Jordie and Mascha grow organic barley, KAMUT® Khorasan, spelt, linseed and wheat for Kialla, on their farm located about half an hour’s drive north of Goondiwindi in Southern Queensland. The entire farm is certified organic and is located on the flood plain of the nearby creek which provides the fertile soil for crop growing.
Jordie grew up on the farm before going to live and work in Brisbane, although he continued an interest in the farm. Mascha grew up in Melbourne and studied Agricultural Science before working in the cotton industry for some years. They purchased the property from Jordie’s parents and immediately converted to organic farming. It was not too much of a challenge to convert to certified organic because the farm had been used for pasturing cattle and the soil was clean. They were fully certified organic by 2015.
Every paddock is surrounded by wide shade lines, and natural wildlife corridors are left untouched as much as possible. The property attracts a wide variety of wildlife, especially birds. A wedge-tailed eagle has made its home in one of the tallest trees on the property. The wet areas also attract herons, kingfishers, native ducks, lorikeets, honeyeaters and many other species of Australian birds.
With many years of experience on the land Jordie’s father Bill still provides advice and assistance when needed. At a little under 400 hectares, the farm is small by local standards, so Jordie also earns off-farm income from stabilising machinery.
Their recent purchase of electric motorcycles for easy, quiet transportation around the farm has raised the interest of neighbouring farmers.
The couple’s children were raised on the farm, and to circumvent one of the greatest challenges for rural parents – being isolated from their children who go to boarding school for their secondary school education – Mascha and another local mother established a Prep to Year 12 Christian College at Goondiwindi. It began with generous donations from local farmers and is now a well-established school with more than 120 students. Mascha has also completed a degree in psychology and has an interest in the unique challenges facing farmers, and the impact of these challenges upon mental health.
Two of the couple’s children are still at school while the eldest two are undertaking apprenticeships and studying part time for their degrees in architecture and engineering respectively. They are the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the farm, and Mascha and Jordie are hopeful that at least one of their children will continue the farming tradition, passing it on to future generations.