Organigrow prides itself on living harmoniously with the environment rather than harming it. Simon is passionate about the farm helping to reduce the earth’s carbon footprint and utilising the environment in a positive, natural and sustainable way. This method of farming contributes significantly to Organigrow producing top quality, healthy and tasty organic eggs. Here are some of the ways the Organigrow farm embraces sustainable farming.
Energy – Approximately 5 years ago, Simon invested in the installation of a sizable solar power system. As a result, approximately 95% of the farm’s power requirements are supplied by the sun. At this point, the energy produced is primarily fed into the farm with the help of a Tesla powerwall battery – with the excess fed back into the grid. Feeding back into the grid helps to reduce the amount of power having to be produced by power stations to supply those business and personal consumers who do not have solar. Despite this being a sizeable financial outlay with very little purchase rebate and only a tiny Kw payment for power fed into the grid, the ethics relating to sustainability made the decision a no-brainer for Simon. As battery storage technology becomes more affordable, the plan is to increase the power storage, to allow 100% of the farm to be run by solar and minimise impacts from grid power outages and plan expansion using sustainable energy.
Trees – Simon has planted well over 10,000 trees on the farm over the years. The trees provide sustainability in various forms. Firstly, they absorb carbon and this combined with solar power means the farm is not only carbon neutral but now actually running carbon positive! Simon is very proud of this. Also, the trees supply natural environment and vitally important shade for the chickens, meaning that the farm requires fewer synthetic materials for shelters. Thirdly, Simon also utilises unwanted trees or pruned branches on the farm by chipping onsite and deep mulching the chicken runs to assist in natural drainage and give foraging fun for the chickens. Additionally, by design, a significant portion of the trees at Organigrow are food trees, and the chickens love all the food that these trees produce. Their favourites are the mangoes, mulberries and any pecans that get cracked open by the farm vehicles. As the farm and hence the food trees are organic, the chickens are not ingesting any pesticides or herbicides, meaning no nasties are passed into their eggs and onto you. If their feeding frenzies on these fallen fruits are any indication of their happiness, their happiness is off the charts. Happy and healthy hens produce high quality and great tasting eggs!
Water – The water on the Organigrow farm is a combination of rainwater and bore water. The farm’s bore water comes from the local basalt layer which, luckily for us, is superior in quality to the bore water from sandstone. The water is clear, drinkable and tastes lovely. It has no smell and does not stain anything. Using natural water available on the farm means utilising nature in its purest form; no chemicals and no production or carbon-producing energy required to add all the chemicals to it or to run it to the farm. By design, gravity is used to disperse a majority of the water within the chicken runs, making pump usage considerably reduced. Pumps that are needed are powered by the solar system, so our water is earth friendly and safe.
Manure – Chickens are well known for producing high quality manure. Of course, manure is fabulous for fertilising gardens. Luckily for us, with the hens being fed a totally organic diet with added bio-char, the manure never smells. Chickens are also well known for scratching and foraging around vegetation. Combine this scratching with their amazing manure fertiliser, and you have a wonderful and ongoing feeding cycle: chooks foraging around the trees, keep the earth loose and their manure fertilising the trees, this produces a farm full of very healthy trees which in turn produces an abundance of healthy fruit, vegetables and nuts which then become a portion of the chook’s free-ranging diet. This tree fertilising also allows us to enjoy a stunning array of flowers all year around (we are currently in the midst of glorious Jacarandas flowering around the farm).
As these farming methods are all very natural, healthy and logical, we don’t understand why more forms do not operate this way. When you next think about what eggs you would like to buy, think about the quality of your egg as a result of farming methods used and the treatment of the hens. After all, your body is your temple. Demand Organigrow organic eggs from your favourite store and know that you have made a healthy, ethical and tasty choice.