Triple B Bio-Dynamic Beef producers
We farm over 400 acres of land using biodynamics on our properties located in the Clayton/Finniss and Milang area south of Strathalbyn. We have been certified with NASAA since 2005 although we were using biodynamics for some years prior to that.
We have 50 Black Angus cows with 2 bulls and a 60 head flock of purebred Dorper ewes with 2 rams. Angus are a hardy resilient breed producing sturdy calves that mature early. Offspring are slaughtered from 9months but spend upto 7 months with their mothers. The Dorper breed was developed using English Dorset (a meat breed) and the Persian sheep creating a breed well suited to Australian conditions. Dorper ewes are exceptional mothers corralling lambs in the centre of the flock if foxes are about. They produce abundant quantities of milk and lambs grow at a tremendous rate.
Both our cattle and sheep are only grassfed – we do not finish our animals on grain which is common practice amongst many producers even when they state that their animals are grassfed. We grow our own hay for summer feed – the difference between hay and grain is that hay is cut earlier in the season (Oct/Nov) when the sap is still rising; the stalk is full of nutrients and the seed hasn’t matured. Cattle in particular are not evolved to be able to digest grain, they were originally forest dwellers and are natural browsers.
Because our animals are cell grazed, ie we have many small paddocks, they are beautifully quiet and will gather at gates when called ready to be moved into a fresh paddock. This regular rotation of paddocks reduces worm burden in animals and pasture. At every stage of their lives we treat our animals with dignity and respect in a humane and stress free manner. We transport animals to a small abattoir to ensure that once unloaded and settled, they are processed humanely. Not only is this part of the NASAA standards (see Learn More) but is also how we choose to care for our animals and why we chose to sell direct to the consumer – we have been horrified by the treatment of livestock by both stock carriers and abattoirs in the past.
Biodynamic farming uses BD preps and compost which we supplement with fish emulsion, molasses seaweed and weed teas. Preparations are sprayed onto the pastures to feed the soil microbes, which feed the grass and then the cattle. Only grassfed animals raised biodynamically or organically contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals essential for human health.
Sustainable farming is of the utmost importance to us – since purchasing our property in 2000 we have had a tree planting programme underway with 1,000 – 2,000 trees planted every year. We have been members of Trees For Life for over 30 years; have received advice and assistance from the Goolwa To Wellington Local Action Plan and the Pt Sturt Landcare Group. Both our properties have 15m wide boundaries of native local species trees/shrubs and many of the paddocks are separated by 15m wide bands of trees providing habitat shelter and windbreaks. When we purchased the Clayton property in 2010 we immediately had direct seeding of native trees around three boundaries which are now dense barriers from neighbouring properties. The fourth boundary is Finniss River frontage and we have given a 5acres block over to the care of a local group funded under the Murray Darling Basin Committee which have planted some 7,000 reeds, grasses and shrubs to encourage habitat for various wildlife using the river including long neck turtles, Banjo frogs, black swans, pelicans, Shelducks, terns, Moorhens etc. We believe that encouraging biodiversity at every level assists us in maintaining a healthy balanced sustainable farm that will continue to thrive into the future.