What we believe in, stand for and do.
When you eat, no matter what it is, you are committing an agricultural and an ecological act. Your food choices determine the environmental fate of this planet! There is no bigger impact you can make than to choose your food with this in mind.Accessibility, Openness and Transparency:
You are welcome to visit our farm.* We are only a short drive from the majority of our clients in Canberra. There are no locked doors, or areas that are "out of bounds" on our farm. Cameras are welcome, and we will answer all questions to the best of our ability. We have no secrets, and are happy to share our knowledge and experiences.
Respecting the Unique:
Plants and animals on our farm are free to exhibit the fundamental biological expressions of what they are. We provide conditions and habitats that enable the cow to be just that, a cow. A chicken's natural behaviour, enabled by it's physiological uniqueness, is encouraged. Allowing the pig to use it's nose as plough, is as it should be.
Respecting and encouraging biological and physiological distinctiveness is the foundation of a healthy and civil society. Maintaining a genetically diverse population of a species helps to ensure its survival; this is one reason why we farm rare and endangered breeds.
Following Nature's Patterns:
Using natural patterns as a guide on a small farm scale insures moral and ethical boundaries are kept. Caged or intensive confinement systems are an anathema to a natural system. Cows are herbivores, not omnivores; that is why we would never fed them 'meat meal' protein supplement, as was encouraged by the various state government agriculture departments a few short years ago, and now the alleged cause of mad cow disease. 'Bird flu' would not be a health issue of possibly pandemic proportions if it hadn't been fostered and mutated in intensive caged poultry facilities.
It's all about Balance:
Sustainability can only happen on our farm if the environmental, social and economic consequences of our decisions are taken into account. These three seemingly distinct areas are inexorably linked and inseparable. Emphasise one area and the whole system becomes unbalanced. If one area is ignored indefinitely, the system will eventually collapse. Maintaining balance is what we mean when we say we manage the farm 'holistically'.
All our livestock and animals are on pasture 365 days of the year once they have past infancy. The animals are moved frequently to new paddocks with fresh feed, water and appropriate shelter. This has many environmental and animal health benefits.
Farming Dung Beetles and Worms:
More than being grass farmers, we're actually in the dung beetle farming business. Stimulating and sustaining soil biota is really our main task. Healthy soils grow healthy grass, healthy grass grows healthy animals, and healthy food and people are the result.
Local and Bioregional "food miles":
We do not freight or ship food interstate or internationally. We believe we should all seek food closer to home, enjoying seasonality and reacquaint ourselves with our kitchens. "Food miles" are symbolic and a major contributor to the world's environmental problems.
Animal Ethics, Welfare and Health:
We are "ethical meat producers" as outlined by Peter Singer and Jim Mason in their book "the ethics of what we eat". We meet all ethical and humane production criteria bar one, which is illegal for us to comply with in Australia. We are also "conscientious omnivores" a term used by Michael Pollan in his excellent book of the same name.
Our animals' health and welfare are of the highest priority. Animal welfare is well catered for by our management systems and loving care. Fortunately only a very few animals get sick, but if they do, we will treat the individual with antibiotics as a last resort. Alternative management and treatments are administered for preference.
Organic and Biodynamic?
No we are not 'certified organic', we are 'certified by the community we serve', and we do use organic principles and biodynamic preparations on our farm. It has become illegal in Australia to use the words organic and biodynamic on foods unless the producer and the entire food chain is certified. I have a separate page devoted to organics and certification here and another page explaining what biodynamics is partly about here.
Three common sense conditions of any visit to Mountain Creek Farm:
1. Please ring first to make sure we are home. We have teenagers who do copious amounts of activities in town - music, sport and so on. This means you may have to fit in with our family 'schedule'.
2. Children are most welcome and must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. We are a working farm with machinery, dams, large animals, electric fences and other potential hazards.
3. Please don't bring your pets. As much as we love animals, your pet will not be allowed out of the car if it 'comes for the ride'.
Please note that our thoughts on farming are very similar to those of Joel Salatin and Polyface farm and we have used his 'principles' page from his website as a guide in the creation of our own. We have blatantly copied sections when our views on a subject are the same, if Joel ever objects I'll remove those sections and reword them.
© 2007-2012 by Michael Croft and Mountain Creek Farm, All rights reserved.