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June 24, 2024

Woodland Valley Farm’s hens are rebuilding the earth

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Jody Viccars from Woodland Valley Farm.

Victoria Cosford

From strength to strength, that’s been their trajectory for the past few years. Woodland Valley Farm’s list of awards – for, variously, their custards, their pastas and ‘excellence’ in both ‘small business’ and ‘manufacturing’ – continues to swell.  Fabian Fabbro and Jodie Vickers are the regenerative farmers at the heart of the Fernvale-based operation in the Tweed Valley, one that began with the supply of eggs at markets and has since then expanded to include a deli in Murwillumbah.

Pasta’bah came about, Jodie tells me, as a result of the floods in February last year which inundated the farm’s commercial kitchen, necessitating a search for a new production facility. ‘We lost most of our equipment,’ Jodie says. ‘The current home of the Pasta’bah was the perfect location… so we decided to open the doors and sell our products directly.’ Those products include sauces, custards, biscuits, ready-made meals and their famous pasta, whose manufacture can be viewed through a large in-store window.

But not only that, ‘our business,’ Jodie tells me, ‘came about initially to ensure we had zero waste with respect to the eggs we produce.’ In addition, their hens contribute approximately one tonne of fertiliser to their land, ‘providing a slow-release source of macro and micronutrients, acting as soil amendment’, says Jodie.

Most significantly, in the past two years they have achieved 350 tonnes of soil organic carbon sequestration, carbon drawn from the atmosphere and stored in the earth, through practices such as rotational grazing and native riparian zone management. It’s a triumphant story, but the ever-modest Jodie, who’s so much more than a pretty girl selling eggs, says that ‘we are truly thankful to our customers… as it is their support that allows us to continue the work we do to rebuild the ecosystem on our farm.’

Woodland Valley Farm is at New Brighton every Tuesday from 8 to 11am and Mullumbimby every Friday from 7 to 11am.


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