We are using bush regenerative agriculture to return the old mango orchard on our block into a bush orchard. The block was covered in Gamba grass- an introduced weed to feed cattle that smothers natives if not controlled. When we bought the block 3 years ago, the Gamba grass was growing to 6 feet high! Since then, we have been mowing/slashing the Gamba as well as removing it manually and with the tractor, maddock and hoe. We have seen a huge difference in plant diversity (increased by around 50%). We have planted our Kakadu Plums, Red Bush Apples, Green Plums, Lemon Grass and other endemic natives from our area in amongst the natives grasses, small shrubs and trees that are regenerating and popping up. Nature/ Mother Earth truly is amazing, if you give her a chance she will regenerate!
We grow a lot of our native and tropical fruit we use, but in cases where we can’t meet the supply required, we buy locally and prioritise growers who use organic growing methods. We process all the produce we grow and buy, except hemp and green banana flour, some lemon myrtle and the Jilungun native leaves. The Lemon Myrtle and Jilungin that we buy are processed by other Indigenous businesses and communities but packed by us. This means most of our ingredients are local and have not travelled thousands of kilometres to their processing and packaging destination using large amounts of fuel. Our products therefore have reduced carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere- less food miles!
We buy from First Nations communities and businesses that wild harvest fruits sustainably, (making sure a percentage is left for native animals and natural regeneration of the plants).
Pete had built a water recycle system attached to the Freeze Dryer which means we use little water in our processing and sometimes we make water! We are currently investigating solar panels for our processing shed to reduce reliance on electricity from the grid.
We harvest our own native fruit, vegetables and native herbs to use in our products and we use organic, chemical free growing methods.
We use recyclable containers in our food processing and re-use these containers, gloves and bags in our growing nursery and orchard.
We post our smaller parcels in compostable mailers with compostable labels and use compostable packaging tape. Our larger orders are sent in recyclable cardboard boxes with compostable labels and compostable tape. We also use compostable bubble wrap (green). Occasionally, we may re-use some bubble wrap packaging (clear) that is not compostable that we have received from deliveries.
When we process our products all the waste (seeds, fruit skins etc) go out in our compost system and returned to the earth as compost and mulch in our bush orchard.
Our native herbs are packaged in biodegradable pouches. We continue to research biodegradable options for our native freeze dried powders.