Little Bunyip Farm in Watervale, South Australia is run by Chris Nuss and Ella McHenry. We met in Alice Springs in 2008 and after a few adventures decided that running a farm was a good way for Chris to realise his desire to work from home and design beautiful systems and for Ella to do something meaningful with her hands. Running a small scale farming business from home also means we can both spend time with our amazing daughter Sylvia and that she can grow up eating real food and having lots of adventures outside with the resident bunyips…
Both of us are inspired by the idea of regenerative farming – connecting growing food with improving the land so it can support people and other life forms. Being here means we’re putting this into practice, in our local context, with the resources we have available to us, right now. It’s much more interesting (and difficult) than talking and thinking about what could be done or should be done by someone else!
Ultimately we believe that healthy food for humans comes from a healthy landscape and healthy plants and animals. Feeling healthy and alive for us is also about feeling connected with like minded people, having fun, being part of a local community and doing work which is ‘part of the solution’. And on a practical note, we need to earn a decent living from doing it so we can put our full attention into making this enterprise awesome and inspiring to us and others.
How does growing microgreens fit into this? It’s a fast turnaround crop which we could get going with the resources we had when we landed here which is in demand. Focusing on getting the microgreens right also fits with our desire to design our work lives so they are regenerative for us – we tried growing beautiful oyster mushrooms as well for a good few years but found it was too difficult to run two enterprises well, be good parents, see our friends and family and have time with each other. We were often frazzled and generally tired… (Plus the mushrooms didn’t really make any money.)
We’re very aware that the microgreens are an input based enterprise but for the moment our focus is on getting the business side of things sorted and growing a product which is consistently excellent. From here, we can step back and work out what happens next and how we put the regenerative farm dream into practice here in this place we find ourselves.