Let’s face it, the wider world is becoming more Byron than the other way around. Man-buns have been deemed an acceptable hairstyle for blokes, and the market for the organic, the biodynamic, the hand-woven and the unsprayed has now leapt the farmers’ market fence and become a billion-dollar global industry.
The story behind The Farm
Coming from the Lane family, who founded the Oroton fashion empire, for many years the closest Tom came to agriculture was a ream of leather.
Yet when he and his wife, Emma, bought 32 hectares of land in 2013, five-minutes drive from Byron Bay in northern NSW, and knew it was not going to be just any farm. They did call it The Farm which in many ways is apt given this place is as big as it is ambitious. In fact, it’s gutsy as hell.
The Farm in Byron Bay
The Farm is like a small village. It includes a restaurant – the Three Blue Ducks– with a philosophy from their chef’s’ of using only seasonal, organic, ethically raised and local produce. There is also a produce store, bakery, nursery, and even a yoga studio, alongside a one-hectare edible garden, larger allotments of varying crops, including macadamia, as well as grazing land with 35 cattle, 13 Berkshire pigs, and 750 chooks housed in moveable caravans. I even heard there’s plans for beer brewing, coffee roasting and cheese making.
Then there’s the permaculture workshops, the children’s workshop and other farming courses.
Closing the Loop
The Farm tries to close the loop on their production as much as possible.
When they make their butter for the table, for instance, the leftover buttermilk is used to brine birds for their fried chicken. The whey goes into the sausage rolls they sell at their coffee counter alongside the Single Origin flat whites. The livers from their chickens become a parfait, served with some grilled slices of bread, a relish made from Davidson plum, and crisp wafers of chicken skin. The bones from the beasts become broth, the trim from the beef goes into the burgers, the fish offcuts become fish fingers for the kids’ menu.
If it’s not from The Farm, it’s from as close as possible. The waste is kept to a minimum through both careful menu planning and smart bulk-buying. Even wine is poured from one of the 56 taps in the bar, alongside a dizzying array of craft beers.
Children at The farm
This is the perfect place for children to see and understand where food comes from.
The Farm run kid’s workshops throughout the school holidays where children are encouraged to learn about and enjoy a real working farm. The ‘Farm Kids’ programs educate children about where food comes from through a ‘hands-on’ approach. Activities include tours of the paddocks and crops as well as meeting The Farm livestock, including cows, pigs and chickens.
Noah was thrilled to see the tractors and the quad bikes, the horse and all the animals.
Another favourite for him, was the nut cracker machine. We walked amongst the macadamia trees and picked a few for Noah to crack them open!