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DANI GETS DOWN AND DIRTY AT THE FARM!

Dani VennHealth

One of the most life changing documentaries I have ever watched is Food, Inc, if you haven’t yet seen it, I urge you to. Food, Inc. opened my eyes to the alarming way the majority of our food is grown and mass produced, often at the expense of the health of animals, the environment and ourselves. It made me think differently about the type of life I want to live and the way I want my children to be raised. It was the deciding factor that steered my partner and I from buying our first home in the city to looking toward greener pastures in the Yarra Valley where we could become a little more self-sustainable and enjoy a country lifestyle.

Despite living in one of the food bowls of Victoria and dabbling in growing my own veggies, I had never actually visited a proper working farm and seen how fresh produce is grown on a larger scale. So when Farmer Robbie invited me to visit his organic vegetable farm, Somerset Heritage Produce, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands dirty and to learn more about farming plants.

Robbie’s farm is set on the banks of the Goulbourn River up in Seymour, about an hour north of Melbourne. It’s towering gums, flourishing bird life and crispy, clean air make for a tranquil setting. His veggie ‘patch’ is sprawled over about an acre or two and from a distance it’s hard to make out what is what, which is so different from conventional farms that often only grow one type of vegetable en masse. Lucky for me I timed my visit perfectly toward the end of summer harvest so there were plenty of beautiful heritage vegetables to pick, pluck and pull from the earth and into my basket!

I reckon everyone can benefit from knowing more about how our fresh food is grown and what we are putting into our bodies. Most people know that a car runs better with cleaner fuel, so why shouldn’t it be any different for our bodies? Some of the things Farmer Robbie taught me (and can teach you too!) include…

  • How to create healthy soil
  • The importance of crop rotation
  • How to manage pests without the use of chemical pesticides

I hope that you’ll join Farmer Robbie and me in getting down and dirty with the earth! Enjoy.. Dani x

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