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We love our farmers and we love discovering why they do what they do and why they farm without chemicals. Caela and Mick Hanson are a passionate farming couple from Wongawallon which is about half way up Mount Tamborine.
WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY GROW?
Our main items for sale are pure, raw and creamed honey and gourmet mushrooms. We have an aquaponic system in which we grow a range of leafy greens and fish for our own use. We also make beeswax wraps, candles and wooden cutting boards and are venturing in to some interesting ferments and condiments.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO FARMING?
Mick has a work disability which prevented him from continuing to work in his profession so we had to think differently and reinvent ourselves, the way we live and how we can earn an income under our own terms. We started with one beehive and now have 30.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT FARMING?
I love knowing our food and products are made naturally without any chemicals. It feels good to eat food that's come straight from our own backyard. I also love the community aspect of farming and being able to trade our products for other products and services we need. So many people are happy to be paid in honey!
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FARM WITHOUT SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES/ FUNGICIDES?
There was just no question for me really - I've always been interested in health and known that toxic chemicals are bad for our health and the land. I don't want chemicals on my food so from the start we committed to growing without chemicals.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE AS A RESULT OF THIS DECISION AND WHAT NATURAL METHODS DO YOU USE TO OVERCOME THEM?
It is extra work to keep bugs at bay but the reward is worth it. We use good bugs for bad bugs and garlic spray.
Space is also a challenge as our property is only small but we've recently formed land agreements with a few other land owners so we can place hives on their land and increase our honey production. It's a brilliant way for small farmers to produce more without having to buy more land.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
Believe it or not I don't actually like honey and Mick isn't a fan of leafy greens and he has grown to enjoy our mushrooms. Mick loves honey which is why we got into it in the first place. My favourite meal is simply fresh fruit with yoghurt and nuts.