Here at The Organic Place we specialise in fruit and veg but there is a whole other world of organic food out there, including organic meat. As a family, we have always sourced our meat from Colin and Sally’s Organic Lamb and Beef; we just love these guys! We love that they are a young family, passionate about good food, sustainable farming and living a happy, healthy (and busy) life….just like us! We asked Colin and Sally if they would their story with our community; we think you’ll enjoy it and we’re pretty sure you’re going to fall in love with them too! Take it away Sally…
Tell us a bit about yourself and Colin and Sally’s Organic Lamb and Beef
We run a certified organic, completely grass-fed, sheep and beef farm in the beautiful Strzelecki Ranges in South Gippsland. We started selling our organic meat direct to the public in 2013 as a way in which to provide other families with the opportunity of purchasing organic, grass-fed meat straight from the farmer.
We made the big move out here to the Dollar hills just over seven years ago, dedicated to organic farming and passionate about good food. We’re busy, dedicated, kind, and socially conscientious. We love what we do.
Small-scale organic farming is essential to the future of sustainable agriculture and for the preservation of small, vibrant communities and local economies. Buying direct from a farmer that you can get to know and trust is a great way to support healthy eating and inclusive communities.
On January 1, 2017, we opened up CSA share memberships to our mailing list. We sold out within eleven hours. It was an exhilarating and affirming way to spend the first day of a new year.
Community-supported agriculture is an alternative economic model of agriculture and food distribution, and a delicious one at that. We already sell direct to the consumer, but this takes it an extra step in the direction of a solidarity economy. CSA members, or subscribers, pay at the beginning of the year for a share of the anticipated harvest. This will allow us to concentrate on farming and looking after our family. We already have over 200 on a waiting list for 2018!
Why did you decide you wanted to go organic?
We have been fully certified organic for at least five years, years before we started selling direct to the consumer. We’ve never farmed any other way, and we never would. For us, it isn’t a business decision, it is an environmental, no-brainer, way of life.
What is a typical day on the farm like?
Not unlike your day, I would imagine! We have a three year old and a five year old who has just started school, so mornings are busy! Colin looks after the kids full-time as I have a home office and work full time for the University of Melbourne as a researcher, in addition to being one half of Colin and Sally’s Organic Lamb and Beef. I’m also the President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and have just co-founded with a couple of friends, the Prom Coast Food Co-op, so life is busy but fulfilling.
Until we’ve got both kids in school, Colin farms when he can! So, it has been a juggle, but we believe so wholeheartedly in organic farming and in the need to feed our community, that we keep going. Over the last couple of years, I’ve started playing mentor to other small producers, helping them sell direct, giving them the tools and the confidence to get their brand out there, even collaborating on drop-offs, as a way to increase their reach, increase sales and learn a bit more about how customers “tick”.
That’s my passion, helping small scale producers feed their community.
Weekends are no less busy. That’s when Colin gets out to check fences, move stock, weigh lambs, send lambs or cattle off to the abattoir or hand weed thistles.
If it is a Friday before a delivery day, I’m in at the butchers, packing the lamb and beef for customer orders. Then the delivery day is spent mostly in the car amusing the kids (you know the drill), and meeting customers at one of our drop-offs. When we hand out meat to customers, that, to me, is when I feel most connected to the farm…full circle of life, death, and nourishment.
What do you wish more people understood about organic farming and meat?
In regards to the organic industry, you are going to see lots of changes to certification, and it will become more important than ever to “know your farmer” rather than just looking for the certification logo.
In regards to meat…buy better quality, and eat less, eat from a wide range of cuts to vary your diet and “know your farmer”!
Anything else you would like to share with us..
The greater connection you have to the land, the healthier you will be. More plant-based foods, better quality meat, less food that stays on a shelf.
Thankyou for sharing you story with us Colin and Sally (we told you they were great!) If you’re interested in finding out more about Colin and Sally’s Organic Lamb and Beef or want to place an order, head to their website. You can also stay up to date by following them on facebook.