THIRD generation organic farmer and horticulturalist Paul Taylor believes the future lies in taking traditional farming practices and converting them to ‘new science’.
Mr Taylor, who originally hails from New Jersey in the US and was a guest at a five-day event at Jamberoo Valley Farm recently, explained these new methods.
“I believe education plays a big part and farmers using the new intelligence in agriculture, which can be translated to make farms more profitable and help farmers on smaller lots produce more produce,” he said.
“The rise of farmers' markets is a product of farmers realising that organic farming can be low-cost farming by learning about soil microbiology reducing costs.
“Organic farming is helping attract young people back to farming by producing a better lifestyle choice. And farmers 'markets mean they can get full retail price for their produce by selling to people who realise the value of buying quality, fresh produce.
“Farms in Australia tend to be larger than in others countries – in fact some farms here are as big as some counties in Europe. I try to get farmers to manage a small part of their farm better, which is better than managing the whole farm poorly.
“These successes tend to inspire farmers to then expand their better areas to other parts of the farm.
“It takes a bit of time – probably around two years to increase the quality of soils, but considering the amount of time that soil has been degrading, it’s not long really.
“We used to have home gardens, but that has gone to a large part, but younger people are now showing renewed interest and farmers' markets are benefiting by that interest.”