Fat Carrot Farm. They’re hardworking, cruisy, highly intelligent folk who have amazing attention to detail, skills to burn, good taste in music and a really good coffee machine. Our kind of people. These guys moved here around 15 years ago, built a house, had two kids, started a market garden, built a boat while holding down their highly skilled town jobs. They’re so cool, they were growing kale 15 years ago… But no one knew what it was so it wasn’t appreciated. You’ll be happy to know they’re growing it again and people love it. When I tracked them down, Stan stressed that it wasn’t a ‘permaculture’ farm, rather a collection of approaches was used to make this property work for them. However he also said he’s read most of the key permaculture books back to front and it shows. Things are in the right place, nutrients are cycled and stuff is cranking. In fact it’s more permaculture than some properties I’ve seen that call themselves permaculture… Their market garden is overflowing with crops which they supply to local community group – Channel Living and sell from their farm shop throughout the week. Being winter, a good portion of the garden is under mixed green manure crops, giving the soil some love so it can crank in spring/summer time.
Some of the things that we really loved included their array of fencing to keep out the local wildlife – like this hardcore corrugated iron fence…And this somewhat elegant floppy fence which works incredibly well… And their house. Oh their house – we want one! It’s picture perfect, super energy efficient, uses local materials and is incredibly comfortable and beautiful. They built it on their weekends over three years, with two young kids – amazing. And in its own special way the house is integrated into the garden. To catch some of the troublesome black birds they set a trap of crab apples and a cage propped up on a stake. See that blue bailing twine? One end is tied to the stake and the other end is tied to their bed, meaning in the morning that can wake up check to see if any black birds are feasting on the crab apples and simply pull the bailing twine which removes the stake propping up the cage. Genius…. And very permaculture’esk. Their farm shop is flanked with vegies, seed saving, a much loved pizza oven and cute signs courtesy of a previous wwoofer. Finally, they have beer coasters as their business cards. We love them for that.