Permaculture in Action

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Taranaki Farm

 Thank you to all who left me Birthday wishes yesterday. I had a beautiful dinner last night with family and friends.

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While in Melbourne, we visited Taranaki Farm. We were not going to be around for Ben's Saturday tour, where he takes visitors on an extended tour, but were lucky enough to be able to join his Grasshopper tour. This tour is specifically designed for Mums with young children -  bub friendly and slow paced. Not exactly suited to us but allowed us to meet with Ben and discuss all things farming. Ben takes his two young daughters along with him on the tour, the youngest in a baby carryier strapped to his back and the other one often as not on his hip.

First stop was the polytunnel which is used to extend the growing season. It is built along the lines of Joel Salatin's polytunnel. The lower part of the structure has solid walls so that pigs can move in after harvesting to clean up the area.

We then all marched across his lush green pastures to see his free range chickens. These are housed in another of Joel's invention; the A frame, and surrounded by electronetting. This allows for secure containment of the chickens from dog and fox attack.

This tour is quite a lot shorter than his tour for adults, but we still managed to take in many of the features that makes Ben's farm Unique and it has given us a few ideas for our own farm, in particular, for me, the child friendly tour.

For lunch we headed off to Trentham to meet up with Justin Walsh who is working on the Trentham food Hub. We had a great lunch at Red Beard Bakery in Trentham and purchased a proving basket for the sourdough bread. An innovation much new to Mark and worth the investment.

 After kneading, the dough is left to rise in the basket

Then turned out onto a tray for baking

 This is how it comes from the oven. Beautiful, isn't it?

Another great day in Victoria.


  1. Ahhh. Beautiful loaf of bread! And yes, must visit Taranaki Farm sometime. It looks great. Happy Birthday!!

  2. Ooh, Kate, you were in my neck of the woods..very nearly! Would love to visit Taranaki Farm - it looks amazing, especially the poultry A-frame!! And isn't Red Beard lovely? Happy travels xx

    1. If only I'd known I would love to have visited you too.

    2. And I would've loved to have you visit! :)

  3. Oh, so much going on and to comment on!

    I call those chook homes Star Wars X-Wings; if I was to develop our chooks into more of a business, the boys and I would want at least one of these!

    And a proving basket; I was given one of these by a friend when I lived in Germany and have no idea where it is now. Probably given away because I wasn't making my own bread for many years. If so, silly me. I love the end result, that loaf looks wonderful.

    What a great trip you seem to have had. Very productive. xxx

  4. Love your photos of the tour that chicken shed is amazing. When we move to NZ we will be looking to do something similar but on a smaller scale to suit our 5 acres there. Before we move we hope to go on a road trip around the country and your place and Taranaki Farm is on the list of places we would like to visit (one of the reasons is that I grew up in Taranaki NZ) as we will be looking at permaculture in action in a climate more like where we are moving too rather than here in the sub tropics where some of the issues we deal with a different.