Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

At the End of the Day, Life's Very Good Down on the Farm

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

At the End of the Day, Life's Very Good Down on the Farm

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Paterson and Marc Stapelberg Alison.Paterson@northernstar.com.au

IT'S 7am and Johnson 'Johno' Hunter on his first round of the day, walks across the dewy grass to check the cattle enclosure at The Farm.

Satisfied with the condition of the herd which comprises a mix of Scottish highlanders, murray greys, black angus and herefords, he gives rescue-calf Braveheart a good scratch behind the ears.

Then, bending down to take a photo which he'll add to the Farm's popular Instagram site, he waves a hand as though to embrace the surrounding paddocks.

"Where else would you rather be?" he said with a grin.

Where else indeed.

As the general manager of The Farm, Mr Hunter oversees an inspiring 32.3Ha agricultural operation at Ewingsdale.

His hands-on role involves visiting all the areas inside and out and speaking to the key players involved in the business which has become a tour-de-force in the region.

Familiar to anyone who has driven past their lush paddocks on their way to or from Byron Bay, this go-to venue for great food, meals, flowers and produce, is principally a working farm which employs up to 120 people at peak times.

"Our motto is grow, feed and educate," he said.

"At the Farm we house a collection of micro- businesses, all sharing in a common goal in a supportive environment to contribute to a healthier lifestyle."

After his first walk, sometime between 8am and 9.30am, Mr Hunter and his team come together inside the 100-year-old homestead, now the operational hub for a meeting he calls "the huddle".

"The daily huddle is where we discuss what's going with the whole set-up which comprises the Three Blue Ducks Restaurant and Produce Store, The Bread Social and Flowers at the Farm," he said.

"I love working here, discussing all the ideas which come to fruition."

After working through a range of issues, Mr Hunter then conducts his first tour of the day.

The mix of families, tourists, curious locals and keen gardeners, are enchanted as he leads them across the property, explaining their philosophy of sustainable growth.

"We have 80 acres (32. …

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