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Local, Organic Farmer Spotlight - Tobias O'Grady

Local, Organic Farmer Spotlight - Tobias O'Grady

Can you introduce yourself to our Santos Organics community?

My name is Tobias O'Grady and I am farming at Johny’s Garden, Duranbah NSW (certified organic). You can follow my farming journey on Instagram @ag_venture.

How long have you been farming for/ how did you end up working at Johnny's Garden and what do you love about being an organic farmer?

I always had an interest in working with the natural environment, but farming wasn’t an obvious path until I volunteered on a farm while traveling in 2014. Here I began my farming journey and since then I have worked on farms for 6 years. I was impressed by the solutions Regenerative Agriculture has to offer, with its innovative nature working with life processes, not against them. I’ve wanted to implement my own production system for a couple of years and now I feel I have the right experience and resources to give it a crack.

I put out a call to the internet, looking for land to lease for this ‘Ag-Venture”, I had a lot of interest and land opportunities and Johny’s Garden at Duranbah, NSW was the pick of the lot. I'm very fortunate to have landowners who have organic farming experience and understand the industry and are open to sharing their expertise. Johny has also handed over the role of keeping the 'Rays Famous' Pumpkin variety going, which will be back in stores in December this year. Read more about this HERE.

What other alternative styles of farming do you use e.g syntropic, regenerative?

The farming actions we use are aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of life, both on the farm, and the community. To provide more local and organic produce to our area. 

The Farm is currently using two methodologies, 

  1. Intensive market garden with compost and cover cropping.

  2. Vegetable pasture cropping (Aka Syntropy: placenta 1) 

This method is aiming to rely less on external inputs and instead generate fertility via maximising photosynthesis and working with species succession.

What are you currently growing and supplying to Santos Organics? Do you have a current favourite or star crop?

We began our first harvest 1 month ago and will take some time to smooth out the processes, however, we are currently growing and supplying Santos Organics Mullumbimby store weekly (and the two Byron Bay stores in the future also):

(All certified organic) - Limes, Lettuce, Parsley, Coriander, Pakchoi, Dill, Rosemary, Silverbeet, Radish, Turnip, with more to come. At the moment my favourite crop to grow, pick and eat is Pak Choi, I am a sucker for stir-fry! 

I am looking forward to the Zucchinis coming on within the next month too!

Do you have a Top Health/ Wellness tip you would like to Share?

You are what you eat! 

Healthy soil, grows healthy plants, grows healthy animals and humans. Find and support growers who are focused on increasing the quality of our shared ecology.

Tobias O'Grady local farmer

Thank you so much to Tobias for your time and for nourishing our Santos Organics community with your beautiful healing local and organic produce! Follow @ag_venture on Instagram for more.