Fosterton Farm is situated in the beautiful Fosterton Valley, just out of Dungog on the Williams River. The farm produces biodynamic / organic food which is grown and produced taking care of the land, the animals and the environment.
Our main produce includes
We purchased the farm in late 2002- it was a case of love at first sight. It had been an operating dairy for about 140 years until 1999 when it ceased operations. Although it was in need of TLC, we are blessed with good red river soil on the flats, rising to clay/shale ridges and steeper hill country. A useful mix of land on 110acres to pursue our dream of farming biodynamically.
The icing on the cake for us however is that we front the beautiful Williams River,a healthy riverine landscape providing access to permanent clean water, swimming holes and fishing for bass and mullet.It is a lovely river and a strong part of the culture of Dungog Shire.
We have been gradually changing the landscape of our farm to establish greater biodiversity in the nature of the place which we believe encourages the overall health of soil, plants, birds and animals.This has meant extensive tree belt plantings, sowing diverse pasture species and of course employing only natural, organic/biodynamic methods of farm fertilisation and weed/pest control.
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Biodynamics is an advanced method of growing organically.
A magazine called "Biodynamic Growing" has a very clear explanation which we'll quote below.
If you would like further information about this magazine, their website is: www.bdgrowing.com
"Biodynamics is an advanced organic method in which no artificial fertilisers or chemical sprays are used. Biodynamic gardeners and farmers use a range of methods including biological activator
preparations to powerfully enliven soils and plants. The plant is seen in its overall context, not just isolated in a piece of soil - the influences on the plant of the soil, the water in the soil and atmosphere, light and warmth, and the cosmos (sun, moon, planets and stars) are all considered. These factors are consciously balanced, allowing the plant to grow to its full potential in health and vitality, resulting in the most beautiful, tasty, health building food.
The soil is the most important basis of agriculture. Soils are gradually developed into a humus-rich, well structured, well drained state. Rudolf Steiner, in 1924, described a method of making a series of biological activator preparations that would powerfully influence soil development in all these aspects, and allow plants to grow with optimum health, feeding naturally from the soil humus, ....."
"500 - the most powerful substance on earth for the development of soil fertility. Sprayed on moist soil it fosters microbial activity, humus levels and root growth, and leads to progressively better structured, richer, deeper and darker soils. It is made from cow manure.
501 - the light spray. It is used to bring more light into plants when excess wateriness or fertility are present. Plants become crisper and more upright, and develop more flavour, sweetness and keeping quality. 501 is made from quartz crystal."
The compost preparations, 502-507 are made from specially prepared plant materials (yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian) and are used in compost heaps, and added to 500 to make what is known as prepared 500, an enhanced 500."
Our vision has always been to produce health-giving and delicious food by building a strong, diverse and vibrant enterprise to serve the community. We have experienced the superior quality of produce grown by the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method of Agriculture and accordingly we farm using biodynamic principles. The cattle and their manuring capabilities are a vital component of a biodynamic farm and we maintain a breeding herd to supply BD pasture-fed beef.
Additionally, we transferred our baking business to the farm premises and added a stone grinding flour mill to complete the operation. We believe good bread made in a more traditional style with freshly ground biodynamic or organic grain, pure water and good sea salt is an important part of a healthy diet. We also use the eggs, vegetables, honey and beef produced on the farm to make a delicious range of sweet and savoury pastries, sold at the Dungog Bread Van and the Maitland Slow Food Earth Market with the bread.
Finally, we are also a member of the WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)scheme and as a member of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia we've hosted a Field Day as well as having school and community groups visit. We also have occasional Open Days to give customers and interested community members an opportunity to visit our farm and bakery.
We love what we do and feel in some way we make a contribution to improving the healthy aspirations of people in a fast-evolving world.
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Simon Brownbridge &
792 Fosterton Rd
Dungog NSW 2420
Ph: (02) 4992 3408
0439 709 296 (S)
0407 457 649 (L)
Central Dowling St Dungog
Every Saturday morning
8.30am - 12 noon
10am - 1pm
Simon Brownbridge, baker
Traditional bread baking is a simple process involving principally wheat, water, salt and some kind of leavening agent, be it yeast or sourdough ferment.
This is a practical, hands-on course which will cover the following:
* milling and the significance of freshly milled flour
* mixing and developing bread dough by hand
* how to establish and maintain a “sweet” sourdough starter
* kneading and shaping techniques on the table
* methods for using wholegrain and lighter flours. We will use wheat
flour from our mill
* rising procedures and baking techniques, tricks and tips, especially
for the domestic oven
* grains and their significance in the development of human civilisation
Each participant will make 2 doughs to take home to bake with clear instructions. We will bake a prepared dough on the day in a domestic oven to explain the procedure.
Please bring an apron and two bowls or bread tins for your doughs.
Venue : Hive & Gobbler,
211 Dowling St., Dungog
Cost : $110.00 - Limited Places
Bookings : online at www.hiveandgobbler.com.au
Send us an email if you would like to be on the waiting list for the next course.... see bottom of this page.
Good nutrition supports change for the better.