Story & Photo Melissa Butters
Down at Esperanza Farm, you’ll find Jerrod and Susana Henderson and their four children, raising heritage breed Large Black and Berkshire pigs, and cows, ducks and Border Collies.
A relative newcomer to the industry, Jed has been supplying pork to the markets for the past seven years. He’s a firm believer in nose-to-tail ethical and regenerative farming. For him it’s all about lifestyle, community and providing a quality product to the customer.
His pigs live a rich life, roaming pastures and eating a balanced diet full of variety. ‘I love to spoil them,’ says Jed. ‘Their favourite is bananas, and recently I was feeding them pecans and lychees.’
Customers won’t find these artisan cuts anywhere other than the markets. At their stall, Jed showcases a photobook of pork recipes, encouraging customers to experiment with cuts they wouldn’t normally buy.
Susana’s Spanish background has influenced their smallgoods selection, which includes chorizo and salami. Their snags are made the traditional way without additives or sugar, using fresh herbs from their garden. You can truly taste the difference. ‘When you do get a bit of meat it’s important to get a good quality product that’s not filled with preservatives, and enjoy it,’ said Jed.
Exciting initiatives underway at Esperanza include a reforestation project and the planting of flowering and fruiting natives to create environmental barriers between the growers’ paddocks. This provides shade and windbreaks, much to the pigs’ delight.
Buying straight from the farmer at the market promotes a stronger local economy. You can also learn about where your food comes from and what you’re putting into your body. What better way to enjoy the summer barbecue season than to get together with family and share some quality food grown with love by your local farmer?
Find the Esperanza Farm stall at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday 7–11am, and at New Brighton Farmers Market, Tuesdays 7–11am.