Eaglerise Farm Vision
In developing our Vision, Mission and Goals (Actions) for Eaglerise Farm we have used the following Methodology.
- Action-learning research spiral
- Experiential learning, i.e. doing ‘it’ (farming) and noting observations, lessons, mistakes and
- Whole person learning and doing
- Noting, journaling, referring to our personal histories (writing it down)
- Comparative analysis, what are others doing that we want to emulate. What do others have, think, dream, see that excites us?
What do we see/imagine for ourselves, our farm, our future…?
We have a simple management team. Gerard purchased the farm in 2000 and Allysa completed the farm team in 2013. Collectively we share a single vision, however separately we have different viewpoints. Each ecosystem element occupies a different niche. A large part of farming together is being able to describe this vision, experience it with all our senses, believe it is possible and adapt our separate points of view so that we develop a balanced ‘whole’. It is a fascinating experience to acknowledge the viewpoints of the top order ecosystem elements interacting. Here is yet another example of the value of diversification.
Allysa’s Eaglerise Farm Vision
“An aesthetically beautiful and pleasing farm. Areas of habitat and biodiversity. Flowers and colour. Trees, trees and lots more trees. Gullies full of vegetation and regrowth, with deep pools that support life all year round. Beautiful dams that look like they have always been there. Areas dotted around the farm for picnics, contemplation and journaling. A beautiful vegetable garden that provides our food and provides for my eternal need to ‘garden’ and get my fingers in the earth. Shady lane ways in the heat of Summer that allow for dusk walks. Healthy soil, that smells rich and diverse. Happy and healthy animals. A place where my family loves to come and stay. A ‘retreat’ from the world. Habitat that supports, nurtures and encourages an abundance of native flora and fauna. Knowing intrinsically each day that the farm is a living organism, a part of Gaia that supports life and our spiritual welfare.”
Allysa’s history commences with growing up in rural Australia and then moved to a remote, indigenous, desert community before steering a vanilla company in Uganda to organic certification, several years in administration, a Diploma in Organic Farming and the manager of the Eaglerise Farm market garden since 2014.
“Simplicity of life, even in the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement; a sanded floor and whitewash walls and the green trees and flowery meads and living waters outside.” William Morris
Never underestimate the importance of kicking off your shoes and enjoying the moment.
Gerard’s Eaglerise Farm Vision.
My history commences in 1968 with school holidays on a merino farm, three years residential Diploma in Applied Science, post graduate qualifications in Environmental Management and Adult Education, Agricultural Officer in the Middle East, work as a Livestock consultant, Tourism/Fish Farm Manager and, for the past 26 years, teaching Agriculture, Organic Farming and Agroecology at the same time as designing and building Eaglerise Farm.
Like all living documents, my vision has been constantly evolving. When I bought the farm, I planned to position it for resale, to the model family, as my superannuation plan, in another 20 years.
At a later stage, my son, Mitch, helped me plant out 2000 Red gums for a firewood lot. As I was talking to him, I said that these trees would be suitable for his children to cut down and sell when they finished their studies. This would provide the finance to travel and learn the world. Mitch was only 12 at the time, but I have an open mind with visions. This extended my vision for another 40 years.
When I, unfortunately, lost my son and we placed his ashes in a cairn on the top of our hill, I spoke to Allysa and suggested that 200 years from then, the farm manager of the day would be reading Mitch’s memorial and be telling someone Mitch’s story. This extended my vision another 200 years.
I was watching a documentary and listened as Professor Brian Cox talked about the 2000-year-old olive trees. I thought to myself, “I’ve got olive trees!” That blew out my vision to 2000 years. I’ve since read about 3000 and 4000-year-old olives!!!!
I’ve recently heard of oak trees getting to be 5000 years old. We have planted oak trees as a specie in our deciduous fodder paddock with chestnuts and tagasaste. This will produce feed, shelter and shade with an economic yield. My vision is extended even further!
When you apply your thoughts to evolve your vision, you have the right, the responsibility, to design for this future, whether your life path goes along with it or not. You need to be flexible and have diversity in your vision.
There is a Greek proverb. “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
This vision has four focus areas:
- Future farmers
The farm is developing into a self-sustaining ecosystem, that requires little to no input and management. The whole farm is to be considered and to function as a living ecosystem, of which we are an integral fragment.
Eaglerise Farm will be an example for others to learn from and enjoy. Community is a significant part of this, in terms of community enjoying the produce and experience, and learning from it and connecting themselves to the farm story and their food. The system will stand the test of time, i.e. Eaglerise Farm won’t be sold. It will be successful. A succession plan is being developed that guarantees the longevity and continuity of the system and vision – it is a success, therefore there is no need to sell and leave.
The farm will enable financial independence for our ecosystem, it will provide at least 1.5 – 2 incomes. The “yield” from the permaculture principal “Obtain a Yield” will be a mix of aesthetic, social and monetary yield.
Read Our Mission