A Year in Review – 2023 and what’s in-store for 2024!

A Year in Review – 2023 and what’s in-store for 2024!

We’re celebrating.

The year of 2023 was truly incredible for Firebreak Farm. We’re celebrating a year laden with challenges that helped shape and sharpen us, while it also delivered us blessings in abundance.

It has been a year of ”firsts” and a year of “lasts”, for Firebreak Farm, with some significant events and milestones.

In 2023, we commenced our exciting new adventure, The Firebreak – an agri-tourism venture featuring two luxury cabins, The Granary and The Quarters.

Overlooking Firebreak Farm, with views down the Coomba valley and to the ranges of the Bunya Mountains in the west, The Granary and The Quarters will offer guests a luxury escape, to rest and disconnect to reconnect amid a working regenerative farm.

Our most anticipated event for the year, became super exciting, when Maggie Jane arrived almost 3 months early. Overjoyed with our tiny baby, we watched her grow and thrive and teach us about strength, resilience and faith. Now a cooing, giggling, wriggling bundle of baby-ness, Maggie brings a new deep joy and future focus, to our lives.

We have had a pretty dry time on the farm, this year, with no rain over winter or spring. With about 100 new lambs during July and heavily pregnant cows, we decided to purchase a few loads of hay to see us through. Unfortunately, as the hay was being depleted, we realised the sheep had the potential to cause significant long-term damage to the pastures as they began to eat the grasses down to ground level. We decided to wean the lambs and sell the breeding flock of ewes. In effect, we have decided to cease lamb production at Firebreak Farm.

When we sold our breeding ewes, the prices at the saleyards were so depressed that instead of receiving proceeds from the sale, we actually had to pay, to cover the transport, yarding and agent’s fees, for selling our ewes.

Another reminder of how farmers need to be able set a fair price for their produce. To survive, small farmers need to be able to negotiate a food system, designed to favour large scale enterprises, to design and create retail opportunities for their produce.

Although we do have some lambs left for 2024, we have ceased breeding sheep on Firebreak Farm. Instead, we are focusing on a well-designed pastured-pig management plan. Using electric fencing, we are raising pigs on areas in need of ‘renovation’, where they root out unpalatable grasses and lantana bushes, to leave cultivated and fertilised paddocks ready for planting pasture grasses.

Cattle grazing management is also a priority and during the year we have extended water distribution to establish smaller, self-contained paddocks for improved cell grazing.

Our cattle herd is steadily growing, with lovely calves from Ronnie, a Speckled Park bull, born during the year. Although we suffered some initial setback with five of the new born calves dying from paralysis ticks, the cows and calves are thriving on the lush pastures that have responded so well to the recent rains.

The on-going development of the farm and pasture improvement is only possible because of you. Through your support during 2023 we have been able to invest in infrastructure for more sustainable grazing practices, offer more certainty of supply to our butcher and improve our transport and delivery vehicle. We highly value your on-going support and in return we commit to transparency, honesty, high quality and animal care and wellbeing.

So, what’s in-store for 2024?

Well, we have been promising you our grass-fed and finished beef, and we’re ready to deliver! 

Starting February, we will have our beef available for order every month. We will also be bringing it along to the Powerhouse markets on our regular dates for our loyal market-goers! 

This will also mean our CSA members will start to receive beef in their monthly deliveries! If you haven’t had the chance to check out our Community Supported Agriculture option, you really should!

Finally, we hope to welcome you to The Firebreak from Autumn. Keep an eye out for when our bookings open up! 

We are so excited to share 2024 with you! We can’t wait to bring you along for the ride!

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