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Byron Shire
November 29, 2021

The Church Farm General Store’s backyard bliss

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 24 November, 2021

Lots of things that are happening in the Byron Shire, all in one place

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming out of the Cave

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The Church Farm General Store’s Andrew and Amanda, with their tribe of lads.

Story & photo Melissa Butters

Musician Andrew Morris and naturopath Amanda Cullen, co-founders of Church Farm General Store have cultivated a growing business and a blossoming family.  

Proud parents of Banjo, Percy and twins Herb and Reggie, and fully embracing their ethos ‘Eat Well, Wash Well, Live Well’ they share insights into how they juggle their business and a tribe of little boys, and how it all came about…

The couple have lived in the Shire for over 10 years and since 2013 have called a renovated timber church in Billinudgel home. They grow the ingredients of their culinary products from scratch; making pastes, pickles and passatas from the produce of their own backyard. They also make beautiful soaps.

Amanda and Andrew hold health and wellness high in their organic approach. Control of the ingredients in their products is super important – they believe that what we put on our skin and how we spend our days all contribute to wellness and quality of life as much as what we eat. ‘There is so much junk in our food system, chemicals in soaps and stressors in these modern lives we are all living. So making daily choices to eat, wash and live well is what we try to do as a family,’ says Amanda.

As in any busy household, practicality and accessibility is key. ‘It’s really awesome having a pantry full of pastes, sauces and passatas for easy meals – and a shed full of soap for messy little boys.’

They have a pact not to talk about work at home, and the boys have taught them a valuable lesson on how to find time for gardening with so much going on, ‘The only way to do it is to get them involved, which is a win-win for everyone – most of the time!’

The boys love to plant seeds, collect eggs and forage for jaboticaba and mulberries at home. When they find time to get to the markets, the boys love helping out, playing shop assistant and then taking money from the stall to go buy a yummy iced elderflower drink.

Andrew and Amanda have all hands on deck for the Christmas season, with rumours of something tasty and new just around the corner. ‘We have a few things up our sleeve,’ says Amanda. ‘Stay tuned!’

You can find the Morris-Cullen tribe and their wonderful products at the New Brighton and the Mullum Farmers’ Markets.


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