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Christy Shelper

Host Profile

    My Property

    Property Name

    Big Swing Organics

    Farming methods

    Organic

    Business Type

    Commercial Farm

    Short Property Description

    We (Christy and DJ) have the most wonderful piece of paradise in Northern NSW, in the Byron Hinterland. We have owned our little piece of heaven for about 2.5 years. Our working farm has 400 mature, organic avocado trees that had been neglected for several years before we bought the property. We are working hard to give these beauties the care they need to thrive once again.

    Full Property Description

    We live on the farm with our two young children, two lovely dogs and our resident farmhand, Al. The certified organic farm is sheltered by native plantings and landscaping giving refuge to incredible native wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, sugar gliders, koalas, bandicoots, echidnas and all sorts of birdlife.

    Our organic approach is focused on soil health. We are constantly learning and trying new ways to increase the biodiversity in our soil including compost applications, mulch and biological inputs. We love our local farming community for the spirit of sharing information so that everyone can benefit. We are enthusiastic sharers of our knowledge with everyone who’s interested in our journey so far.

    Our farm is a 40 acre established avocado farm. We also have other smaller crops and a small flock of free range chickens we keep for eggs. Picking season is only for a month or two in winter but there is always other work to be done to keep the farm healthy and productive. There are many and varied jobs to do on our farm including pruning, weeding, spreading compost, making compost, moving the chickens to their next patch, harvesting and mounting staghorn and elkhorn ferns and maintaining the veggie patch so we can all have fresh food.

    This is just an example of the work. If you feel confident and are competent you might drive some of our smaller machinery or just use hand tools. Our workers are always given detailed instructions, assistance and supervision when required. Farming is a never-ending learning journey. We are always learning. If you’re interested you we will teach you all about our organic farming approach as you work. ┬áCarpenters and other trades are very welcome as there are always projects on the go that require skilled workers.

    Before owning this farm we were both circus performers traveling the world, working with dozens of nationalities. We know what it’s like to travel and feel the need for a safe space and some fun. We also know what it is to work hard and the satisfaction of a job well done. Since becoming farmers we have met some extraordinary people within the industry who have been incredibly generous with their knowledge and experience and we feel it’s our duty to continue that generosity.

    If you are interested to know how to run an organic farm we can help you with everything we know so far from budgeting to harvesting and selling. If you are interested to know everything about circus we can help you out with that too ­čśë We have some interesting sustainability projects to complete also, such as building a compost hot water system for domestic use and creating reed beds for grey water filtration.

    Accommodation:

    We have a accomodations separate from the main house for your use. A cabin has a double sized bed, cupboards for storage, a kitchenette and a bathroom including a shower and toilet. Beside the cabin is a caravan with a queen size bed and a banquet style dining space. The cabin and caravan are housed under a roof that provides a covered out door living space. Wifi is available at the cabin and caravan.

    We provide a weekly budget for our WWOOFers to buy and prepare their own meals. We also have many seasonal fruit trees and a veggie patch which you will be welcome to harvest for yourself for meals and snacks.

    Location and getting around:

    Our farm is located in the glorious Byron Shire and it’s subtropical climate. We’re just a 25 minute drive from iconic Byron Bay and all that it has to offer. We’re a 20 minute drive from the gorgeous seaside town of Brunswick Heads with its idyllic tidal river. We are surrounded by other natural wonders such as Minyon Falls and the Goonengerry National Park. The Wilsons River runs through our property, it’s one of the best ways to cool off and revive yourself amongst nature.

    We are located in a rural area with no access to local shops without a vehicle, there’s no public transport available in the area. We are: 10min drive from Mullumbimby, 15min drive from Federal village, 20min drive from Brunswick Heads, 25min drive from Byron Bay, 45min drive from Lismore and Ballina, 45min drive from Coolangatta and Ballina airports.

    You are best to have your own transport for independence and to best enjoy our incredible location.

    Organic/Biological methods we use

    Our whole farm is certified organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO). Our organic approach is to focus on soil health and biodiversity. We make our own compost and have a 2000l brewer where we prepare biological inputs such as worm tea and triachaderma which promotes the health of our root stock.

    Special Conditions

    We like our WWOOFers to stay for a minimum of one month. We are quite isolated here and like our WWOOFers to have their own transport so that they can get maximum enjoyment of our wonderful location in the Byron Hinterland.

     

    Skills WWOOFers can learn here

    Organic practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Soil conservation, Mulching, Pruning, Worm farming, Animal care, Poultry care, Mechanical, Using & caring for tools, Fencing, Handyman, Fermenting foods

    My Details

    Name

    Christy Shelper

    Partners Name

    DJ Garner

    Gender

    Family

    The Stay

    Can Accommodate

    4 WWOOFers

    Preferred length of Stay

    2-4 weeks

    Accommodation

    Separate Building, Caravan

    Other options

    No Smoking Inside

    Meal Procedures

    Eat separately, Food provided, cook your own

    Languages spoken

    English

    Diets we cater for

    All diets catered for

    Address

    Contact

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