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17 October 2018 Please Note: due to the prolonged lack of rain, we are only able to provide lamb products at this time. Buy your Grass Fed Beef and Lamb direct from the producer in our beef, lamb or combination packs. Exceptional eating and great value. We deliver throughout Australia, refrigerated to your door!  

Grass Fed Beef and Lamb

Running of cattle and sheep together has given us a powerful ecological tool for repair and rehabilitation of our pastures. The ‘Herd Effect’ and ‘Animal Impact’ are tools that we have used through our grazing system to repair and restore problem areas, increasing total yield. This allows us to grow all of our meat the way nature intended – from grass.

Eric R. J. Harvey

Eric is a member of Stipa Native Grass Association, Australian Simmental Breeders Association, Australian Professional Woolclassers Association At Gilgai Farms he regularly host field days and training days for a number of organizations wishing to showcase and teach regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices.

Ecological Farming Systems

Gilgai Farm’s ecological farming system promotes an increase in biodiversity to build a resilient ecosystem able to withstand fluctuations in temperatures, rainfall patterns and climate variability while producing healthy and nutritious, quality foods.

Biological Farming

By restoring a chain of ponds system and wetland areas we are rehydrating our landscape to recreate the naturally fertile conditions of the land prior to European settlement. Compost teas are restoring our soil microbial activity which has produced astounding results.

Chain of ponds on Gilgai Farms

October Newsletter

Welcome All,

This newsletter was supposed to go out at the beginning of October but there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Meat Packs

We are just completing a number of orders at the moment and will be filling the next lot at the end of November and then having a break over Christmas and the first half of January. After the wonderful rains over the last few months (starting in August) the stock are looking absolutely magnificent and the last steer and wethers that we sent up, were in the best condition of any that we have done.

If you think you might run out of meat over the Christmas period then get your orders in as soon as possible. We won’t be processing any orders this year that are received after the 26th of November.

Preservative and Gluten Free Sausages

 

We have trialled a new ‘preservative and gluten free sausage meal’ which has been well received. However we do warn that these sausages do lose colour a lot quicker so please check with us about your delivery schedule before ordering. We need to make sure that we can get it to you within a few days of packaging so that they still look the part. (They still taste great though).

These are now available as an option to our regular sausages. However just to remind you that our regular sausages are GLUTEN FREE. Just drop us a note in the comments box of your order if you would like these instead of the regular sausages.

 

Christmas All Year Round

As we come up towards Christmas we were thinking of ideas of how we could do something within our community, and as our prime focus is on healthy nutrient dense food we thought of the many homeless and “not so well off” who need feeding. After approaching the Dubbo Community Kitchen they said they would be happy to take any meat we could send them.

The challenge is this then:

If you have any cuts or parts of cuts (eg half the sausages or mince) in your pack that you would like to donate to the Dubbo Community Kitchen Inc. (and Immanuel Care who work together,) we will forward these cuts to them on your behalf.

Any leftovers from each cut up at the butchers will now be sent to them, as well as any that you, our customers designate. We are hoping we may be able to send them meat every month from now on. Once again drop us a note in the comments section of your order.

The Community Kitchen currently has 60 volunteers who feed at the moment between 60 and 90 people on a weekly basis. They are a not for profit organisation and do an amazing job with what is donated to them. All the food that they dispense has been donated to them. The Kitchen is organised by the Baptist Church in Dubbo and held in the Dubbo Uniting Church Hall.

 

Rhino Awards

We were nominated again this year in 2 categories for the Dubbo City Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Awards. These awards are called the ‘Rhinos’ and we were judged as finalists in 2 categories being: Excellence in Rural Achievement and Excellence in Environmental Sustainability. We managed to win the Silver Rhino for Excellence in Rural Achievement.

Luke and Eric with the Silver Rhino Award’

Congratulations also to Mark Gardner and team from Vanguard Business Services who also won a Silver Rhino for “Excellence in Product and Service”

What’s Happening on the Farms

We had Courtney White stay with us for a few days in September. Courtney is the executive director and co-founder of the Quivira Coaltion in America. This is an organistion that now oversees over a million acres, where they have brought ranchers and conservationists together to restore and regenerate the landscape. It is well worth checking out the 2 minute infomercial about their conference coming up in November on the link above.

Calf and Lamb Marking was completed in September and although percentages were slightly down on last year, the overall result was very pleasing. We had 5 sets of twins this year in the cattle compared to 9 last year.

Shearing we are getting ready for shearing in the middle of November and hope that the very recent lift in wool prices will continue through for the rest of the season. We shore some cull ewe hoggets in September and the test results and sale of that wool was very pleasing. The main line tested at 15.1 micron, 71.7{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} yield and 51Nktx strength. Hope the rest of shearing goes similarly.

People

Wendy’s Birthday was well celebrated on the 19th of August. We had 30 family members for a BBQ on the Friday night and then the “official party” was on the Saturday night. We sat down 55 adults and 18 children for a very enjoyable evening. It was wonderful to have all the children and grandchildren together for the first time and to have a quick review of the life of a very talented Wendy.

Rhonda and James came up for the party and it was good to catch up with them. Rhonda stayed on for Dad’s 82nd birthday on the 1st of September before going back to Singapore.

  ‘Four Generations of Harvey Boys at Gilgai’

Eric has hosted a module at ‘Gilgai’ for the ‘Boot Camp Green’ being run by Vanguard Business Services and has also been away talking in Wagga Wagga and also presenting at an Observant producer demonstration site near Coonabarabran. He had a quick trip to Queensland and has been kept busy with Gym, Rotary, the farm and all the “admin work” which doesn’t seem to end.

He and Wendy will be attending the Stipa Native Grasses Association annual conference in Holbrook in early November.

Luke and Karissa have been well and have just returned from a break down at the coast. Karissa has been attending Boot Camp Green with Eric and enjoying the cross flow of ideas from the other participants. They are preparing for the twins to start school next year.

A wonderfully filmed documentary by Rebecca Hosking of BBC fame called A Farm for The Future is well worth watching. It has provoked a lot of thought about our own farming system and how we are prepared for the future.

” The Doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.”     Thomas Edison

Regards,

Eric, Wendy and the Team.

Winter Newsletter

Welcome to what has become a fairly dry season in the Central West of NSW.

New Packs
We have started a line of of Organ Packs” in both the sheep and beef packs. The Sheep organ pack will contain Lamb Brains, Lamb Fry (Liver) and the 2 Kidneys. You will need to check with us for availability as there is only one set per animal and they may have already been sold. The price for these is an additional $10-00 per order.

The Beef Organ Pack will be approximately 15kg. It will consist of Heart (1.5kg), Liver (6kg), Kidneys (1.5kg), Oxtail (1kg) and Broth Bones (4.5kg). Once again you will need to check with us on availability and it will work on a first come first serve basis. The cost for this pack will be an additional $50-00 per order. We are only offering this pack with a regular or family beef pack.

There is also a new option within the hogget packs of a choice between the Lamb and Rosemary Sausages or Neck Chops. We hope that through these changes we will be able to service the needs of a growing customer base. We thank our existing and new customers for their input into these changes.

Health Issues

We have made minerals, trace elements and vitamins available to our stock prior to and during lambing and calving as part of our management strategy for the last few years. This year we have found an enormous difference in the uptake.
This difference seems to dependent on the biological history of the paddock.

In the padocks where we have replaced the soil microbes (through the application of compost teas), the uptake of these supplements has been 83{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} less than the uptake from the paddocks that haven’t yet had the compost teas. The livestock also seem to be more alert and ‘doing’ better as well.

It seems that the soil microbes are making these nutrients available in the soils, which are then being taken up by the plants and showing up in the livestock. Remember that these “nutrient dense” foods are what we are selling to you.

On other health issues we were pleased to catch up with Anthia Koullouros, the nutritionist and naturopath who is working with the ‘Magnificent 10 + 10’ challenge in the Narromine Shire. You can find out all the details about this challenge on Facebook. The link above will take you to Anthia’s website, well worth looking at.

What’s Happening on The Farms
Calving and lambing is well underway. The heifers have finished calving and we are now just waiting for the cows and ewes who should finish by the third week in August. We are very pleased with the quality of the calves and lambs considering the seasonal conditions.

3 week old Steer Calves                 Heifer with 1st Calf

As mentioned at the start of this newsletter we are once again in a ‘dry spell’, having received 240 mm for the year to date in comparison to 530mm at the same time last year. This is also well below our long term average of 345mm year to date. Despite this things are going well.

Alpaca Wool
As you probably know we use Alpacas as guardians during lambing. We have alpaca wool for sale for the spinning enthusiasts and if you would like some raw alpaca wool, please contact us.

People
We are looking forward to a family get together in August where we hope to have all the children and grandchildren together for the first time since Matt and Sally’s wedding in 2005. Wendy has a special birthday on the 19th of August which we will, God Willing be celebrating on the 20th.

Luke and Karissa and family are well and all are keeping active on the farm. Dwight our grandson now ‘comes to work’ on Mondays and the twins are usually helping out on Tuesdays. Dwight’s favourite pastime seems to be “coffee and cake” at Nan’s on Mondays around 11 am. (He enjoys his Milo and milk as a ‘coffee’.)

Mum and Dad are well. Dad has finally got the medical all clear after his ‘attack’ in March and is keeping busy making the composts for us. He is also helping out at the Geurie Union church taking an occasional service and Mum has just completed term 2 of leading the Sunday School.

Rhonda says she will be back from Singapore for the party in August and we look forward to catching up with her then.

 

“What can be added to the happiness of man who is in health, out of debt and has a clear conscience.”

Adam Smith

Regards and wishing you the best of Health,

Eric, Wendy and Team

Land For Wildlife

We have just received our accreditation this last week with Gilgai Farms now being registered with Land for Wildlife.

The Land for Wildlife (LFW) program is a voluntary property registration scheme for landowners who wish to manage areas for biodiversity and wildlife habitat. LFW encourages and assists landholders to include nature conservation along with other land management objectives.

The Community Environment Network(CEN) facilitates and supports Land For Wildlife in New South Wales in partnership with interested local organisations. CEN holds a licence from Land for Wildlife to co-ordinate the program and use the Trademark in NSW. The licence requires CEN to adhere to a number of protocols to ensure the standards of LFW are consistent across Australia.

May Newsletter

Welcome to a rather late April newsletter.

Our last newsletter was mainly about all the wonderful wet year we had in 2010 and photos of the floods etc. Well 2011 has been very dry and we are almost halfway through the year and have really not had any significant rainfall event. As I write though, some very welcome rain has fallen on the farms.

New Website
The new design of the website is active and now allows you as a member to log in , check your account details and prior orders. It also allows you to track orders from end of March on, past orders (prior to March 2011) will not be in the system. We hope this will assist you in the shopping process and save you re-entering your details each time you order.

The new system also allows 3 payment options. You can now also use your credit card if so desired through the Paypal system. We do incur a charge with this method, so the direct deposit to our account, is still the preferred option for us.

We hope this improvement in the website will make shopping easier, streamline the system and assist you with your future orders.

Meat Packs
We will have some more beef and sheep packs available around the 23rd and 24th of June so get your orders inas they are going quickly.

Our new “pick up point” in Dubbo is Garians Food Wholesalers who are located at 2/13 Douglas Mawson Rd, off of Wheelers Lane. Many thanks to Kelvin and his staff for their assistsance.

What’s happening on the Farms

We had an informative field day demonstrating the Observant Telemetry system with about 40 people attending. A video was filmed and we hope to have it up (when the final editing is finished) on the website shortly. There was a lot of positive feedback and once the cost saving calculator figures were presented,  the real benefits could be seen. This remote monitoring will pay for itself within the first yearbesides providing an early warning system regarding our livestock watering system and our ‘peace of mind.’

Part of the Field Day crowd inspecting the moveable digital camera monitoring water in the trough.

We are peparing for lambing and calving over the next few months. Our heifers are due to start calving on the 1st of June and the ewes and cows on the 1st of July.

We decided not to sow any crops this year as the season got too late and was too dry.

Paul O’Keefe from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) is conducting a collaborative research project between the Central West Catchment Management Authority (CWCMA), the University of New England (UNE) and (DECCW) on the management changes from conventional grazing systems to rotational systems. He is specifically looking at the outcomes for ground cover, vegetation condition, soil condition and biodiversity.

People
Rhonda
has had a quick trip home to the farms in April to catch up with family and friends and is now back at the helm in Singapore.

Mum and Dad are looking for a home in Dubbo and will be moving off the farms in the near future. Dad had a ‘trans ischaemic attack’ (TIA) in March and so has been going through a number of tests to try and find the cause. So far all has been clear and he seems to be enjoying better health over the last few weeks.

Luke and Karissa
and family are well and working hard. Karissa has been a big help to both Luke and myself a couple of days a week around the farm whilst the children are at Pre school.
Plans are underway for the twins to start school next year. Where does the time go to ??

Eric and Wendy are busy as usual. Wendy is now the co-ordinator of the Orana Zone Playgroup which involves a number of playgroups throughout the central west area of NSW. The have just finished the ‘Biggest Teddy Bear Picnic’ and the Geurie craft group, (which she is also involved in), raised just under $2200 for the ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ cancer appeal recently.

Eric is trying to get his final assignments finished for his Diploma in Rural Business Management. Rotary, Field Days and Gym keep him occupied outside of his farm duties.

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”  Billy Graham

Regards,

Eric, Wendy and Team.

Field Day Invitation

A reminder of the upcoming field day on Monday the 21st of March. All welcome please RSVP to Vanguard Business Services or ourselves for catering numbers.

We will be looking at and trialling the recently installed Observant telemetry system as well as a paddock and mob inspections. See how we grow the wonderful product you eat.

Thanks to the MLA, Central West CMA and Rabobank who made this trial possible.

Hope to see you all there.

Due to seasonal conditions we are currently only able to provide lamb products. Dismiss