Meet you at the Markets: Part 1

Gandhi said, ‘be the change in the world.’ So let’s be that change. By shopping locally and with small business we can be very decisive with who our money goes to.

Meet you at the Markets is a column where you get to meet local farmers and stall holders and become a part of our market community.

Twenty minutes from Murwillumbah you will find Andrew Price’s organic farm; One hundred lush acres dotted with fruit trees and orchards, banana plantations and chickens feeding and grazing freely.

You may know Andrew from the friendly greeting you receive from his stall at Burleigh Markets every Saturday where he sells his top quality, organic and free range eggs – incredibly popular and delicious – and other organic produce he purchases from local growers.

Recently Blank visited Andrew on his property to chat about farming, philosophy and everything in between.

When we asked Andrew what drew him to farming, he replied “freedom”, something his 350 chooks also get to experience.

The free range chickens happily graze over a one-hectare fenced enclosure in the mornings and evenings, and roam freely about his property during the day. The hens on the farm live happily amongst organic bananas and black sapote trees.

Andrew even goes to the effort to rehome hens that no longer lay or have moved their way to the bottom of the pecking order within the flock. Giving these hens to a local rehoming agency allows older gals to live a happy life as a family pet or with a carer.

“We are all simply organisms, living within a symbiotic relationship with other organisms on this planet,” says Andrew.

As a farmer he creates and cultivates a mutually beneficial system for plants, animals and all other living things. This energy transfer, his attention and care, is the energy exchange in which he harvests a bountiful crop of bananas, capote, lemonades, eggs. Everything is an energy exchange.

The farmer rears and cares for our stock and produce, we then pay the farmer for the time and attention they invested cultivating their produce which we then consume to sustain ourselves.

Having started farming as an industrial farmer, he has witnessed the negative impacts of chemical treatments, and oil-based fertilisers reducing the eating quality of the produce and increases the chance of disease.

Organic farming simply takes more work. You are required to individually mulch and fertilise each plant – the chickens help with this too. Prune back, irrigate and care for each living thing, however it pays off tenfold with the quality of produce. Where attention goes, energy flows.

Moving forward Andrew is expanding his flock to service the Northey Organic Markets in Brisbane and is progressively planting more orchards which he plans to harvest in the years to come.

You can catch Andrew every Saturday morning at the Burleigh Markets. He’s the one of the first stalls as you enter the produce section.

Say hi and buy a carton of eggs off him – just please leave some for us!

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