Organic Insights - Spring 2022
6 / Organic Insights / Spring 2022
celebrating 30 years!
What we thought would be a slow trickle has turned into a steady stream of certified operators clocking up their 30-year milestone! We continue to celebrate the commitment of our industry ‘veterans’ across Australia.
Gabriel Jimenez / Unsplash
THE BRA IN FAMILY IN THE YEAR 1950 BOUGHT THE MOUNT VITE VITE FARM. This third-generation family farmwas converted to organic in the 1980’s by David and Gary Brain. They were encouraged to go organic with advice from the late Rod May and Alex Podolinsky, along with NASAA Organic's current Chair, TimMarshall and many others with their knowledge and experience.
We are still learning about soil health, biological indicators, ratios, synergies, CO2, pH, humus content, microzia content, bacteria and funghi, brix levels, fertility aerobic ratio, carbon nitrogen ratio, deficiencies and balance. Effective beneficial plant species rotations over 5 years, for example, are pasture, oilseed, legume, cereal and green manure. Consideration should be given to planning ahead, companion planting and multi- combinations, and assessing how this will affect grazing livestock, and the dung beetle cycle. Since the early 2000’s, Mount Vite Organic has been breeding organic Poll Merino stud rams and Poll Charolais stud bulls. Sourcing quality organic seed stock – both plant and animal – has been a major challenge, according to David. David ran a comparative analysis on sourced rams that he undertook over a 15-year period, which showed a much greater stock loss of animals brought in.
Since 2020, David, Luke, Danielle, Hamish and Alexander have been running the farm eco-system, with assistance from Peter and Deb. Over the last 5-6 decades in this region, there has been a wide variation of food and fibre growing, from using high input nitrogenous fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, to organic biodynamic farming methods. Organic production concentrates on quality, not just quantity, and only uses beneficial methods and inputs. There are major differences between organic and conventional farming. One works with nature and the other works against it, which is similar to what we did before 1980. For example, the reason unwanted weeds grow – in our experience – is bare soil, overgrazing, nil or minimal beneficial plant species competition and low diversity. Then, in most examples and cases, broad leaf scotch and variegated thistles grow. Nature’s way to stop overgrazing and bareness.
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