Chicks in the Sticks event drew women to Marnoo

Farming women were invited to frock up, pull on their gumboots and join other farming women on a guided tour of Burrum Biodynamics at Marnoo as part of the successful Chicks in the Sticks event.

Tania Walter discusses products available at Burrum Biodynamics.

Tania Walter discusses products available at Burrum Biodynamics.

Burrum Biodynamics is a local farming enterprise using sustainable farming practices.

Women from the Stawell area and as far as Naracoorte, Warracknabeal, Faraday and Melbourne rose early to complete family and farm tasks before joining some 56 others at the Marnoo farm of Steve and Tania Walter.

Steve led a farm walk showcasing his biodynamic farming system which produces organic lentils, peas, barley, spelt, oats and prime lambs.

He showed sustainable farming practises in action, his biodynamic stirring machine and the prepared 500 he uses.

Steve explained how this approach to farming improved the water holding capacity and health of the soil and answered questions about managing weeds, his buloke regeneration fencings and saltbush plantings.

The tour then moved on to the 'shed' where Steve and Tania and their team process and package their premium organic products for direct marketing.

Tania shared her experience of selling the beautifully presented products at weekly farmers markets, including the financial and administrative commitments of regulations and licencing.

Products were purchased on the day and are also available on the Burrum Biodynamic website. Tania's commitment and passion to this sustainable approach was evident when she shared the news that for a second time, their produce is a finalist in Delicious Produce Awards.

Participants then moved on to the Marnoo Hall and delighted in a high tea style luncheon provided by the Marnoo CWA while enjoying a presentation by guest speaker, Jo Clifford, runner-up of the 2013 RIRDC Rural Women's Award.

Jo shared her experience of the highs and lows of as a first generation farmer.

The recognition and acknowledgement of the RIRDC Rural Women's Award has enabled her to spend time with inspiring and passionate rural women and to commit more resources to realising her vision for Australian agriculture - a culture of celebrating and sharing the gifts of the earth - food, land and prosperity.

This is achieved through the creation of open-gate farming communities working, learning growing, eating and celebrating food together. Jo also talked about the role women play in agriculture as leaders and drivers of social change.

Ladies travelled home viewing Project Platypus revegetation sites, inspired and motivated, and looking forward to the opportunity to learn more when the Chicks hit the Sticks in 2015.


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