Meat to Please You

Image source: Photographer Katja Anton

Matt Golinski shares his favourite family-owned and sustainable meat producers for a better planet, community and plate.

September marks the official start of Spring here in the southern hemisphere, but if you didn’t own a calendar, you’d swear it started about six weeks ago.

That’s when all the trees started to flower, we stopped bothering to light the fireplace and packed away the beanies and jumpers.

As weather patterns become more erratic and unpredictable, people in all industries are turning their minds towards ways to make what they do to have less impact on the earth, and none less than the agricultural sector.

‘Sustainability’ is a word that has become a part of our daily vocabulary these days, and for a lot of our local farmers it has become an important part of their business model from not just an environmental perspective, but also considering economic and social views.

Some of the main priorities of creating a sustainable system include building healthy soil and promoting biodiversity, reducing soil erosion, managing water wisely, and using less pesticides and chemical fertilisers which contribute to pollution and degradation.

Producing and selling locally gives consumers access to the freshest and healthiest food, creates employment and keeps money within the community.

Meat production has always had a reputation for being high impact on the environment, but we’re lucky enough in this region to have a number of dedicated farming families who care deeply about the welfare of their animals and the land they’re grown on.

Below are just some of the options available in our region if ethical and sustainable carnivorous eating is on your radar.

Piggy in the Middle

Dean and Kate Mayne produce pastured free-range eggs and Berkshire pork and small goods on their ex-olive farm property in Kilkivan, north-west of Gympie. Dean does fortnightly home deliveries across the Sunshine Coast and you’ll find a range of his bacon and salami at any of the White’s IGAs.

For more information and stockists www.piggyinthemiddle.com

Bendele

Fred and Sarah Sterns grow free range chickens and turkeys also in Kilkivan (in fact they’re Dean and Kate’s neighbours).They offer free range and organic poultry as two different options. You’ll find their products at Sunshine Coast Organic Meats, Eumundi Meats, Wright Cut Meats, Cooroy, Pomona and Peregian IGAs, Maleny Butchery and Greensmith Grocers, Birtinya. They’re also at Noosa and Kawana Farmers’ Markets and Yandina Country Markets.

Bimbury Laamb

Lindsay and Ann Boyle raise lambs in Windera in the South Burnett and sell direct to the public at Pomona Markets every second Saturday and Fishermans Rd Markets the following day. Check their Facebook page for which weekends they’re there.

Moya Valley Poultry

Kev Ross is a true veteran of the free-range poultry industry, supplying butchers and IGAs across the coast with top quality free range chickens for the last 25 years. On his property at Imbil he produces and processes around 1200 chickens per week with a stocking density of around 1000 birds per hectare.

His chickens are allowed to develop naturally over a 49 day period as opposed to force fed chickens which are full size within 34 days.

Noosa Beach Farm

Mitch and Nina Bray have been using biodynamic principles to produce certified organic grass-fed Wagyu Angus Cross beef on their properties in the Darling Downs and Kin Kin north-west of Noosa, but are now 100% full time ‘coasties’ and will soon be ready to market their full blood Wagyu to the public.

Eastwell Farm

Bryant and Susie Usher produce 100% grass-fed Nguni cattle, a tick resistant African breed, on their second-generation beef farm in Kin Kin. Bryant’s son Alex also grows exotic mushrooms like oyster, shimeji and Lions Mane on the property in a series of humidity and temperature-controlled shipping containers. Both the beef and mushrooms are available for home delivery from their online shop including value added items like pies, burgers and sausages.

Forage Farm

Stuart and Megan Andrews and their sons Hamish and Lachlan employ Natural Sequence farming techniques on their property in Kybong, south of Gympie, with chickens, pigs and cows all playing their part in creating a healthy ecology.

Pastured free range eggs, meat chickens, pork, beef and smallgoods are all available through their online shop and can be delivered to your door.

K2 Beef

Tim and Amber Scott produce certified organic, entirely grass-fed free-range beef from their Angus-Cross cattle on their property in Kandanga in the Mary Valley. They are as passionate about supplying their customers with premium quality beef as they are about regenerating and improving the land they use, and are great advocates and educators of sustainable farming. You’ll find their products at their Kandanga Farm Store, Greensmith Grocers in Birtinya, Farmer and Sun in Gympie, and they’ll soon offer online ordering.

Bamboo Park Free Range Farming

Bamboo Park is located between Yandina and Coolum and produces pastured-raised free range heritage pork as well as honey. Both have the added interest factor of being influenced by the presence of the sacred blue lotus growing on the property. 

Stocked at Greensmith Grocers, you can also visit the farm from Wednesday to Sunday from 9am-5pm.

Bunya Grove Produce

There’s not much that Mick and Kylie Carr of Bunya Grove don’t produce on their biodynamic farm in Amamoor.

Persimmons are in full swing through Autumn, but year-round they have eggs, meat chickens, beef, pork and honey, even home-baked pastries (if you get to the farm shop early enough). You can even camp on the banks of the creek for a true farmstay experience.

Support local and taste the difference!

GET IT AT GREENSMITH GROCERS

Drop into Greensmith Grocers, Birtinya, for a great selection of frozen organic, free-range meats sourced from local suppliers including Bamboo Park Pork; Bendele Farm Chicken and K2 Beef; as well as local, wild-caught and sustainable seafood – including the ever-popular fish portions.

About the Author /

[email protected]

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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