We connect tree changers with experienced farmers looking to lend a helping hand.
Contact us to connect with local farmers in your area or to arrange an on-site visit.
This Farm Needs A Farmer allows people to seek the advice and assistance of experience farmers about what's best for their property and its needs.
3 years!! 3 years!! YEP - that's how long it took for my old farmer (now) friend to speak to me - you sure have to earn these old farmers and they certainly don't suffer fools. It was a stinking hot day and my farmer, who walks past my farmgate two times a day on his walks finally spoke to me!! I insisted he stop in for a drink and said how dedicated he was to be walking everyday no matter the weather.
That's when he said to me:
"I am off the farm now, so what else can I do with my time"
.........LIGHT BULB!!! Quite literally, I heard it go off in my head.
At the end of 2011 our little but growing family bought 10 acres of land in regional Victoria with hopes and dreams of living a 'simple life' — leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and giving ourselves some space to breath and raise our kids in fresh country air with plenty of room to run around and just be, well ahh... kids.
In March 2012, St Patrick's Day to be exact, we made our move, we couldn't wait to move into our country home, with its 'wide open spaces', blue skies and sunshine. The minute our moving truck left, the temperature dropped to freezing, the skies opened up and it rained, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week till December — okay slight exaggeration, but that's what it felt like.
With our grand vision for our property bright in our minds, we quickly found out why our 'new' country home was on the market so cheap — the rose-coloured glasses fell off and smashed to pieces, smithereens to be exact, I can still feel my heart racing as we began to realise what a steep learning curve we had unknowingly embarked on. I mean the real estate agent gave us a cheque to have the grass cut (clue!), he was so shocked at the state the property was left in. Oh, and I had just found out I was pregnant!
In the true Aussie spirit of soldiering on, or complete naivete, or utter stupidity (you pick) our very 'green' selves went forth ready to tackle and conquer, armed with no knowledge, no money, two young kids, another on the way, a dog, a fish and no one around us we knew, we suited and booted and got to work — well the husband did. Gimme a break — there is only so much manual labour a pregnant woman can do :)
And, there was our very first road block. Where do we start?? Where do we go for help?? We don't know anyone, we don't have any neighbours we can ask - WHAT DO WE DO?! I mean really — WHAT DO WE DO?! There's this farmer that walks past my gate every day, I'd ask him, but he won't even talk to me!
Insert blood, tears, sweat, tears and more tears, lots of tears, mainly mine (pregnant!), lot's of hard yakka, then fast forward 3 years and light bulb... with that one seemingly innocent passing comment made, "This Farm Needs A Farmer" was born.
In that moment I realised that my Farmer wasn't the only one who had moved into town, off the land (usually at their wives' insistence) and found that a house block isn't going to keep them busy like their farm used to. They may not be able to keep up with the 'muscle' involved in running a farm, but they certainly still have the know how — chances are they worked the farms, families like mine and other tree changers are now buying up. And here they are walking around town with all that precious, invaluable, no mucking about farming knowledge in their head. The very knowledge us tree changers desperately need!
Join us at This Farm Needs A Farmer and give these beautiful, old (sometimes grumpy) farmers the opportunity to retire on the land. A 'platform' for community inclusion being created to connect these Old Farmers with Tree Changers, knowledge is brought back into the cycle of these farms and won't be lost when they're called up for their meeting at the pearly gates.
The plan for this project is to build the model within our current town and then roll the project out statewide, then nationally and then global domination is in our sights (10 year plan). This projects primary aim is to build stronger community relations and recognise the value these old (Grumpy) farmers possess - seriously they do not even realise how much they know. "We just got on with it - there was no other choice"
This project was born of the truest intent to build a stronger and more cohesive community - to place value on people that may not see the value in what they can offer and what they know. It means so much to me as my farmer (who now talks to me everyday) has become a part of our little family - he lights up whenever I ask him for help and although he is reluctant to accept he is the inspiration for this project (of which I keep reminding him) he is quietly chuffed that in his twilight years someone has recognised he still has value to offer this world.
I am completely humbled and thankful that you have taken the time to read about This Farm Needs A Farmer, a project I truly believe has the possibility to bring hope, opportunity and meaning back into the lives of those who may have lost it along the way.