Our Farm to Your Plate is a pastured beef producer based at Gunalda, north of Gympie. They are relatively new to the direct beef sales industry, though not at all new to the lifestyle and hard work to make it all happen, producing quality pastured beef that has been grass fed, grass finished and which they sell direct to the consumer.
I have been covering a few beef producers of late because I really would like Sunshine Coasters to be aware of the beef producers in the region, and why to choose them over just any old meat.
Leanne and Ben North are the lovely couple behind Our Farm to Your Plate, both having a background in farming and having a love of the land.
The best part of visiting Leanne and Ben (apart from the fabulous meat) is getting a tour of the farm on the back of Leanne’s quad bike. The thought ‘drive it like you stole it’ came to mind while we ‘tore’ from one end of the farm to the other. I definitely had to hold on… but you should have seen my smile 🙂
Having said that, what a great way to see the farm, and it reminded my of my own days growing up on a farm, only my mode of transport was a horse and I used to make passengers hold on for grim life as well…
The farm is beautiful stretch of rolling countryside, all 1,200 acres of it. There is a half-acre plot dedicated to garlic, with plans to expand, but other than that it is all grazing land with a few corridors of natural bush. I was quite taken with all the old out buildings as well; an historic weathered stockyard and scrap metal pile particularly photogenic, and then there was a little kelpie pup that was putting on the cute puppy dog eyes every time I looked his way… it was easy to get side tracked by all the rustic country beauty!
Leanne and Ben started with just 30 head of cattle, and a bull – the bull actually came first. Leanne jokes that they don’t always do things in the correct order. They are now grazing over 200 breeders, along with 100 or so calves, yearlings and bulls, at various stages of growth.
While the farm is not organically certified, they make a point of only using organically certified and chemical free products on the farm and feel that there is no excuse to do otherwise.
They implement block-grazing methods, rotating stock from one paddock to another so that the land is not taxed too much and is given the opportunity to regenerate.
Due to their location, they chose to breed Charbrays, which are a cross between a Charolais and Brahman, producing a cream to light coloured cow. Brahmans have shorter hair and a generally more parasite and disease resistant than other breeds, especially when it comes to ticks – usually an issue in our more subtropical climate – which means having to use less in the way of chemicals to keep this under control.
Charolais bring to the party their renowned meat quality and speedy growth rate. They are also known to be good mothers with minimal instance of birthing difficulties.
So you have the best of both worlds; natural resistance and heat tolerance, and growth and quality… AND, they are really pretty… and quite friendly.
Both Leanne and Ben are passionate about what they do, and it was important for them to make their beef, which is grass fed and grass finished, more accessible to the general public.
The ‘Our Farm to Your Plate’ philosophy is following a trend of graziers that are supplying beef directly to the public, allowing them to be in control of all facets of their meat production; what the cows eat, the ethical way in which they are raise and treated, clean butchering and the minimisation of waste.
What there are not, are hormones or growth promotants, grain feeding and inhumane conditions – if you would like to read more about grass fed vs. grain fed, please click here – it is something I am passionate about and frequently on my soapbox for.
Our Farm to Your Plate beef is sold in portioned meat packages – family pack, ¼ side pack and ½ side pack. It is actually a really economical way of buying meat, and ensures that there is no wastage. I must say, while I was ecstatic with my beef cuts and the fabulous flavour of the meat, I was especially excited with my specially requested ox tail… *little squeal*. Family favourite.
If you would like to try Our Farm to Your Plate beef, you can contact them directly, and they will let you know when the next round of orders go out, or they can place you on their mailing list to be notified.
I can guarantee you will enjoy your meat more knowing that it has been ethically produced and you are supporting a passionate and caring local producer.
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This story was written by Petra Hughes – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds