Dealing with Grief and Loss

Sometimes life just gets in the way of life. Things happen that are totally unexpected and you get thrown a curve ball but you’ve also got to just keep going. Life keeps going.  We’ve had that time this year. Where you really wish you could just stop for a bit, have some time to deal with what you need to and then move on. But the business and the farm don’t stop, the trees don’t wait and the avocados must be picked!

Losing Tim’s Dad, brought back a lot of emotions for me and got me thinking a lot about grief and how people deal differently with grief and loss. I feel like most of us have no idea how to do grief. How do we go on when we lose a loved one? Is it OK to just go on?  Have we been sad enough? Have we cried enough? Are we crying too much? Are we mourning in a respectful way? Are we saying the right things to those around us who are also suffering? Did they say the right thing to us? Why did they say that? How will the kids deal with this? Should we tell the kids everything? Should we talk about it? What if people don’t want to talk about? Is there something wrong with not talking? Why aren’t they talking, they must be bottling it up, that’s not healthy.. Are they being too emotional?

So many questions and really the answers are very different for every person. Everyone deals with things differently and everyone needs to grieve differently, but there actually are some road maps and there are things we can put in place if we are open about it and talk about it, to make dealing with grief and loss just a little bit more manageable, because the bottom line is, we have to be able to manage it. It will be different for every person, but the more we can prepare ourselves and build our resilience the easier it can be.

The thing is,  grief and loss are inevitable and we simply must deal with it. We all need to be able to cope with grief and loss of loved ones because no one escapes death. For a long time, not even necessarily in a conscious way I think I thought that I would never be able to be truly happy because I lost my Dad in such a tragic way. I sort of carried it around like my life would never be truly awesome because Dad had died. It was almost like an excuse. But, what I have come to realise is that is not true at all and life can still be amazing and beautiful and incredible and joyess no matter what happens to us. Because it’s not really about what happens to us but how we respond to it that matters.  It was Charles R. Swindle who first said, “Life is 10% is what happens to us and the other 90% is how we respond to it”  Hajaloula! How true is that? Things will happen, difficult things might happen, we get to choose whether we let it ruin us or make us.

But, the thing is, we can’t really make this choice consciously if we don’t have the resilience and the foundation of wellbeing to begin with.  So how do we develop that resilience and wellbeing foundation in the first place? Where are we taught all this? I know for me, I was never taught about dealing with grief or looking after my mental wellbeing, I found my way there myself. I really wish I had been taught this as a child. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was more of a focus on building resilience and wellbeing and learning how to cope in difficult situations in schools?  I am actually working with our local school to try to get this happening by implementing The Smiling Mind course, I highly recommend checking it out.

But what about us adults who have no idea where to start to build our resilience and our wellbeing? I’ve listed some great resources at the end to get you started thinking about it and I highly recommend doing some of your own research to find what you think might work for you.  You can try meditating, journalling, practicing gratitude daily, making sure you have good relationships with loved ones, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and being kind! Even just having a conversation with loved ones about death and what you want out of life is a good place to start.

I was speaking to our community health nurse the other week and she mentioned that she was going to check out a “Death Cafe” and my ears pricked up. She explained a little more and I just thought it sounded so cool. Basically, you can set it up in your town for a time in a cafe or other local hang out and people can go and ask all sorts of questions about death, openly and without any judgement. The concept of the death cafe is also ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. So not only talking openly about death but also asking you to think about life! What a wonderful initiative! You can check out more about it here:

Do you have some tips or tools that you use to build your resilience or develop your wellbeing and help you cope when things are tough? Do you think you have a good level of resilience? Do you talk about death with your family and are you living life to the fullest because you know that it is precious?  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading and happy living!!!

K x


The Resilience Project

This article form the experience life is fantastic and even has a little quiz at the end so you can test ho resilient you are! 

The 5 Best Ways to Build Resiliency

The Live Happy guys have a whole section devoted to resilience with lots of different articles



Are you “busy”? Takeaway tips from “Imagine the Possibilities”

Last week I went to the Imagine the Possibilities conference for the third year in a row and it was just as awesome as ever.

I nearly didn’t go because I’ve had such a “busy” week but I just know that I always get so much out of it and come away with fresh ideas and feeling inspired to continue growing and learning. I really wanted to share some of what I took away with you guys as there was just so much gold in what we learnt on the day that I think you will find useful too…

Leonie Canham who is one part of the Splendid Word (co-event organisers) MCs the day and she always congratulates us all on taking the time out to do something for ourselves. It’s such a nice reminder that it is OK to do that. Every year it’s hard to get to Moama for the day, there’s the expense and the organising and the kids and the missed work day, but every year it is so worth it and Leonie is so right, it is crucial to our own wellbeing that we do things like this just for ourselves, because really it benefits everyone around us. Particularly for us women, as we often have so many others to look after –  if we are at our best then it’s good for everyone.

This year we heard from time management guru Kate Christy. Her talk really resonated with me and I wanted to share some of the learnings with you. Kate shared her thoughts on how these days being “busy” is talked about like it’s something to be proud of. She challenged that and said “being busy is not a badge of honour”. I totally agree with this and it was a great feeling for me personally to recognise how far I have come. Three years ago when I first went to this conference, I was “busy”, but I wouldn’t say I was productive.  I would go so far as to say things were a bit out of control. I was rushing everywhere and things were chaotic. Fast forward 3 years and  I don’t really feel “busy” any more, things feel in control and I am not rushing and I am more productive. Now this could be partly because the kids are getting bigger, but I think it’s also because I’ve learnt a lot about how to be more in the moment, how to manage my time better and how to say no. The meditating has also played a big part in this too. I’ve still got a bit of work to do but things are certainly on the improve!

So if you are “busy” and life is hectic and you fell like a rat on a treadmill just racing through the day and things feel out of control,  then rest assured there are things that you can do to take back control today. You don’t even have to meditate if you’re not up for that (yet). But here are the key takeaways and tips I got form Kate’s session that I think will help you too.


Kate outlined the 4 major factors of time as: Financial Cost, Opportunity cost, Emotional cost and physical cost and discussed how every decision we make has a financial cost and an opportunity cost and then it may also have an emotional or physical cost. As women and mothers we often don’t value the financial cost of our time effectively nor our opportunity costs.

Here’s what Kate outlined as examples of financial costs of where you invest your time:

@$50 an hour:

1hr/day on Facebook = $18250pa

10hrs per week on low value tasks $21000pa

18 hours per week on admin = $37800 pa

30 mins per day on school lunches = $10950 (so Kate said it’s time to get the kids making their own!)


This is crucial to getting your time back. Every time someone asks you to do something you need to check how this will effect your financial cost and emotional cost. If it doesn’t add up for you then say no politely and move on. From my personal experience, once you start saying no it’s very liberating and you definitely get better at it!


I love this section from Kate’s presentation. Kate really highlighted that it is totally unreasonable for a women to be doing all the jobs in a household and that husbands and kids should be helping too.

Her key tip was to get out a white board and write up all the jobs that have to be done in the house daily and then also weekly. Get one of the kids to write up the jobs to make it fun and get them involved. Then, you choose which jobs you would like to do first and then ask each family member to nominate which jobs they are willing to do. Don’t tell them what you want them to, get them to choose. This way everyone gets to see how many jobs there are to be done in the house and also take responsibility for their part in helping. You will of course have to remind everyone, every day to do their jobs, but that is better than doing it all yourself!


If you look at any for the jobs that you have to do around the house and think I could pay someone else to do that for less then DO IT. Say you value your time at $50 an hour which is probably conservative, if it takes you four hours to clean the house, that’s $200. Or you could pay a cleaner to clean it for you for $25 an hour and it would take him 3 hours that’s a saving of $125 per week. Wham.

Ironing is another great thing to outsource. But really who irons anyway?!


We can break activities down in to things that we must do, we want to do, we can delegate to someone else and we can reject. This is a really helpful activity to get you focussed on what is really important today.


Instead of having one massive long “to do” list break it down in to small parts. Write the weekly to do list and then pick out 2-3 tasks that you will do each day. There’s a lot of research to show that picking out even just 1 thing to get done a day is way more effective. A guy named Gary Keller has even written a book on the subject:  “The one Thing” 

OK, that is briefly the key things that I took away from Kate’s presentation. If you are keen to learn more and go deeper on this then I highly recommend checking out Kate’s website and maybe getting her book.

I hope you have found this post helpful and you can try some of these time saving tips to get you back your precious time and stop being “busy”. I’d love to hear if you have any time saving tips or tricks that you use too.

If you live in the Echuca Moama area, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend getting along to Imagine the Possibilities next year. It really is a fantastic event that I know you will love too.

Thanks for reading




How to store your avocados

Ever wondered if you are doing the right thing with your avos when you get them home?

Avocados are funny things when it comes to ripening. You see, avocados don’t ripen until they’re picked! Yep, it is the plucking them off the tree which kicks the ripening process in to gear. So this means ripening is not an exact science. They can take anywhere from 7 to 10 days to ripen and that’s at room temperature. So spare a thought for the poor shop owner next time your buying your avos – it’s REALLY tricky to get them ripe on the shelf for you!

So, say you buy an avo from the supermarket that is still quite firm, (which I highly recommend doing)  you’ll be best to pop it in the fruit bowl so it can continue to ripen naturally. If it’s soft all over and you don’t want to eat it immediately, it’s probably best to pop it in the fridge as that will stop it ripening any further. Remember avocados won’t ripen in the fridge. Only put them in there if they are ripe and you are not ready to eat them. I’m guessing if they’re ripe they won’t last that long!

If you want to try to get it to ripen faster, you can try putting it in a brown paper bag with a banana as the ethylene from the banana acts as a ripening agent and can speed up the process. But, the main thing is really the temperature, keep it warm and it will ripen quicker. But, don’t let it get too hot and humid with no airflow as this can make it go brown and yucky! Tricky right?!


  • The best place for avocados to ripen is in the fruit bowl at room temperature, approx. 20C.
  • If your avo is ripe and you want to stop it ripening further and going brown and yuck- pop it in the fridge.
  • If you want to speed up ripening, keep the avo warm and try putting it in a brown paper bag with a banana.
  • Don’t let your avos get too hot and humid and don’t put them in a place with no airflow.


That’s it! If you keep the avos happy they’ll be good for you, not too hot, not too cold, just right.

Do you have any tricks for storing your avocados? We’d love to hear. Please comment below if do!

Hope this was helpful

Katrina x


Are you flourishing?

You may remember a previous post of mine where I shared my experience of losing my Dad to suicide and my own experience with a bit of depression and anxiety? Well since then I’ve learnt a ton of stuff about how to have good mental health and wellbeing.

I’ve  learnt to meditate and now practice twice every day, I journal, I practice gratitude, I read loads of books, I’ve done courses, I’ve done the Miracle Morning, I do yoga and I exercise regularly and eat loads of avocados (of course, that actually hasn’t changed) and I can honestly say that it really has changed my life.  Well, it hasn’t actually changed my life because my life is really just the same life, but the way I see life is different and that’s the key!  It’s definitely a work in progress and sometimes I I have days were I drop off but I’m always learning and I can honestly say that life is good and I feel great.

All of this has also helped me to get way more focussed on our business and learning new things to do with that rather than being just chaotic and super busy and stuck on a treadmill of craziness. It’s pretty awesome and there is so much stuff I’ve learnt. But –  I remember having no idea where to even start or that there was a whole world out there of helpful mindfulness tools, apps, workshops, books, podcasts, Ted talks etc etc. I didn’t know that there were ways to look after our mind and to exercise it. It’s actually just like physical exercise. There is so much you can do to have a healthy mind. So –  I really want to share what I have learnt with you guys so that you can see what’s out there too!

I must say there really isn’t a one size fits all approach. Some things that have worked for me might work for you and others might not. It’s quite an individual thing, good wellbeing, which makes it tricky, but also fun. I just love trying new things and learning about what’s out there.  So I’ll be adding a wellbeing topic to my blog and it’s going to be all about what I’ve learnt and tips and helpful links or people that have helped me on the path towards flourishing!

Does it all sound a bit weird? I remember I once thought that meditation was just so foreign and not for me as I would never be able to stop my crazy head and all the thoughts, or sit still for 5 minutes! And “gratitude” sounds so, I don’t know, weird or fluffy, but trust me it’s so bloomin’ helpful to practice gratitude. So if you are there going hmm, it all sounds a bit weird to me, I will never be able to meditate, then I hear you. I was there too. But if you’re keen to make some changes, then just start small. Like I said, good mental health is just like good physical health. If you are overweight, crash diets and big ambitions of losing 10kg in a month are unlikely to last and mental health is just the same. There is no quick fix, but it really can be fun and is totally life changing if you’re up for it. And seriously – who doesn’t want to love their life?

So are you flourishing or are you surviving? Martin Seligman explains that the “good life” is pleasant, engaged, meaningful, achieving, and connected. Is that you?

Here’s a couple of things to get you started..

The Power of Vulnerability  – Brene Brown  – Love everything this women puts out there and a good place to start is her amazing TED talk.  I guess it’s what inspires me to share my story and to get stuff out there. By sharing our vulnerabilities and our stories, we help others so much. I know myself I LOVE hearing other people’s stories.If you’ve been wanting to share your story or start a blog or start anything – this will give you a kick start!

Happiness is not enough This is a great little article which is an excerpt from Martin Seligman’s  book Flourish It gives a great insight into why we shouldn’t really be aiming for “Happiness” but rather flourishing.

Raw Beauty – I loved this book. I saw Kemi Speak at “Imagine the Possibilities” in Echuca last year and read the book straight after. It’s not too over the top and is just really good guide to how to nourish yourself form the inside out!

Thanks for reading and please send through any questions you might have about avocados, farming or wellbeing as I’d love to answer them. And just to note, I’ll just be sharing things that have helped me and my experiences. But if you think you might be seriously depressed or suffering from anxiety then it’s definitely best to go and see your GP or you can even call Lifeline or the PANDA hot line. Everything I share here is just my experience and what’s worked for me and I hope you might find something for you.






What’s with the “Bacon”?


So, I thought I’d give you a little bit of background about the Bacon avocados and I’ve made this little video for you so you can see how to tell when a Bacon is ready to eat. The Bacon avos aren’t really found in the supermarkets any more so I thought I’d give you a little bit of extra advice with how to handle them.

The Bacon are a bit of a “sensitive” variety of avocado. They have a thin skin and they don’t go black when they are ripe, so it’s a little bit harder to tell when they are ready. But don’t worry I am here to help!

As you probably now know, avocados don’t ripen until you pick them so there is no exact time frame to when they will be ready, but with practice it get’s easy to pick it.

When you get your Bacon avocados they will be very firm because they are just picked and because they are picked mid Winter, they take a bit longer to ripen than one of the summer varieties. This is basically because temperature is the biggest factor in ripening.

So expect the Bacon to take 2 weeks to ripen from when they arrive with you.

The Bacon need to be really soft all over and not just at the surface level, they need to be soft all the way through. So if one part feels soft but another feels hard, keep waiting! I know this can be excruciating but its well worth it.


  1. Remember avos don’t ripen till they are picked!
  2. The Bacon will take around 2 weeks to ripen
  3. Bacon do not go black when ripe they stay bright green
  4. Don’t cut them too early, be patient! Wait until they are soft all over.

Oh and don’t forget if they all ripen at once just pop them in the fridge! The Bacon won’t last that long once they’re ripe!

Please let us know how you go with the Bacon, what do you think of the flavour and did you find this helpful for knowing when they were ready to eat?

For more articles like this, make sure you’re signed up here and if you missed out on the Bacon, dot worry – the Fuerte are ready so you can head to the shop and place your orders now!

Here’s my little video all about the Bacon – hope you enjoy it!


Thanks so much for watching and I’d love to hear if you have any more questions.

Katrina x


Welcome to Barham Avocados 2017 Season


So excited that the 2017/18 season is almost here! I can’t wait to share lots of new things on the blog here and send you delicious avocados. Here’s a little video I made for you to check out a little bit behind the scenes at the farm. The shop is open for orders of Bacon Avocados and they will leave the farm from the 24th of July. Check out the shop here. 

Hope you like the video x



Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think and if you’ like to receive fortnightly updates from the farm as well as other good stuff about avocados, wellness and things we love don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list here.



Do you have a dream?


Last Thursday night The Riverina Collective came to Barham for a night of inspiration, laughs and good food. Sixty women at The Long Paddock – sooo cool!

Hayley Purbrick founded The Riverina Collective in Deniliquin last year. The aim was to create “A platform to connect women in Deniliquin and surrounds to showcase the beautiful minds which exist in our own backyard and if it suits, from further abroad”. I LOVE everything about what Hayley is doing.

Emily Wood, Meg Durham, Sarah Sammon (Simply Rose Petals) Me, Rachel Roberston

You all know I am so passionate about community and I believe that when women support each other great things can happen. I love that The Riverina Collective is creating a platform for women to do just that – support each other!

The events have a different topic each time and the topic this time was “Dare to Dream”.

Wendy McDonald opened the night, telling us all about her journey from the city to the country after marrying a rice farmer and the amazing adventure she has been on to establish her art studio and become an award-winning artist. Wendy is incredible and her story is so inspiring.

Next was a panel discussion with myself, Rachel Robertson and Emily Wood of RemLifestyle.

We talked about what we’d done, what we’d overcome, the importance of community and the importance of taking care of yourself and getting yourself to thriving so you can achieve your dreams and support those around you.

Meg Durham finished off the night with a fabulous presentation about her journey and her quest to bring wellbeing education in to schools.

A key focus on the night was the need for self-care and to improve our own wellbeing so we can achieve our dreams.

I hope we have many more of these amazing events and I hope that you can start to take some steps on your journey to flourishing.

In terms of what my dream is, well I’ve got a few, but here goes:

I dream that we can develop a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will propel rural Australia forward and ensure a sustainable future for all of us living in the country.

I dream that my kids will grow up surrounded by positivity in a community that celebrates success and encourages them to flourish and I am going to do my best to help make that happen.

What’s your dream? I’d love to hear.


Katrina x


Some helpful links to help you with your dreams x

Marie Forleo – I love this women.

Jack Delosa Unwritten and Unprofessional

Start with Why.


The Ripple Effect


To me, mental health is everything.

If you don’t have a healthy mind it can affect you in so many ways and so many people these days seems to be affected by some form of mental illness. Whether it be anxiety, depression, weight issues, bipolar, manic depressive, alcoholism or drug abuse, and in all sorts of extremes people seem to be affected.

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she put it to me that she thinks that no one escapes it these days; everyone, at some point in their lives, will be touched by mental illness. I think she’s right and it makes me feel really sad and it makes me want to help.

As some of you know, my father died from suicide when I was young. His death has affected me throughout my life in various ways and probably more as an adult and as a mother than it did at the time. Last year I reached a point where I needed to get some professional help. I think Dad’s death effected my resilience and so things that shouldn’t have been a big deal became a big deal for me. I had a really difficult friendship that caused me a lot of anxiety and things had got to the point where I was feeling sad more than I was happy so I started meditating and I saw my GP and got a referral to a therapist. At the time I wondered if I was being paranoid, but to me that’s the point, who cares if I was! I think we all need to be a bit more paranoid and seek help earlier. We go to the doctor for a cold or a sore throat all the time and don’t even think twice about it, so why then is it such a MASSIVE deal to go to the doctor if our heads aren’t feeling right?

Dad and I when I was a wee tacker

I’ve decided to share my story because of a new project called The Ripple Effect. For a long time I have wanted to get involved with advocating for good mental health and for prevention rather than cure and a holistic approach to treatment. A few months ago I found out about The Ripple Effect project and I applied to be on the steering committee. The Ripple Effect has been set up by the National Centre for Farmer Health and funded by Beyond Blue, to investigate whether a digital platform can help reduce the stigma around suicide in men in rural communities, “farmers helping farmers beat suicide.” The Ripple Effect is a platform for people from farming communities to share their experience of suicide. The idea is that by sharing what helped you, you can help others. I am so pleased to be involved with this project and I really hope that it can make a difference. For me it’s about helping make sure that no more Dads die from this terrible illness by helping make sure that that the stigma is reduced so that people seek help earlier. It’s also about the many flow-on effects that a project with this sort of awareness might bring for the wider community.

I have recently started having some great conversations with some beautiful friends about what we can do to build resilience and good mental health in our community. We really want to help as many people as possible to build mental resilience and to have good wellbeing and I want my kids to have healthy minds and good resilience so they can cope with whatever comes their way. I feel so strongly that prevention is so important when it comes to mental health and it’s about building resilience. The thing is it doesn’t matter how great your life looks or how many things you own or how much money you have, mental illness effects everyone. I am living the life I wanted to live,  I have a beautiful family and wonderful friends, but I still became affected. My Dad, was the same – on the outside his life looked fantastic, he was into lots of things, a very social and outgoing person, but he just got sick.  Maybe if we can all gain skills and tools for recognising when our minds are not quite right, we can all get help earlier and recognise when our friends and family aren’t quite right too.

It’s so awesome to see that the Federal Government has acknowledged how importat mental health is recently and the effect it has on productivity. Susan Ley is our local member and the Health Minister and she has said she really wants to help with the work that we are doing. She tweeted to me last week and I got quite emotional. This stuff is really important and it was so great to see that she wants to help.

With Christmas coming up it’s a good time to think about your family and friends and take a bit more notice of what’s going on with you or people around you. If you think there’s something not quite right with you or a friend or family member then do something. Go to the Doctor, have a conversation, just do something. You can’t do any harm by asking someone if they are OK. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares enough to ask if they are OK can help. The important thing is just to do something and not leave it.

It’s been 12 months since I went to the doctor and I now feel as though my mental health is in pretty good shape and my mind is healthy. I am so blessed to have a beautiful family and awesome friends who have helped me a lot and who I am so, so grateful for. I still meditate twice a day and I know this will be something I have to keep working on. Mental health is like physical health, you have to work at it and maintain it and you can improve it!

It’s Dad’s birthday next week, he would have been 61. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him and wonder what things would be like if he was here. Our family and our friends are so important, we are all important, so look out for each other and yourselves and let’s all help each other to have happy health minds so we can all live long and beautiful lives.

Please head over and check out The Ripple Effect website and “do your bit to turn the negative ripple of suicide into a positive ripple of support”.

I’m also looking for people to be community champions for the project so please get in touch if you’d like to help too.

If you’re interested in learning more about meditating and mindfulness, check out Smiling Mind or Headspace and also The Broad Place. 




Positive Learning

Lately I’ve become even more aware of how important it is to surround yourself with positive-ness! It’s amazing how being around positive people and positive energy makes you feel so much better within yourself and how this reflects in your daily life. Going to see inspirational speakers or attending workshops or Q&A sessions in a field you are interested in can be really informative and uplifting and I think it’s a really important part of personal and professional development.

Lisa Messanger

Last month I attended the “Imagine the Possibilities” workshop at the Moama Bowling Club. I was surrounded by a room full of amazing women doing incredible things and all yearning for information and skills to improve their businesses and lives. Lisa Messanger of The Collective was the keynote speaker and Kylie from “Of Kin” also made a keynote presentation. These ladies rocked. Their creativeness, courage and enthusiasm for what they do is just so inspiring. The whole day was all about supporting and nurturing each other and about being positive and having courage to do things and I came away feeling so fresh and inspired.

rabo Talk

Last week I had the pleasure of being guest speaker at the Rabobank International Rural Women’s Day lunch in the Yarra Valley. It was such an honour to be asked to speak at this event and it I felt like it was my opportunity to spread that positivity on to the group of women that I was speaking to. I loved being able to share our story with these women and talk about what we have done to grow and develop our brand and our business and it was so lovely to speak with people afterwards and have lots of lovely feedback on what we were doing and hear stories from other people of all the wonderful thing they were doing with their businesses. I was also lucky enough to attend the Rabobank Leadership Awards dinner in Melbourne last week and once again I was in a room full of people who were looking to the future and who were positive about the field of agriculture and the future of the industry and it was really encouraging and comforting.

These sorts of networking events are so important for making you feel refreshed and giving you new insights into things. It’s good to be surrounded by inspiring people with positive energy and I really encourage you if you get the opportunity to get along to these kinds of events. Sharing knowledge and positivity is really important not only for you as an individual but also for your business development and you can come away with new and innovative ideas to explore.



Innovative Farming


Did you know that only 10% of Australians live in rural areas? So it’s probably fair to assume that many people have no idea what it’s like to live in the country or to be a farmer. So I thought I’d tell you what it’s like for me!

I love farming and I feel grateful every day that we made the decision to return to the land and for the opportunity we were given to take over my family farm. I love living in a small rural town and I love the community that we belong to. These days it’s really hard to get into farming – unless you are from one or have a small fortune, buying a farm is not an option for many, so it is a career that I see as a privilege and one I never take for granted. It is one of the most rewarding things you can do and it doesn’t feel like work to us. Everyday is enjoyable and challenging.


Farming is like any other business; you have to be innovative or you won’t survive. I often hear people talk of farming and how hard it is and how it’s getting so tough, but I think that’s the same as any business these days. Sure, we have the factors of the weather being unpredictable and water unreliability is a big issue in our area, but other businesses have other problems. Think newspapers and the introduction of online media; dvds and iTunes or Apple TV; taxis and Uber; Wotif and Airbnb. There are so many new and innovative technologies out there now that it doesn’t matter what you do, you have to be ahead of the game to stay in business.

That’s the philosophy that we have had since taking over the farm in 2011. We wanted to do things differently. We wanted to develop a brand around our avocados and connect with our community and our customers.

I think there are loads of opportunities for this in agriculture. There are opportunities everywhere to differentiate your product and value-add. Sure it’s more work and time but it’s worth it. You can have the best product in the world – the best wheat, the best avocados, the best carrots – but if people don’t know about it then it doesn’t matter. The market is so competitive now that we have to find ways to differentiate ourselves. What we have found is that people want to connect and they want to know about the food they are buying and they love feeling part of our journey and our community and we love that too. It is so rewarding to be able to connect with our customers and get direct feedback. By establishing a brand and building our community we are establishing loyal followers who will choose to buy our products over others even if they are more expensive. It’s not just because it’s the best product around – which, of course, it is – it’s because our customers know who grows it, picks it and sends it to their door.

We love farming. Sure it’s busy, but it’s so enjoyable and every day is part of a really fulfilling journey for us. We chose to be farmers and we are grateful every day for that choice. I’m sure there will be tough times in the future – we haven’t been through a drought since we’ve been on the farm – but I hope that when that happens we’ll find new ways to get through it and new ways to manage those conditions.


If you’re from a farm and have never considered it as an option for you I urge you to think again. If you’re not from a farm and you’d love to be a farmer then think outside the square: do your research find out where there’s a gap in the market and look at what other small producers have done to get themselves going and you never know what you might find…anything is possible.