Before & After  - Ochre Arch - 2007-2012 Text

Eco-Agriculture – What to see, learn about or do

When it comes the eco-agriculture education experience Phil and Jan offer on Ochre Arch they are big fans of the Chinese proverb “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I’ll remember, involve me and I’ll understand” which was largely popularised by Benjamin Franklin and is now used by many schools as a framework for teaching. Their focus is very much on showing people different aspects of their farm and involving them where practical e.g. using low stress stock handling methods (timing dependent).

Gain an understanding of how Phil and Jan make their major decisions in the context of their holistic goal that balances ecological, economic and social outcomes. Within this they aim to have 100 % ground cover and increased diversity of their native pastures and wildlife; and will explain via discussion at various points on the farm both the ecosystem processes all farmers influence and some of the nature-aligned low-tech tools that can be used to move the landscape function and farm performance forward.

Learn about their Merino sheep and Angus cattle enterprises and their use of low stress stock-handling principles and planned grazing methods to manage pastures. See how they have set up their farm infrastructure to dramatically reduce the time it takes to manage the whole farm.

Observe how the farm is self-sufficient in electrical power generation and is structured to handle peak loads that can equate to some rural mains power supplies.

See the farm’s connection to the Ooma community water scheme making it drought proof for stock and domestic needs, and how the on-farm stock and house water supply schemes minimise energy demand via pumping and have back-ups in place to reduce risk.