Our farm philosophy and practices are directly linked to our personal beliefs. We are artisan producers not a commodity producer. Our pork and pork products are a reflection of the region and environment they come from. A key aim for our farm and business is not to produce the most pork for the cheapest price. Instead we produce what the land can comfortably create and sustain without mining the soil.
We subscribe to the assumption that not all food is the same. Consequently, price and quantity are not the only factors one should consider when choosing what to put on the table. Factors such as quality, nutritive value, local provenance, flavour and the integrity of the farming practices used to produce the goods should be given consideration.
As a result the price of our pastured pork is a reflection of the total imbedded cost of the end product. At Amber Creek Farm we practice ethical and regenerative farming. As a result our animals are free to roam and are able to express their inherent “pigness”. We are not leaving a legacy of denuded land and environmental problems for future generations to repair. On the contrary, we are sequestering carbon, reducing waste, improving soil biology, planting trees, protecting and increasing habitat for wildlife and reducing nutrient run off into waterways.
FARM ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORTS
Being an environmentally positive entity is our highest priority. Therefore running our business and farm using environmental farming principles that increases habitat, sequesters carbon, enhances waterways and water quality, is paramount. Consequently, if we are unable to achieve these objectives then we don’t see it as a successful operation.
In order to meet our environmental farming objectives some of the things we have done are: fencing off bush, creeks and gullies and embarked on a program of planting out areas that do not already contain natural bush. So far over the last seven years we have fenced off about 65 acres of our farm. Of which 40 acres is remnant messmate, blackwood and peppermint bush, the other 25 acres is creeks and gullies which previously only contained sparse vegetation. On these areas we have planted approximately 18 000 trees and plants which we continue to add to each year.
Amber Creek Farm’s soil fertility program is based on organic principles; we do not use chemical fertilizers. Instead we have been working on getting soil pH balance near to neutral. We have achieved this over the last six years. Now we are creating compost from locally sourced materials such as pig and cow manure, wood chips and hay that is our primary source of fertilizer.
Our environmental farming principle is that nothing is waste. We are selective about the materials we bring in to the farm to ensure that we can either reuse, recycle, re-purpose, or compost. On the farm all compost, firewood, animal bedding, shelters, garden paths and pig ‘home-pads’ are produced from sawmill waste.
This is an evolving journey which we actively work on every day and continue to learn and trial new practices and theories.