Introduction to Eaglerise Farm Philosophies
The Concept of Farm Philosophies is used here to ensure our Mission is clear, that we can refer back to it and check ourselves against it. Farm Philosophies act as a methodology for applying our Mission. The philosophy extends to the farm production, farm environment, domestic environment, community and to our inner self.
There are definite challenges to adopting these philosophies and each time we transgress from one of them, there is a consequence. Our task includes calculating these consequences and determining the ecological cost of our decision. Many times, we accept a short-term loss for a long-term gain. These times are generally economically driven decisions. Unfortunately, economic sustainability finances our environmental achievements.
We accept that no one philosophy is of greater importance than any other. There is no philosophy that will not impact on the sustainability and growth of our farm ecosystem if not followed. Many of our philosophies overlap. This is the result of attempting to define a living ecosystem with narrow descriptors. They are numbered here for reference only.
The next requirement was to develop a way to evaluate compliance of our philosophies. This is necessary to demonstrate, both internally and externally, that the philosophies are attainable and that we are making progress towards a truly ethically, organic, regenerative food production system. The external compliance is vital to demonstrate to the broader community and officials that this paradigm is achievable ecologically and economically. We have developed Ecological Performance Indicators (EPIs) to demonstrate compliance with our philosophies. For each of our philosophies, I ask, “How can we measure this environmentally? Productively? Socially? Economically? And Introspectively?
Permaculture Principles and Eaglerise Philosophies
The Thinking Stump
The Philosophy Flower outlines how our philosophies are mapped against the permaculture principles. The slides are our desktop presentation from the Australian Permaculture Convergence in Adelaide, 2023. Here, you have a visual introduction to the subsequent Eaglerise Philosophies below.
These are our agreed philosophies and we review them constantly. All management decisions must conform with these. That is the theory. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to comply. It is vital that we consider the consequence of veering off our ethics. There is always a consequence and we must acknowledge that accept responsibility for them.
There are many examples of this. We cannot completely ignore plastics. We do not use styrene trays for our meat but is still get packaged in cryovac bags. We try to recycle what we can. But there is still some that get “Thrown Away”. It is always important to remind ourselves, there is NO SUCH PLACE AS “AWAY”!!!!! We plan to take responsibility for this plastic consumption by purchasing some recycled, long-term plastic product. This could be plastic fencing material or a recycled plastic picnic bench seat.
We still use fossil fuels. We compensate for this by planting trees. We have planted about 20,000 since buying the farm. We feel that we are carbon positive and work hard to maintain this.
The property has been Certified Organic under Organic Growers of Australia (OGA). Certification provides a framework to ‘grow organically’, that is, the standards and rules have already been worked out. By referring to the Standards we do not need to do the research ourselves.
The OGA system has been discontinued. We are currently Wholistically Organic. Growing organically presupposes that the food we grow must be of good quality, healthy etc. We use a refractometer to verify the nutrient density of our fruit and vegetables.