TPS 12: Beyond Organic Farming with Taranaki Farmer Ben Falloon

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Taranaki Farmer, Ben Falloon

While the girls were overseas earlier this year, Crystal and Charby had THE most AMAZING chat with the steward of Taranaki Farm, Ben Falloon.

Taranaki Farm practices & promotes ethical animal husbandry, regenerative landscape stewardship and we stand for local community renewal. The farm produces (seasonally): BEYOND ORGANIC pastured eggs, chickens, beef & pork and is situated 45 minutes drive from Melbourne. We’re in the integrity business, supplying nutritious, emotionally satisfying & TRUSTWORTHY food – for a fair price. We connect the farm to the people. Healing the local economy and ecology while providing inspiration & education for young farmers everywhere” ~ Ben Falloon, Taranaki Farm

Taranaki Farm really is a wonderland to the primal-minded; a big kid’s playground!
From the pigs running wild in the forest, to the chickens strutting chest-out in the sun around the egg mobiles, and the cows grazing on lush green grass all day long.
Ben’s not afraid to fling the barn doors wide open and invite the community in to have a nose-poke either. Is there any better certification process known to man?
It’s beyond organic. Beyond bio-dynamic.
There’s something really special going on out there. We truly could have talked with Ben for hours about everything he’s up to!

In this chat, we discuss the relationship between us, as consumers (and eaters) and the land that feeds us. And, the importance of being aware of that ecological umbilical cord that attaches us to the land.
We also draw some really interesting parallels between the stewardship of the land and our inner landscape, looking at the idea of personal stewardship as well.
The cycles of rest and disturbance that are so necessary for the regeneration of the land, are also incredibly important to stall the ‘degenerative’ processes within us.
Our personal ecosystems need periods of rest and disturbance to really enhance our wellbeing.

When Ben and I decided to work together, it was clear that he required a totally unique training regiment; he was no desk-jockey! Each day would be entirely different, depending on what physical work he’d been doing on the farm. Some days it meant that we’d forgo the training session entirely, and opt for a cup of tea and a chat; exactly what the farmer ordered. Other days we’d take Ben to the threshold of his physical capabilities. Like the animals on his farm, and the landscape itself, we recognised that the body needed to experience ‘disturbance’, followed by a period of rest and restoration, in order for it to reach its full potential. Hammering an already exhausted body to oblivion, made no sense to us; a recipe for disaster. On the other-hand, working a fresh and well rested body to previously unexplored limits, will ensure its regeneration and adaptation to the new environment.”
~ Charby, talking about health coaching and training sessions with Ben 

We chat with Ben about:

Polyface Farmer, Joel Salatin

Polyface Farmer, Joel Salatin

  • His relationship with Polyface farmer, Joel Salatin
  • Taranaki Farm Tours and regenerative farming practices
  • Ben’s relationship with Taranaki farm and how it came to be what it is today
  • Inspiring young people to go back to the land and teaching them an economic model that will also stand on the principles of  integrity and value
  • The compartmentalisation of food and nutrition and how people identify with food
  • Attaching the community to the farm and people’s feeling of connection to Taranaki Farm
  • Buying Clubs where people can access food directly from the farmer
  • Joel’s definition or explanation of what a cow is and it’s defining characteristics
  • How the chickens and egg mobiles work in concert with the cows, in a cycle of rest and disturbance that regenerates the land
  • What “Beyond Organic” really means and the ‘certification of the people that walk the farm’
  • The challenges on the farm
  • The cycles of rest and disturbance that define life on the farm and also life in a more personal sense
  • The important things we can learn from pigs
  • The ecosystem of soil and how nutrient depleted soil can still give you something that looks like food, but could actually be nutrient-poor
  • How the choices we make as consumers affect our food supply and how grain-fed meat came to be a part of our food supply
  • The feedlot system vs grassfed, food politics and our participation
  • Can we feed the world with regenerative farming?
  • The problems with moving towards a plant based system and understanding the vegetarian and vegan perspective
  • How the Australian landscape needs to be treated like the arid-african-type environment that it is, rather than a european-type environment that can cope with tillage
  • Supporting Farmer’s markets and questions to ask the farmers you talk to at the market
  • We are our own ecosystem, talking about the stewardship of ourselves and the importance of self-care for personal growth and regeneration
  • Looking at holistic exercise and training through the lens of rest and disturbance, the inner and outer landscapes
  • The concept of bio-individuality and diversity in eating and movement, and also in animals and grass
  • Brief, high intensity, high impact workouts and jelly legs followed by a cup of tea and a catch-up (rest and disturbance)
  • The parallels between farming and physical exercise …and life in general
  • Grain-fed vs grass-fed in cow genetics, suitability for the landscape and dietary needs
  • How the grain-fed and wagyu tags came to be ‘selling points’ on restaurant menus
  • The compartmentalisation of milk and other supermarket items
  • Real food vs food-like products
  • Soil quality, food quality and how this contributes to over eating and obesity
  • Focussing on only one aspect of the big picture of health vs taking a more holistic approach
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Inside the big egg mobile

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#748

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saddleback Piggys

The Taranaki Saddleback Piggy’s

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Checking out the smaller egg mobiles on the farm tour

Happy Taranaki Farm Cows

Happy Taranaki Farm Cows

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Links mentioned in this episode:

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Charby hanging with the chickens at Taranaki Farm

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Crystal with Ben on the first Taranaki Farm Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed hearing this chat with Ben,
Let us know!

If you’re keen to hear more from Ben, please leave us a comment below or on the TPS Facebook Page.
The same way that you can influence your food choices, you guys have the power to vote for what you want to hear on the TPS podcast!!

 

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