Local Farmer Profile - Dave Forrest & Family
Can you introduce yourself to our Santos Organics Community?
After attaining a Degree in Applied Science in Agriculture (with an Organic farmer perspective) I have been commercially farming with positive environmental outcomes at our Federal property since 1978. I also have engaged with farmers by teaching Agriculture full-time with TAFE for 36 years, developing the Organic and Biological Farming courses. I am a foundation and committee member of TROPO (1989) and Soilcare (2003), many Ag liaison committees and projects, and support other farmers through commercial consultancy.
I am a part of our family team which operates over our four Certified Organic properties and I appreciate the commitment and dedication of them to the outcomes we achieve together.
What are you currently growing on your farm that is stocked by Santos Organics?
We grow a wide range of perennial and seasonal crops for the local people, and appreciate partnering with Santos to sell ginger, turmeric, kombucha and now Fire Cider. We are looking forward to increasing the diversity of supply to develop this virtuous value chain for customers to access.
Do you have a star crop?
The crop that is in season is the current star. When you have so many "babies" it's unfair to choose a favourite!
Apart from being certified organic, what other alternative methods of farming do you use?
All our activities and actions fit Organic certification including enhancing biodiversity, agroforestry, mixed farming, alternative power generation, direct marketing, growing building materials and social connections, including sharing information and experience through the Tweed Richmond Organic Producers Organisation (TROPO).
What do you love about farming?
It's a constantly challenging life and any rewards are hard earned and savoured. Certified Organic farming is a righteous contribution to our community and environment. Food is the foundation of our culture, although this is often not recognised and supported.
Can you share one of your favourite ways to use something you grow for good health or healthy living?
A defining criteria of anything we produce is "how does this enhance the health of our customers". We make a traditional turmeric based tonic, Jamu, which contributes to keeping me pain free and functional.