A new way of farming

Photos – Chloe Smith Photography

Farming is a tough business and many farmers are diversifying and moving away from the traditional sheep, cattle and crops, sometimes moving to unexpected areas.

Two such farmers are Danielle White and husband Ashley who bought their 30-acre property, Crofters Fold, in 2012. At the time, the property had a small vineyard of pinot noir grapes and Danielle and Ashley had previously grown small commercial crops of garlic. However, rather than returning to garlic, they decided on more permanent plantings and chose roses, which made sense considering the high demand for quality blooms from the wedding industry. They now have 700 rose bushes to care for along with their growing vineyard, and the recent addition of a small flock of sheep.

Danielle comes from a farming family. She grew up on a 3000-acre sheep farm, but with six children in the family there wasn’t much to share around, so Danielle and Ash decided to go it alone. The pair say “it just feels right, it’s a good lifestyle, we love living in the country and it keeps us active and fit”. Both Danielle and Ash are very conscious of the footprint we place on the earth. Over the coming years they plan to develop part of their land as a natural wildlife corridor, and hope to run workshops encouraging others to look at small-scale farming for food production and other crops.

Danielle will be travelling overseas in winter 2019 as part of a Fellowship through the International Specialised Skills Institute to look at upskilling in Agribusiness including bee-friendly flower farming on a small scale. Danielle will visit farms that work successfully and learn how their methods can be applied to our region and agri-tourism opportunities. In the meantime, Danielle and Ash will continue to grow their roses, tend their sheep and make their wine, which is made to organic standards with no chemical input.

Their small-batch artisanal sparkling wine and other produce can be purchased online at http://croftersfold.com.au.

Mica Grange