Who We Are
We are the Showers family. A family of five who have taken the long road to creating an intentionally slow orcharding and nursery business which is entrenched in its community, regenerative in its practices, diverse in its fruit varieties and committed to bringing celebration and awe back to food literacy which we believe is the first step in building a localised fair food system.
What We Do
Getting to know our visitors is really important to us so we’ve created a space that openly invites you to visit the farm and see how it’s done.
Fruit is seasonally available through our farm gate store and pick your own. We predominantly grow apples, pears, raspberries, blackberries, blueberies, currents, quince and cider apples.
We also operate a fruit tree and perennial plant nursery which in addition to being available at the farmgate during harvest season (December - May) is also offered as bare rooted pre ordered sales online from 1 April annually.
We run regular feasts, gatherings, workshops, schools programs and farm tours to put us all a little more in touch with the food we eat and the skills needed to grow it.
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 woodsy mulch supply. 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.
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.
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 knowledge.
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 and farms, in particular the USA’s Michael and Nancy Phillips at Lost Nation Orchard, Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm, Canada’s Stefan Sobkowiak at Miracle Farm, Marg & Jason Alexandra at Hazeldean Forest 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 – Murmungee Produce – Beechworth Natural Farm – ACRE – Pennyweight Wines – Open Food Foundation – Cultivate Farms – Hicks High Country Beef – Eat Local Eat Wild – – Green Gate Farm – Snowline Fruits – ORI Coop.