Luke Winder, Wombeyan Caves NSW
Pasture Fed Pork Farmer
About the farm:
Stumbling upon American farmer Joel Salatin and being overwhelmed by his production on such low acreage, we purchased a blackberry filled 100 acre property in 2015 and used his model of mimicking nature and a highly rotational template to start our own regenerative agricultural farm. The simple idea of viewing animals in nature and applying these principles in a commercial setting. We have achieved this by creating ecosystems with multiple species of animals, plants and insects choreographed with aggressive rotation and rest. In our case:
- Cows (blue angus) offer a mowing service as well as fertiliser
- Chickens (Bresse) follow cows eating fly larvae reducing pathogen problems as they spread out cow fertility as well as adding nitrogen rich manure.
- Pigs (Wessex Saddleback and Tokyo X) to create disturbance where it's needed to eradicate weeds or weaken poor quality pasture.
- Ducks (Peking x Alsbury) are the main fertility with a beautiful moist fertiliser that soaked into the soil effectively.
- Quail (Japanese) although they are small are amazing ranging birds that are always hunting insects as well as adding huge amounts of manure on the pasture.
- Dogs (Maremma) none of this would work without our 9 beautiful Maremmas that protect everything with a predator free zone.
Because the animals are essentially doing all the work we can operate with very small inputs whether it be electrical or petroleum energy, or feed inputs because the animals are supplementing so much of their diet with grass. All this has been achieved in 5 years with no drenching, worming, B12, Immunizations, Antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides or glyphosate.
Our company is incredibly low input with the use of human beings instead of diesel and much more walking time than tractor hours. We are honoured our company is supported by some amazing chefs such as Matt Moran, Peter Gilmore and Neil Perry.
Maremma Free Range Ducks:
Maremma free range duck is a true free range, pasture raised bird, free to roam in 10 acre silvo-pastured cells as part of a highly rotational land healing regenerative agricultural system. All of our animals have access to water from the Wombeyan Caves aquifer which is very pure drinking water. Our ducks also have access to something we have developed called a dunk tank which gives them access to clean water for bathing and good beak health which is imperative for the health of water fowl. The birds eat a non GMO grain supplement that completes a diet of grasses, bugs, worms and anything else they can find. Predator protection is achieved by Maremma dogs which patrol the ten acre cells and guarantee zero fatality. We limit stock density to 500 birds per cell and all birds have plenty of access to shade and wind protection. Because we allow these animals to live freely in the wild without any sheds or confinement the meat is much more tender and the amount of fat is increased and the flavour unbeatable.
We hope to encourage other producers to incorporate some of our farming methodology. We believe we have now proved that some of the conventional farming methods like a reliance on pharmaceuticals and chemical fertilisation are out-dated and with the right management can be avoided all together. The more people sourcing and consuming our nutrient dense natural produce, the less people consume chemical base artificial foods that are detrimental to their health. Without opening up a climate change debate its a known fact that perennial based rotational farming is the most efficient way of sequestering carbon and the more successful this company is, the more land we can nurture and heal.
Along with my wife and three boys I would love to extend an invitation to anyone to come and see our operation to verify these methods.
HAPPY animals. HEALTHY customers. HEALING the earth.