Story & photo Melissa Butters
Nicole and Tom are the founders of Misty Creek Agroforestry. The young couple are the fresh faces at Mullum Markets with a vision to create agroecology that inspires. On their 28 acre farm they grow trees, veggies, birds and beef and they will be bringing their freerange organic chickens to the market each week.
Nicole was born in London and has worked in the film and fashion industry. Tom grew up on a cattle farm and studied marketing and economics. Together they studied permaculture and the seeds of their farm were sown. They found some land that was initially written off as floodplain, but they saw the potential of the fertile soil.
Aware of the need for healthy food, connection to nature and environmental responsibility, they aim to directly feed the community through their abundant diverse forest with a strong focus on regeneration of the land.
Part of a necessary movement, they encourage people to relentlessly ask questions about where their food comes from. ‘When you are at the farmers markets, ask food sellers how the food was grown,’ said Nicole. ‘And always seek regeneratively grown produce, as the Earth is too degraded for solely “sustainable” practices. Look past labels – ask about the ecology of the farm; its biodiversity, forest and water quality.’
The couple face the challenge of testing a system that hasn’t been proven economically, though they have strong faith in that fact that it’s ecologically sound. ‘It’s critical for the health of us all, and our planet,’ says Tom. ‘If people place an importance on where their food comes from and who grows it, it will drive a stronger and more resilient local economy.’
The couple promise to convey their farming methods authentically, and are more than excited to see the fruits of their labour finally available at the markets and to immerse themselves fully into the community. ‘We are excited about connecting with those who buy our chickens because it means that we are completely involved in every stage of the chicken’s life,’ says Nicole. ‘From its first day, to death, to being handed to those who will eat them.’
The Mullumbimby Farmers Markets run every Friday 7–11am.