We’re Bryant, Susie, and Alex. We each share a passion for preserving the earth and working with nature, not against it. We understand the necessity for a holistic approach to agriculture and practice with the future in mind.
Eastwell Farms occupies acreage nestled in the Kin Kin valley over many rolling hills of evergreen pastures. The “Eastwell” name has a deep history in the family, originating from Ireland. Following the purchase of what was in 1969 a dairy farm, Bryant’s father, Arland, made great efforts to shifting the property to a beef farm. The property then served as grounds for beef production for many years following.
In the late 1970s, Arland adopted a pasture improvement program with the intention of ensuring the land could provide produce for more than the short term. As monocultures are the bane of any ecosystem, new plant species were introduced to improve biodiversity.
Brahmann cattle were then introduced to the property, following the discovery of British breeds’ susceptibility to ticks. This eliminated the need to spray the animals with tick-resistant chemicals.
Through maintaining ecological balance and genuine care for the environment, Eastwell has flourished over many decades of farming, and was set to provide a healthy and happy basis for the family’s second generation of farmers.
The Second Generation
Following years of preparation, Bryant and Susie officially took over the family farm in 2018. Their sights were set on improving soil quality through carbon sequestering, taking on great sacrifice to achieve such. With short, mid, and long term gauges of success in place, the journey began with the gradual implementation of infrastructure to support rotational grazing. This brought forth the need for the 400-acre property to be divided into over 40 paddocks, each with access to plumbed troughs. By installing troughs shared between each paddock, cattle would be less likely to disturb natural water systems. This is of great concern, as the Kin Kin Creek flows through the property in all its glory.
The process was initially steady, but Bryant managed to wrangle the assistance of younger members of the family, greatly increasing pace. Fencing and yard construction was completed two years in advance of the initial target, allowing for other goals to be pursued. In late 2020, developments began on the infrastructure to support gourmet mushroom farming. The farm was set to become multi-industry!
"Eastwell Farms" is born
Following years of interest, foundations began to be laid for the production of gourmet mushrooms. The wonder of the world of fungi had perked Susie’s interest, and the dream was finally becoming a reality. The four shipping containers were set and repurposed on-site. Bryant was at the helm of construction, supported by the assistance of many highly-skilled local businesses and professional tradesmen. The resulting structures were two plumbed, wired and lit 20-foot storage containers, as well as two 40-foot containers which housed automated temperature control, humidity and oxygen regulation, and routine light-cycling capability. The layout of these containers was carefully devised following many consultations with cultivation experts.
Early 2021 saw the harvest of the farm’s first oyster mushroom crop. After months of fine-tuning and process development, Eastwell was ready to host a gourmet mushroom farm with publicly available produce. August 2021 saw the farm putting product to market.
Nguni - A New Breed
In searching for new breeds of cattle to better suit the tick-prone environment of the Sunshine Coast, Bryant discovered the South African breed Nguni. Highly praised for its fertility, the breed also provides a natural resistance to ticks and disease.
Nguni were introduced to Eastwell in 2019, and are gradually occupying more of the farm’s herd each year.
Genetic benefits aside, these cattle are an inherantly docile breed, something of which we value dearly. We want the animals to enjoy their life on the farm while we do the same alongside them, and thus love having cattle which bring calm to the property.