Now the property is humming with bees and insects, birds are abundant and fruit is available all year round. This is a stark contrast to the ‘green desert’ of the original property, which was entirely pasture for dairy cows except for a few dozen cypress trees.
After two decades these planting have created an arboretum of farm forestry with mature stands of deciduous and Australian hardwoods including Spotted Gum, European and American Oaks, Chestnuts and Walnuts. The extensive web of vegetation provide shelter for orchards and paddocks and are the habitat of a great many native animals. The cows and chickens which roam under the trees also enjoy the range of species providing them a mixed diet for improved health.
Diversity & Abundance
A four acre dam with islands is a crucial design feature for irrigation and habitat for birds, fish and frogs. Numerous species of insectivorous bats & birds breed and feed throughout the property, attracted to the successful revegetation & wildlife corridors. They also work as biological controllers in the orchards.
The orchards, planted between 1988 and 1992, have been certified NASAA organic for over 20 years. Now fully matured, there are variety collections of chestnuts, walnuts, persimmons, peaches, nashis & plums. There are also 30 varieties of apples, including heritage and cider varieties.
The pastures are farmed by our neighbours, Elderslie Organics, whose cows and chooks benefit from the biological infrastucture developed over the years. The trees especially provide the animals with a happy and healthy lifestyle. The cows enjoy the shelter and the tasty, nutritious leaves, while the chooks love to forage under the trees where food is abundant and they feel safe from predators.