BLACK BARN Farm
who we are
We are the Showers family. Join us on our journey as we create a community based, regenerative and diverse orchard, nursery and learning space.
what we do
We are in the throes of establishing a biodiverse orchard, nursery and learning space. Fruit is seasonally available through farmers markets and pick your own at our Europa Gully site and is due to commence at our Nine Mile site in 2020. We grow apples, pears and berries with some nuts, stone fruit, quince, olives, pomegranates, figs and perennial herbs and vegetables.
We also operate a fruit tree and perennial plant nursery and run regular feasts, gatherings, workshops and other events, often in partnership with other fair food funksters.
how we do it
Black Barn Farm is a permaculture based horticultural operation. Permaculture is a design system and philosophy that emulates the patterns in nature to holistically and sustainably integrate the physical and social needs of people and the ecosystem.
We seek to maintain a healthy orchard system through maximum diversity of fruiting species and varieties, rootstocks, understory species, soil biology, inter row cover cropping and coppice woodsy mulch supply and all done with no synthetic inputs. We believe healthy nutrient dense food comes from maximum tree nutrition which comes from super healthy soils and that takes time, biomass, biodiversity and carefully managed disturbance.
where we are
We live in Pallanganmiddang country within the greater Waywurru district and we respectfully acknowledge these traditional owners of the land where we live, their customs and their culture. This is not a statement made to appease political correctness, it is genuine recognition of a rich culture that propagated and maintained a complex food production system on this brittle continent for thousands of generations, a way of landscape scale farming that we are yet to fully comprehend however one we must begin to explore if we plan to exist here into the long future.
We are based in Stanley, North East Victoria, Australia. Our orchard is just short of 750 meters above sea level, so damn cool by Australian standards with wet cold winters and occasional snow however still hotish and mostly dry during summer. All up a perfect climate for fruit growing, minus the odd hail storm!
Stanley is an 1850’s colonial gold rush town, once the gold was won the locals then turned to horticulture. Apples, pears, cherries, chestnuts, walnuts and berries all have a long history in Stanley, at it’s peak there were over 30 families earning a living as orchardists, sadly there are now just a handful of fruit orchards left due to the commodification and centralisation of our food system. We stand on the shoulders of many great family owned Stanley orchards and we thank the Hilton, Chambeyron, Collins, and Sinclair families in particular for generously sharing their multi-generational orcharding knowledge with us.
why we do it
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” – Simon Sinek
We are motivated to live a simple, rewarding, community entrenched and seasonally based life where we earn a living from a sustainable and regenerative source. We aim to build food security for us and our community while facing an uncertain future. The only reliable way to fulfill these goals,for ourselves and the greater world, is to scale-up and scale-out permaculture. Farm scale permaculture is the process of rolling out scalable systems that feed lots of people and rebuild ecosystems.
Inspiration & Friends
Our orchard philosophy and design is most inspired from those we have met in person and then spent time talking to and learning from in their actual orchards, in particular the USA’s Michael Phillips at Lost Nation Orchard , Canada’s Stefan Sobkowiak at Miracle Farm and our very own local Mentor Dave Arnold at Murrnong Farm.
We are part of the local food revolution and building a sustainable local food system is a community effort so we are super proud, fortunate and happy to be involved with all of these good folk in our very immediate surround that is the foodshed of North East Victoria;
Murrnong Farm – RAD Growers – Beechworth Food Co-op – Fair Food North East – Hillsborough Quality Nuts – Tarrawalla Farm – ACRE – Hub 62 – Pennyweight Wines – Open Food Foundation – Cultivate Farms – Hicks High Country Beef – Eat Local Eat Wild – St Monday Cafe – Wandiful Produce – Green Gate Farm – Snowline Fruits – Tolpuddle Cheese – King Valley Dairy – Wholehearted Inc – Gardenstate.