Welcome to our home!
We are Steve and Aj Davis and this is our home where we live with our sons Ben and Jack. it's our dream we bought our property in Sancrox in 2012 knowing that we wanted land and animals for us to grow our family on. The property was a blank canvas with no fences and no work done to the soil. Any plants that were growing were in pots because the soil was just so terrible. So we started our veggie garden with 4 raised beds, got some chickens and some sheep and goats for the paddock. It was a massive learning curve jumping into animals when we weren't really ready. Juggling work, farm and new born babies made for a lot more work than we thought. Learning that the wild dog population in our area is rampant and without proper protection they destroy our entire flock of sheep in one night just for the fun of it...twice. So we Cut back slightly while we adjusted to life on the farm.
In 2017 after reassessing our lives and what was important to us, we decided we wanted to start the journey to being fully self sufficent and sustainable. There were so many pro's to changing to this lifestyle. Not only was our grocery bill going to be smaller, but we knew where our food was coming from, what had been put on it in the process of growing or how it had been treated while it was alive. Not only that we would be able to cut back on work and live a simpler life and focus on things that were important to us.
Well the journey began great. The veggie gardens went in (raised again with composted soil had to be brought it), we increased our animals and began planting fruit trees. but then the drought really started to set in. by 2019 It felt like it hadn't rained in years and we had to make the hard decision to stop planting annuals and just try to keep the perennials alive. With water restrictions, no Tank water to fall back on and our spring fed dam desperately low, we had resorted to showering with buckets to save the water for the trees and the same with the laundry. We didn't breed any of our animals as it was expensive enough having to buy feed to keep the ones we had.
Then the fires came. We were put on high alert and put plans in place to move all the animals to safety. Packed our valuables in case the call came to get out. Thankfully it didn't come to that for us and the only causality was loosing our bees as they vacated the days we were blanketed in thick smoke.
After the fires and getting through our busiest months of the year for our company, our family went through a personal tragedy that tipped our mental health to breaking point. It was the worst thing our family has ever been through. We lost people that are very special to us and left us broken, and Steve took it particularly hard. It was too much for him to bare. But we were so lucky that we are supported by this amazing community and family around us. It still makes me cry when I think about the wonderful people we are surrounded by and what they did for our family during that time, and still do to this day.
Almost before we'd even taken a breathe, in stepped Covid 19. Within 24 hours our business had completely ceased. Every job we had booked had cancelled and we were left with nothing. The initial panic of what are we going to do was frightening. We had run this business for 20 years and had nothing else. We had very little savings, but thankfully no loans or credit cards.
So when all that is thrown in your face, what do you do?............ Go and get dirty!
It turns out Covid was the best thing that could have happened for our family. While in lockdown we had time to heal without the pressure of having to see anyone or feel obliged to catch up with anyone. We spent our days in the sun and getting our hands into the dirt. Thankfully the drought had broken and we were able to plant our annuals and get excited about the garden again. I learnt to make soaps from the left over Lard from the pigs and started making all my home made jams, pickles and pesto's again. Steve started selling tomato plants at a stall out the front to help us pay the bills, which expanded into herbs and veggies which then expanded into veggie boxes from our garden.
From all the positive feedback about the farm and how much people enjoyed visiting it it became apparent that we needed to open the farm to share it with the community. We had been so blessed to have had this garden to turn to when Covid hit and it was such a powerful way to heal that we knew we needed to share it with others and offer the same experience for them,
Originally our goal was to become as self sufficent as possible for our family. We felt that it could provide the healthiest and happiest lifestyle for us, while living a sustainable and ethical life. After being on the journey for 3 years we have never looked back.
Now our goals have evolved and we want to share our backyard with the community to help people reconnect back with food and it origin. We want to give people a way to experience this lifestyle and offer a safe place where anyone and everyone is welcome to reconnect with themselves and others. since becoming a not for profit this is our new mission statement;
To create a place where everyone is accepted and welcomed. To help the community and people who are disadvantaged or have mental health challenges by offering education and employment in a self sustainable, ethical, inclusive and non alcoholic environment.