Jules & Merridy, Gatton, Qld
Jules & Merridy’s farm lies in a beautiful valley on the edge of the fertile Lockyer Valley region in south east Queensland. Five years ago they made the shift from the mid north of South Australia looking for “greener pastures’’. After the purchase of their property, it became evident very early on that they wanted to farm organically. Having their then two year old twins running around the paddocks with them was a big driver and the beginning of a new found passion.
The original focus of the farm was lucerne hay production, primarily for the horsefeed market. After deciding they wanted to farm organically they began to consider other opportunities and markets that would support their own organic enterprise.
The opportunities to diversify saw the beginning of their relationship with Kialla Pure Foods. Although their farm is much smaller in size compared to other grain farms, the fertile valley soils certainly compensate for this. It also means they can grow a variety of crops during both summer and winter.
Jules and Merridy believe soil health is the most important element on the farm and are always actively seeking ways to help build soil biology. Cover crops, on farm composting and worm “juices’’ are key components to building ‘’healthy’’ soils. As a fourth generation ‘’conventional’’ farmer these weren’t things that Jules would have once considered but now he really sees the value and benefits of them.
When asked why they farm organically their response is “We see numerous benefits and reasons to farm organically. Improved soil health, access to niche markets, a growing consumer demand, environmental responsibility and the desire to leave our land to our children in a better condition than when we purchased it are just some of many.’’