Philosophy of the Farm
In 2011, Australia imported 51% of its fruit, vegetables and nuts and while 90% of Australian food is produced using industrialised farming methods that damage both the environment and our health. This is something Millen Farm wishes to change. Furthermore, consider that in 2012, up to 28% of Australia’s carbon footprint was made up from the chemicals, storage and transport systems used by these industrialised farms…that is (per capita) more than 6 times the world’s average emissions.
This is unacceptable and unsustainable in our eyes and we want to help create positive change and education in the agricultural industry. We propose to help combat this gross and expensive imbalance by growing produce locally (reducing transport), seasonally (reducing long-term storage) and organically (reducing chemicals). Through these methods, we are also creating efficiencies in overheads and aim to sell our produce forthe fairest possible price. . Another of our points of difference is that we are a not-for-profit organisation so all profits made from our harvest are put back in to help grow the system further, providing more harvests year upon year.
In order to achieve these aims we have chosen to revive age-old, time-tested methods that have been used for millennia:small plots, managed by one farmer (with additional hired labour at key seasonal times), using poly-cropping and crop rotation techniques to keep the soil rich and healthy.
Through consultation, research and discussion our farming principles were created. Here is a high-level summary of our principles:
- Millen Farm will ensure and promote diversity by re-vegetating land to create habitats for beneficial fauna. Our produce will be organic, seasonal and locally grown using a polyculture system.
- Millen Farm will use sustainable practices, materials and resources to ensure conservation of our soil, water, energy and finance.
- Millen Farm will be transparent, accessible, affordable, financially sustainable and inclusive of our community and others. Our education will become a benchmark and be far reaching while our farming model is duplicable and we will be documenting our journey to provide a framework for other communities.
Download our complete Farming Principles to learn more.
Our principles support our beliefs:; that instead of selling to the world, sell to your local area and have your buyers come to you; that if you keep your soil healthy, you won’t need expensive and damaging fertilisers; establish small plots and diversify your crops for both health and security. By operating this way we will not satisfy consumer demand for year-round apples, or exotic foreign imports, but this is part of our mission…to educate the public to eat in season and use what is local.
Finally, it is Millen Farm’s intent to be duplicable. All we do is documented so, should our experiment here be proven a good model, then it will be easily replicated in similar communities throughout Australia, creating a possibility for national, indeed international change and from small seeds planted in a peri-urban area outside of Brisbane, huge changes can grow.