The Love Story Behind An Edible Flower Farm In South-East Queensland

Simone Jelley labored as an promoting photographer for Queensland Newspapers till 2013, when she and all of the others in her division had been made redundant in a matter of days.

It was her husband Dave – who Simone lovingly refers to as her ‘enabler of goals’ – who prompt that she take a while off to have some enjoyable with a newly found ardour for gardening. ‘It rapidly turned an obsession, completely consuming my world and with it, solid an unbelievable driving drive with fierce momentum of its personal’, says Simone. Quickly she sought out the strangest, rarest and most uncommon crops to develop, and by 2014 Simone was ‘farming’ their Macleay Island block in Moreton Bay, and two different neighbouring properties. In 2015 she signed her first farm lease on adjoining Lamb Island, and her second shortly after.

However regardless of a lifelong love of flowers, Simone’s ‘down the rabbit gap’ second began with a weed. ‘I found that the “weed” I had been combating in my backyard was Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), an historical Ayervedic herb and being researched for therapeutic advantages’, she says. This discovery prompted Simone to analysis the edibility of every part, and armed with this information, she started to construct leaf mixes and edible flower merchandise that led her to promoting on to among the greatest effective eating cooks within the nation, in addition to locals and wholesale suppliers.

Simply a few years after she had began ‘enjoying round’ within the backyard, Simone was successful nationwide produce awards! In 2016 she gained the Scrumptious Produce Awards Nationwide Gold Medals, a title she held once more in 2017, and was a Queensland State winner in 2018. ‘Getting round producing world class produce to one of the best cooks at a big scale, with restricted water, transient labour drive and difficult weather conditions was all of the “apprenticeship” wanted to be realized rapidly’, she says.

In 2017, Simone and Dave hit a fork within the street after working out of water and shutting down the farm lease. ‘A connection was made to a “co-investor” group who provided to ‘home’ Fairly Produce on their land within the Northern Rivers of New South Wales’, tells Simone. ‘Over six months I transported each final one in every of my crops, instruments, seeds and processing tools to the farm. By early 2018, that they had shut the gates, stored all my IP (I managed to avoid wasting my treasured seeds) after which proceeded to begin their very own edible flower enterprise’.

This utterly gutted Simone. However after lots of deep considering, she realised that she was nonetheless in love with farming, and needed to provide it one other crack. It was Dave, once more, who mentioned the choice of promoting up his dream house –which he constructed along with his personal arms – to begin in search of their very own farm for the way forward for Fairly Produce.

After a 12 months of exploration, Simone and Dave discovered the brand new web site on the fringes of Lamington Nationwide Park in South East Queensland, positioned on the Canungra Creek. The way in which Simone describes it seems like a dream. ‘We’ve platypus, eagles, turtles, fish, frogs and wallabies. Mist rises and rolls, ebbs and flows alongside the ridges a lot of the 12 months so it appears like we too are cocooned contained in the rainforest. Cool nights, sizzling days. Good rising situations for edible flowers. I really feel so very humble to be given an opportunity to be a caring steward of this Yugambeh peoples’ Nation’ she says.

It’s right here that Simone and Dave have discovered their sanctuary for Fairly Produce. As a passionate advocate for chemical free agriculture, Simone believes wholeheartedly in in search of regenerative and non-harmful options in terms of meals manufacturing, and considers it her accountability to guide by instance. ‘I hope that our little farm is like an ark and an oasis to all wildlife that come to hunt harbour. I hope that this message from somebody truly doing it, practising it, proving that it may well certainly work will encourage a brand new era of like minded farmers and growers who may also construct arks within the agricultural panorama’, she says.

Simone recognises the therapeutic fantastic thing about the farm and its surrounds, and hopes to share it with others. In future she’d wish to welcome guests by Vacation spot Scenic Rim Farm Trial days, and discover the therapeutic properties of flowers in inventive initiatives that deliver agriculture right into a therapeutic framework. She additionally needs to supply on-line portals that present each day entry to the flower farm for these of us cooped up within the metropolis.

Regardless of the challenges Simone, Dave and Fairly Produce have confronted in the previous couple of years, Simone describes ‘the overriding essence of pleasure, love, surprise and creativity’ because the metaphorical 4 corners of their farm. And on the coronary heart of all of it, Fairly Produce is constructed on the love and assist of this husband and spouse duo.

‘Dave is the explanation I might have achieved a lot. He’s not a flower farmer. But he actually strikes heaven and earth to make my goals blossom into actuality’.

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