We believe in a model of conscious, sustainable and healthy farming were all aspects of the farm are interconnected, and the farm itself is interrelated with the wider environment. In this view, what is better for the environment is better for the animals, and ultimately, what is better for the environment and the animals is better for the farmers and the consumers.
Organically raised and grown
All of our animals and crops are raised organically and we do our best to utilize natural cycles that protect and enhance the environment and maintain a balanced ecosystem. All animals have access to pasture, have well-rounded diets, and are allowed to express their natural behaviours.
Ensuring soil fertility is at the heart of our organic production system. Soil fertility in our grasslands is sustained by instituting managed rotational grazing with sufficient rest periods, the sequential incorporation of clover into swards and the application of our farmyard manure. Our goal with rotational grazing is to mimic the natural action of wild herbivorous and avian. Along with promoting pastures that absorb rainfall, filter runoff, reduce erosion, and sequester carbon, these managed pastures will provide the best forage possible for all our different animals, promote rejuvenation of the soil, and minimise any potential for disease and intestinal parasites in our animals.
Soil nutrient levels in our grain production fields are sustained by managing a crop rotation between grains, ley periods and green manure crops. The rotation is designed to improve soil organic matter, best utilise the nitrogen in the soil from our pea crop, suppress any potential weeds and encourage the development of beneficial soil biota.
Self-sufficient, sustainable and local
Organics is a great foundation to start from, but our goal with Crawford's Farm is also to become as much of a self-sufficient, closed unit as we can. Local and organic are not always synonymous, with organic feeds often being imported from far away and organic products shipped many miles before purchase/consumption. We do our best to produce as much of the feed for our animals as possible – growing grains to feed the animals and producing straw for bedding. The animals then in turn produce manure and fertilize the land. We also hope to expand to incorporate breeding stock for all our products into our permanent livestock, reducing the need to buy in animals and thus reducing dependance on external systems in a changing, unpredictable world.
A key part of sustainability for us is also diversity. Nature is diverse and full of limitless variety, and to increase resilience, farms should be too! Along with the livestock, the birds, insects, hedgerows, trees and all wildlife play a vital role in the successful functioning of our farm.
More affordable quality food
In our production we are striving to produce whole, unprocessed (real!) food. Most of our meat products are sold directly in bulk or in mixed bundles to make them more affordable. We do sell some meat items by the item/kg as well, but we want to increase the availability of healthier, tastier, organic meat for consumers by decreasing the price, and the way to do this is through bulk sales.
We appreciate quality food, and it is our goal to help bring about the transformation of a better food system and a shift in the way consumers think about and appreciate animals and animal products.
The suggested take home message...
Eat less animal products overall, but any you do eat, make sure they come from a local, sustainable, humane source. By buying our products you are investing in a better food system!