There’s a steady stream of customers at Jodie’s stall. Regulars by the looks of it, most unclipping their plastic containers – 100 per cent recycled and recyclable – upon approach, to then fill with eggs.
Two thousand hens do the supplying on the 120-acre property near Burringbar, an old dairy farm purchased by Jodie and her partner, Fabian, about six years ago. The original idea was to regenerate the land and waterways, the mix of cattle and poultry intended for both rotational grazing and to provide a super-fertiliser.
But once they started selling their eggs at farmers’ markets they realised that this was where they wanted their focus to lie. They increased their flock of hens and with the eggs that were less than perfect – drawing on Fabian’s Italian background – they started producing fresh pasta. ‘It was the eggs first,’ Jodie tells me, ‘the Italian heritage second, and from there it’s grown.’
The pasta looks to be every bit as popular as those eggs, with one couple gathering up armfuls of various types while I’m there. They also throw in a couple of packets of pasta sauces, also made by Fabian, from his nonna’s recipes, says Jodie. There’s a creamy herb-flecked pumpkin one and a tomato & basil one, while the pastas include lemon parsley spaghetti, semolina bucatini, pappardelle, spinach fettuccini; there are gluten-free ones too. ‘What we’ve enjoyed most about all this,’ says Jodie, ‘is knowing people are going home making lovely things.’
They raise ducks too, and from their eggs make a Bronze-award-winning vanilla custard. ‘It’s the colour of them!’ says Jodie.
Regenerative farming, environmental mindfulness, glorious produce and products, and a possible pasta bar in the offing: this young couple might just be unstoppable!
Find Woodland Valley Farm every Tuesday at New Brighton Farmers Market 8–11 am and Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday 7–11am.