idea of what you are doing and show what you are doing, and this is where we are a little bit different because we have runs on the board and we can actually show people, people can taste what we do and eat what we do and come and see what we do. I think those problems, people pop up and people want to join in and I think it will drive itself. I think the main thing is not, you know to have challenges are one thing but to have fears is restrictive and I think we’ve got to let things take their course.

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