Arson attack inspires Mick Dan, Australia’s new Organic Farmer of the Year

Arson assault conjures up Mick Dan, Australia’s new Organic Farmer of the 12 months
An arson assault proved to be the hearth that solid Australian Natural Restricted’s (AOL) new Natural Farmer of the 12 months.
Farming is in Mick Dan’s blood. His grandparents had been pineapple farmers within the Sunshine Coast’s picturesque Mary Valley however, till catastrophe struck, he had vowed by no means to comply with of their footsteps.
The turning level got here in 2016 when a suspicious blaze began in a cardboard bin and destroyed Mr Dan’s and his fiancee Kelly Burton’s Marcoola produce retailer.
“It was a extremely pivotal second for us each personally and professionally,” Ms Burton mentioned.
“We took a little bit of day off, we went right down to Tasmania and we visited some natural farms down there.”
Gaining contemporary inspiration to attach folks with good meals, Mr Dan, who was additionally lecturing in physics on the College of the Sunshine Coast, solid his personal path with out chemical substances or pesticides.
The couple based Good Harvest Natural Farm — rising and promoting contemporary, licensed natural produce at farmers’ markets in addition to residence delivering packing containers of seasonal fruit and greens.
From small beginnings, they now function three natural farms of their very own and, with help from a like-minded staff of 20, work with different natural growers to feed about 1,300 households each week.
“We have an incredible crew of people who find themselves actually aligned to know the worth of what we’re doing and the way these little issues that all of us do every day contribute to feeding our neighborhood,” Ms Burton mentioned.
Their efforts have now been recognised on the nationwide stage.
“We’re nonetheless pinching ourselves,” Mr Dan mentioned.
“There are 2,000 natural producers in Australia and to be on the high of that listing is fairly wonderful.”
Ms Burton was thrilled to be a finalist.
“There have been, I believe, 5 of us within the class for Australian girls in natural, so many wonderful girls,” she smiled.
“It is simply extraordinary to have the ability to be recognised in an trade that’s fairly male-dominated and to see so many different girls trailblazing within the trade as effectively.”
AOL chief govt Niki Ford mentioned 11 winners had been recognised on the seventh annual trade awards, celebrating excellence and dedication to rising the nation’s $2 billion-plus natural trade.
For Mr Dan and Ms Burton, connecting with prospects and educating them about natural meals had constructed a neighborhood and proved to be their key to success.
“Meals does not must be excellent, particularly natural meals. It is about the best way it tastes,” Mr Dan mentioned.
“The rationale why farmers are utilizing lots of pesticides and chemical substances is as a result of they’re attempting to farm outdoors the seasons. If we will follow the seasonality of meals, I believe we’ll see rather a lot much less chemical use.”
Good Harvest Natural Farm has additionally simply gained the big meals agribusiness class on the Sunshine Coast Enterprise Awards.
The natural enterprise has grown by means of the pandemic and this yr Mr Dan was in a position to surrender his job as a lecturer.
“It is actually come to fruition and it is a dream come true for us to have the ability to do what we love and feed our neighborhood,” he mentioned.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples because the First Australians and Conventional Custodians of the lands the place we reside, study, and work.
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