I have lived my life as I wished and now it is time to give back some of my success.
I was born and bred on the land near Tamworth NSW, went to the local university at Armidale in NSW and studied Rural Science. This was a bit of a disappointment as it mainly covered the chemical model of agriculture – chemical fertiliser along with how to poison a heap of pests. The old story – “If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!
No part of the course covered HOW to run a successful business. I believe that this is a critical part of life on the land.
At that time (1973) there was no thought given to the environment. Agriculture was a mining operation. I left university and took on a successful career in computers which I really enjoyed.
As time went on, I retired and decided to scratch the itch caused by my upbringing and early studies. I wanted to prove that it could be done the right way without damaging the land. So, I bought a small block of land on the Mersey River in Northern Tasmania – 26 acres of peace and beauty.
I have seen a lot of struggle and hardship experienced by people on the land – both old rural families and those seeking a tree change.
My goal now is to prove that I can run a business on the land that meets the 3 criteria of Environmental, Economic and Social responsibility. My success MUST be proven as I will not fall victim to the old saying that “Those that can – do, Those that cannot – teach”. Once proven, I will commence teaching how I achieved my success. I do not expect much interest from the old rural families, but those starting rural business as part of a tree change will recognise the need to learn the patterns of success.
Such an enterprise must be:
My design rules are:
- Any need of an element that your system cannot provide results in work
- Any yield of an element that cannot be used by your system results in pollution
- Work and pollution create drudgery which is the punishment for poor design
This seems like a good common sense recipe to a happier life, so I work with it.
I decided to start with a microgreens business dependent upon the restaurant trade – just before the beginning of lockdown. Timing was perfect. It did give me 6 months to sort out a lot of production and setup issues caused by serious lead times on grow lights etc from Chinese manufacturers.
My goal with the business is to prove that it can be done viably so that I can teach the tree change mob how to be successful and not just homestead in poverty – the established rural families have their own way of doing things.
It seems that one rule of survival is to ensure a diversity of products. If one product group is down the others are performing half way or topping. This being the case I look at:
- Market Gardening
I start with Microgreens, then add the other businesses as soon as success strikes for each. I can then follow up with education for those enterprises that are working well.
The Microgreen Business has required a lot of study and much lateral thinking along with the help of a skilled and dedicated team.
I am producing a quality product that has both a good flavour and a reasonable shelf life – a pretty good start.