Andrew and I are on a journey. To live self sustainable as much as we can, to learn as much as we can about holistic organic agriculture and to share what we learn to encourage others to live consciously and well.
Two weeks ago Andrew and I set out on a farm research trip in Victoria to learn as much as possible and be inspired on how others are living a simple life and using their land to grow ethical and sustainable food for not only themselves but also to share with the local community to encourage a stronger local food system
Before we set off I contacted the farms that I thought would be awesome to connect with who are doing similar things to what we would like to do here on our property. I am for ever grateful that we were welcomed with open arms into each home and farm.
After arriving in Melbourne we picked up our hire car and drove to Daylesford. The first farm we booked in to see which I was extremely excited about was Jonai Farms
Who owns Jonai Farms and Meatsmiths?
Jonai farms is owned by Tammi and Stuart. Two amazing and inspiring people who left city life and academic life to farm (with no experience). After reading Joel Salatins book “You can Farm” and visiting Joel’s farm plus learning from other ethical and sustainable farms, Tammi and Stuart along with their three children moved to a sixty-nine acre property to farm ethically raised, happy and very tasty, heritage-breed pastured pigs. They have now been farming for three years and what an amazing set up they have.
Tammi and Stuart now have a full herd of heritage-breed black pigs and they now have a small herd of low line cattle. Andrew and I were lucky to see the brand new calf. Jonai Farms first calf and it was exciting.
Their farm is on volcanic soils, completely different soil to ours, but can still offer the beef lush grass so consumers are able to enjoy grass-fed ethically raised beef.
It was fortunate for Andrew and I because when I contacted Tammi (and let me just say I have a major girl crush on this lady) she told us that the weekend we wanted to visit the farm, Tammi was running one of her amazing salami workshops. Well lucky for us, we booked in straight away.
One of the reasons we wanted to visit Tammi and her husband Stuart is because Tammi is a leader in the ethical food scene. She is president for the Australian Food Soveignty Alliance and she practices what she preaches. She has been a great mentor to me. And as Andrew and I want to raise and grow our own herd of pigs and we are both supporters of ethically raised and organic agriculture we want to learn, be empowered and inspired from the farmers who are ahead of us and are doing it sustainably.
We had another reason we wanted to visit and it was because their ethos aligns with ours. We only want to eat animals which are raised ethically and we wanted to learn off someone who puts animal welfare first. With our own farm and being on our own journey I think it is really important to learn from as many people as possible who want to contribute positively to the world’s food system. Creating a connection between fellow ethical farmers and how our food is grown and what we eat will not only improve our own health and happiness, the health of the land, the animals, it will also create a better environment for the next generation.
After crowd funding and raising $27, 570 Tammi was able to construct a butcher’s shop right on her property and now after spending six months learning to cut up pig carcasses she now has a licensed butchery on her property and is able to cut up her own meat on her farm and sell direct to consumers.
Not only that, after a second crowd funding campaign they were able to raise another $33,625 to build a commercial kitchen and curing room to do their own free-range farmstead salami and turn their business into a full nose-to-tail and no waste operation. How exciting is that!? They’re raising animals ethically, ecologically, & economically which if you are not aware is connected to our own health and well-being.
Our goal here on Bruny Island island property is to build a sustainable CSA. What CSA means is Community-Supported Agriculture. It is a model where consumers are able to join to ensure they have a reliable source of ethically raised meat and organic produce. Consumers can also visit the farm and talk with the farmer who grew their food (which will be me). This stuff sends shivers down my spine. I have always been excited to share with others the wonderful local farmers and producers we have here in Australia and now It will be an exciting day for both Andrew and I when we can open up the farm to share with others and to help others live well and be well and I am the farmer.
When you buy meat
When you choose to eat meat I feel it is important to know how your meat is grown and raised. I for one do not like to see cruelty to animals and I believe that when animals are raised humanly they are given the best life possible. And when it is time to use the meat for our own human consumption the animal should not even know what is coming. Tammi and Stuart along with many other ethical free range growers share this same philosophy and our farm research trip to Jonai Farms has greatly inspired me to continue to educate and empower people to eat consciously.
As Tammi quotes ” You’re what you eat, so eat ethically”
Before I show you what Andrew and I got up to on the Jonai Farm day I would like to share with you Jonai Farms ethos and values. This has been taken from Jonai Farms and meatsmiths website
We value the pigness of the pig
We value holistic decision-making – ecological/social/financial
We value an aromatically & aesthetically pleasing farm
We value direct connections with our customers & suppliers (social, ecological, financial)
We value so-called waste material for re-use &/or feed on the farm
We value labour & strive to do things for ourselves
We value patience – nature takes time, & patience tastes delicious
To raise animals ethically, ecologically, & economically
To control as much of our supply chain as possible
To sell directly via: farm gate, households, restaurants, wholesale
To be a model and a voice for regenerative, ethical agriculture
And this is why I love Jonai Farms.
Now for the photos – It was a very hard choice to not put them all in.
It was amazing to connect with like-minded people.
Arrived and we’re ready to learn how to make salami
Tammi in her element. Preparing to make Pate De tete which is made from slow boiled pigs head and trotters.
Two pigs head, a trotter and a herb and veg bunch went into hot boiling water
Tammi talks to us all through the butchering and she was extremely helpful with all of our questions
The meat and fat on the pig was insane. Such quality. I asked Tammi “how do you know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fat of a pig” She replied ‘good’ fat is really white and smooth. If the fat is bubbly then this is ‘bad’ fat”
Cutting the side of the pork down to divide it into meat, skin and fat to make charcuterie. Tammi believes in nose to tail and no wastage. All pork is utilised respectfully.
Oh this is one strong women and one heavy pig!
Leg joints cut off to make jamons
explains to us the different cuts of meat
Just look at that fat! Amazing.
Two pigs head and a trotter in this beer barrel. It has been simmering away since 9.30 and if I recall turned off about 3pm. The heads were strained and the terrine dish was lined with the pigs tongue and ‘good’ meat
Curing in a salt solution
Salami in the making. Freshly ground local black pepper and salt. Everyone had a go to trim meat cuts and seperate the meat, fat and skin.
Chilli and black pepper. Lots of chilli. This is to make the Capocollo.
The biggest sausage I have ever seen. Even Tammi was excited! This is called a Capocollo. Made through a sausage maker and to Tammi’s surprise!
See! Everyone was excited!
The amazing butchery where Tammi can now make and sell her charcuterie
We were fed all day with their amazing and tasty pork. These guys do know how to farm. Stuart was great and kept us fed all day. Here he is making pork spare ribs.
Biggest grin ever!
This is all the salami that we made and in 6 weeks time we can all catch up again and enjoy it. I love seeing how so many hands can create delicious and real food for all to share. Tammi taught us how to string the salami.
The whole day was amazing but to come back from the farm tour where we got to see the whole Jonai farms and sit down to a long table lunch was the crackle on the pork!
The Jonai Farm is transparent. Open to the public to see how everything is done and I love that. This is what we will inspire to be. We want our consumers, you to come and pat the pig, goat and cow. We want you to pluck a chicken and see how different varieties of vegetables are grown. And we also want you to see the high’s and lows of learning to grow and raise all our own food, to live simply and to live well.
I hope I have inspired you to seek out ethically raised produce. When you eat better quality meat, you eat less and you are more satisfied. When you eat meat that you know who the farmer is, how the meat was raised, you create a sense of ecological connection which I guarantee will help you to live well and be well and it may even inspire you to start farming.
See you for part two of our Victorian Ethical Farm Research Trip
Thank you Tammi and Stuart for opening up your farm and your hearts to allow us to share a very special day.
If you are interested in learning how to make salami’s or any of the other workshops which Tammi runs please go to her website here. I highly recommend it!