Exciting upcoming events & introducing our Whole Farm Plan

Join Us for Two Special Events: Co-op Relaunch & Small Farm Enterprise Planning

We are excited to invite you to two upcoming events designed to celebrate the relaunch of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op and to support aspiring and current small farmers.

Whether you’re interested in joining our co-operative community, developing your own farm enterprise, or a keen eater who cares about your local food system, we hope these events will provide some valuable insight into what we’ve been working on, opportunities and ‘what’s next’ for the Co-op.

All of these events are made possible thanks to our Innovate to Regenerate Grant from WWF-Australia

Event 1: Co-op Relaunch & Recruitment Webinar

Date: Thursday, June 6th

Time: 7-8pm

Join us for a celebration of the HOFC Co-op relaunch! This webinar will include:

Screening of Our New Short Film: Get an inside look at our cooperative’s journey and achievements. We’ve been working with Mitch at MDP Photography & Video and are excited to share the results!

Sharing of New Collaborative Farming Resources: Discover tools and guides to support sustainable farming practices.

Interactive Q&A Session: Engage with our team and get your questions answered.

This event is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about our cooperative and how you can get involved. Register here.

Event 2: Small Farm Enterprise Planning Webinar & Ideas Jam

Date: Tuesday, June 11th

Time: 7-8pm

For those seriously considering joining our Co-op or refining their farm enterprise plans, we are hosting a more focused session. This event will feature:

Interactive Q&A: Ask detailed questions about the Co-op and membership benefits.

Enterprise Proposal Shaping: Receive guidance on developing and refining your small-farm enterprise idea, and support with submitting an EOI to join the Co-op. 

Personalized Feedback: Get constructive critiques and suggestions from our crew.

This session is ideal for those who want a deeper understanding of the Co-op and personalized support in shaping their farming ideas. Register your interest here. You can also read more about the opportunities to join the Co-op currently available here.

Why Attend?

Learn and Celebrate: be part of the HOFC Co-op’s exciting new chapter and gain valuable knowledge.

Develop your ideas: whether joining the Co-op or planning your own enterprise.

Connect with community: engage with like-minded folks and others with experience in small-scale farming.

Feel free to share this post with others who might be interested in sustainable farming and cooperative opportunities. We hope to see you there!

How did we get here? Introducing our Whole Farm Plan

We decided to run the events above thanks to some direction forged in our Whole Farm Planning process funded through the Innovate to Regenerate Grant. You can see the plan here.

We want to share it because we’ve had valued participation from different folks in our community at the workshops. We think it’s a good example of putting heads together to work on managing land collaboratively. Plus, it helped us identify that it was time to share what we’ve been up to, and raise our heads to see if there’s anyone out there interested in joining us, hence the events outlined above!

We’ve been working on seeing the farm as a whole (social, ecological and agricultural) landscape, and planning for the future with that in mind.

Guided by Anne Maree Docking from Thriving Rural and with input from workshops with Djaara, David Holmgren of Holmgren Design, and the local CFA, along with strategic communications support from Jen Sheridan consulting, we’ve developed a Whole Farm Plan, and, already started implementing it.

It’s important to note that it’s a moment in time and we see this as a working document that will change and evolve as the Co-op & farm evolves too. 

Key Aspects of Our Process

Our workshops and projects have emphasized several critical areas:

  • Understanding Land History and Ecology: Gaining a deeper knowledge of the land’s past and its current ecological state.
  • Connecting with Djaara Culture: Building our knowledge of Djaara culture and practices and supporting their leadership in managing our local landscape, Leanganook.
  • Collaborative Risk Management: Planning for risks, like bushfires, in a collaborative manner.
  • Soil Health Monitoring: Conducting baseline soil tests and investing in ongoing soil monitoring.
  • Identifying Agricultural Niches: Focusing on enterprise types best suited to the Co-op.
  • Integrating Principles: Applying landscape, hydrogeology, and permaculture principles from David Holmgren.

These efforts have helped us create a working farm plan to build on, helping us continue layering diversity into how the farm works. Of course, we’ve had the highly unusual situation (for most of us in small-scale farming!) of funding to do this! But we reckon there are plenty of ways you could do some of your own thinking, research and processes to take a whole-farm approach, and we think it’s pretty important to do if you’re farming in a collaborative setting. In fact, it might have helped us a lot to do more of this earlier on in the Co-op’s evolution!

Whether you are part of a co-operative, share-farming or an individual farmer, we’d love to share thoughts on the value of taking a Whole-farm-planning approach and hear others experiences of what’s worked or hasn’t!

So, we’ll be touching on this plan & process at our first webinar coming up soon. Hope you can join us!