WELCOME TO LONE GOOSE FARM,
we’re Bec and Paul…
For years we dreamed of leaving corporate life in Melbourne to move to our own patch of land where we could grow our own food, have lots of animals, and have a greater sense of community. After searching in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania we finally found the perfect spot for us – 50 acres of pasture and a 120 year old weatherboard farmhouse, needing a little love, in Birralee, Tasmania.
The initial plan was to have chickens for eggs, goats (because baby goats – enough said) and a truffle acreage. We’ve since pivoted and the first thing we’re farming is pasture raised Muscovy ducks and duck eggs.
Neither of us had prior farming experience, so we’ve been on a vertical learning curve for the last year. Our google search history would be a fun read – how to milk a cow, what is a stanchion, how to build a stanchion, how to treat mastitis in milking cows, what is a pademelon, how to prune raspberries, how to preserve 100kg of tomatoes… We got lucky and really hit the jackpot on the neighbours front. They are very accepting of us ‘mainland city folk’, and are always available to help us be that with fences, moving hay, finding us some cows to agist, lending us a bull, or a cup of tea and piece of cake.
We have a Jersey house cow named Raffia who currently gives us 8 litres of milk a day. To avoid drowning in milk, we’ve quickly learnt how to make our own butter, separate cream, make yoghurt, cheese and the list goes on. She’s currently hanging out with our 4 Jersey bobby calves (Wilfred, Cuddles, Paddy and Mr. Bumble) who are being raised to eventually be meat for the farm. We aim to use our animals to help us improve our soil’s fertility and water resilience. We rotationally graze our cows, following the ducks behind them, ensuring there is plenty of time for our pasture to recover before they are on it again.
The unproductive members of our menagerie are Bear, our cat we rescued from a main road in Melbourne when he was 5 weeks old (and if we’re completely honest Bec’s main man). Then the beagles, Billie and Murphy, the most useless farm dogs in existence but both expert snugglers and food thieves.
The story behind the name? When we first arrived on the farm on that cold and misty April morning, the first animal we saw was a goose floating around on our dam. She promptly flew off and we thought that was the last we’d see of her but later on that day she was back, floating around again. We affectionately named her Gayle. When Spring came around and the wild ducks on the dam had ducklings, she shepherded the parents and ducklings around for weeks, honking angrily at us or anything else that dared to invade their space.
Geese are not known for being on their own, we’ve had pairs of black swans, dozens of wild ducks but Gayle has always been a Lone Goose. Since we brought our Muscovy ducks to the farm, Gayle has acted as their protector. Our ducks are inside electric net pens that we move every few days and Gayle wanders around the perimeter, keeping a close eye on all the ducky goings on inside, honking loudly when the ducks get too amorous. So far we’ve not lost a duck to predators and we put that down primarily to Gayle, our Lone Goose.
We’re also using a lot of the skills that we developed over years in our previous corporate lives, Paul’s engineering experience comes in very handy and Bec’s experience teaching people how to run their businesses in a more agile and human focussed way, is something that’s completely relevant in a modern farming environment.
A love of food, a desire to treat animals humanely, and a need to help the environment demands better farming practices.
We are ethical omnivores.
We strive to do what’s in the best interests of our animals,
our environment and our customers.
Be kind – to people, animals, the land and yourself.
Practice end to end sustainability.
For our wellbeing, for your wellbeing, for the planet.
Full of great food, laughs, friends, wine, animals… whatever makes you happy.