Producing, for us,is about relationship, connecting to community and place.
I’m Deborah, and with Stephen, we’re small-scale producers.
We came to this farming ‘gig’ relatively late in life, seeking a nourishing relationship with place and community. Our production journey commenced around 2007 when I, decided to breed heritage chickens. I took this leap first and foremost for myself and then, because I felt a passion to be ‘part of the change’. I wanted chickens to complement my productive gardening, for their eggs and, well, just because they’re cool. They of course brought many benefits and became a central component of my backyard garden system.
I’ve always been driven by the ideals of sustainability; during my childhood a love of nature and a desire to understand was nurtured in me. It was no surprise that I went-on to study ecology at university and then, as my academic career developed, examine human impact on the planet.
My sustainability-farming journey progressed when I ‘found’ permaculture; my practice developed as I turned my quarter-acre block over to growing more food, developing habitat and developing integrated systems. Which brings me back to breeding chickens.
When I first went in search of my flock I learnt of the ‘rise and rise’ of hybrid commercial breeds and their dominance of the ‘backyard’ chicken market. Essentially this is why I decided to breed heritage fowl – first for myself and then for others – to preserve the old breeds. With chickens (and lots of them) came eggs, which enhanced our connection to place and community via local markets.
Fast-forward to 2015
when we moved south to Verona, SE NSW, to our piece of gloriousness where we “live the dream” in our old schoolhouse, built in 1894, on 12 acres. More land meant that we could diversify, which is when we started dreaming of and preparing for goats.
Our ventures have now extended to running workshops, which is all about sharing or passion for this life. The Permaculture ethics, “People Care, Fair Share and Earth Care” still anchor us. We feel blessed, every single day, to live where we live and to have the opportunity to share, to connect.
Our respect and acknowledgement of the first nations peoples on whose Country we live, the Djiringanji and Dhurga speaking people of the Yuin Nation; custodians and leaders of yesterday, today and tomorrow underpins us.
I look forward to you sharing our Schoolhouse Farm journey.
Fast-forward to 2015
This is when we moved south to Verona, our piece of gloriousness where we “live the dream” in our old schoolhouse, built in 1894, on 12 acres. Moving here felt like ‘coming home’, or to put it another way, we found our ‘tribe’.
More land meant that we could diversify so along came milking goats. The ‘every-day’ of farming means that we are not always conscious of it, nevertheless the permaculture ethics, “People Care, Fair Share and Earth Care” still anchor us.
We feel blessed to live where we live and to have the opportunity to share our passion.
In so doing we respectfully acknowledge the first nations peoples on whose Country we live, the Djiringanji and Dhurga speaking people of the Yuin Nation; custodians and leaders of yesterday, today and tomorrow.