As we’ve reached the autumnal equinox we have now officially commenced Autumn and the arrival of some much needed rain has helped mark the occasion.
This cool spell enables the crew here at Glenlee to mulch some pastures in preparation for pasture renovation activities and in a few weeks, the dry sowing of fodder cereals to cover the winter feed gap. At Glenlee, we find that once the soil temperature drops below 8 degrees Celsius, our various grass species essentially stop growing. In this instance, we need to protect the landscape by restricting grazing to key areas, normally our basalt hills, and increase the supplementary feeding regime to maintain the health and condition of ewes and lambs.
Unlike stereotypical portrayals of life on the land, our farming activities on any given day are orientated to objectives we are seeking to achieve one or two seasons (or even years) ahead. The requirement to think ahead and have plans for a range of seasonal and market contingencies, is as much a part of the business landscape of farming, as the physical landscape in which we live and work.
From a brand perspective, the Wild Lamb collective of independent family farms has been receiving wonderful support from the Federal ‘Farming Together Program’, sponsored through Southern Cross University. This month we have an Agri-business consultant travelling down from Queensland to support some complex commercialisation feasibility scoping and to help with project design for the coming year. This four day workshop is to be held later this week in Ballarat and the topics listed for discussion indicate that the assistance rendered by the Farming Together Program will be invaluable.
Another brand development creating enthusiasm is the steadily growing numbers of family farms (large and small) joining the ‘Wild Lamb’ collective. When you check out the Wild Lamb website (Our Farmers Section), you will note some new families and wonderful images and stories. The injection of new ideas and skillsets will be invaluable for identifying new value-adding opportunities in various premium market segments. Having more farms in our production base will also enable us to achieve the critical mass needed to satisfy the supply expectations of a number of customers and partners currently paying attention to our brand.
Well, I must get back on the tractor and keep mulching while the damp weather remains. I’ll keep you posted on the outcomes of this week’s workshop and the list of pilot projects / feasibility studies that you may wish to participate in over the coming 12 months.
All the best,
Craig & Sue