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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

May/June Newsletter

Welcome to our May / June Newsletter

The days seem to be going past quicker than ever and so we have decided to send our newsletters out on a bi monthly basis from now on.

A lot has been happening on the farms with the sowing of a barley crop, applications of soil microbe food, a Benchmark study that is a part of Communities in Landscapes project, pregnancy scanning of ewes, crutching and the start of calving.

Benchmark Study

‘Gilgai Farms’ were selected as one of 4 properties in the Central West Catchment Management Authority area and one of 10 in NSW as a benchmark property for a study being conducted by Peter Ampt and his team from the University of Sydney. The project is a study to Assess the impact of ‘innovation in management’ that assists in the regeneration of grasslands”. The study uses Land Function Analysis (LFA), vegetation data and soil analysis in the preparation of the reports and conclusions. The study as mentioned before is a part of a Communities in Landscape Benchmark Study. We will keep you informed as and when the information becomes available and how our farming system compares to conventional agriculture.

Meat Packs

The meat packs  sales are continuing to grow and we believe we are now being able to “fine tune” the product. If you haven’t yet tried our meat we highly recommend it and you should read what our customers have to say about it. At the time of writing we have another steer and 6 hoggets dry ageing in preparation for the next cut up. We do recommend that once you receive your meat pack you should keep out what you will be using over the next week and freeze the rest. This will ensure that your meat remains in the best possible state.

Soil Carbon, Soil Biology and Health

I have copied what I believe are some important excerpts from Dr Christine Jones talk at the ‘Agriculture and Greenhouse Emissions Conference’ in May this year. A full copy can be read by clicking on the above link. It is well worth the read and the photo from Christine is worth a thousand words.
“The nutritional status of soils, plants, animals and people has fallen dramatically in the last 50 years, due to losses in soil carbon, the key driver for soil nutrient cycles. Soil health and human health are more deeply connected than many people realise. Food is often viewed in terms of quantity available, hence ‘food scarcity’ is not seen as an issue in Australia. However, food produced from depleted soils does not contain the essential trace minerals required for the effective functioning of our immune systems.

Cropping over an old fence-line clearly demonstrates the extent to which soil has been depleted by conventional farming practices. Paddocks on either side of the fence have a history of high nitrogen application. (Photo Richard May)

Routine premature deaths from degenerative conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer have become prominent when they were once relatively uncommon. The cancer rate, for example, has increased from approximately 1 in 100, fifty years ago, to almost 1 in 2 today. The effectiveness of the human immune system has been compromised by increased exposure to more and more chemicals coupled with insufficient mineral density in food.

The low nutritional status of many basic food items is highlighted in data from the UK Ministry of Health. Depletion in the level of minerals in vegetables for the period 1940-1991, for example, showed copper levels reduced by 76{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854}, calcium by 46{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854}, iron by 27{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854}, magnesium by 24{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} and potassium by 16{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854}. Deficiencies in plants translate through to deficiencies in animals. 

A piece of steak now contains only half the amount of iron that it would have 50 years ago. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies in food indicate that the symbiotic relationship between plants and soil microbes, whereby minerals are exchanged for liquid carbon, has been disrupted.”
Dr Christine Jones

 

People

Rhondahas had a trip to England after the volcanic ash cleared with her mother in law and is now back in Singapore hard at work.

Luke is enjoying being back playing for the Geurie Goats Rugby Union team this season. He has been nominated a few times as player of the match. His mother is a bit worried on Monday mornings as what he will look like. He has had a few head clashes and as a result a number of black eyes and ‘funny lumps’ on his head. Karissa and family are all well after going through the ‘normal’ seasonal colds and flu.

Eric and Wendy are looking forward to catching up with one of Eric’s school mates from Africa whom he hasn’t seen since 1972. Alan and his wife Cheryl-Lynne will be visiting towards the end of the month. Eric is also speaking at a ‘Profit from Biodiversity’ seminar at the Wambangalang Field Studies Centre.

Albert and Perle are going well aside from the aches and pains of their age. Dad is enjoying his chooks and getting the vege garden going again.

“The best national health policy would be a national soils policy.” Dr Christine Jones

Wishing you good food and good health.

Eric, Wendy and Team

April Newsletter

Welcome to our April Newsletter

Beef Packs
We have discontinued the sausage mince from our beef pack range and are now using that mince to give you extra sausages. We thank you for your feedback on our packs. As mentioned in the March newsletter, there is also now a choice of roasts in the mini beef packs of a Bolar Blade Roast, Silverside Roast or a Corned Silverside as well as the option in the other beef packs of having the Silverside corned or uncorned.
Hogget Packs
The sheep packs have really taken off and the feedback has been exceptionally positive about the quality, taste and tenderness. We are extremely grateful to our butcher Larry for his help and guidance and the preparation and packaging to get this product off the ground.

Labels
For those of you who have recently purchased our meat packs you will notice we have included the ingredients on the labels of our sausages (both beef and lamb) and where it is used as the stuffing in the hogget shoulder roast. All our sausage mince is Gluten Free and contains no added MSG.

Our goal is to deliver a product with exceptional nutritional value, taste, texture and tenderness.

Freight
We are pleased to announce that we have secured freight services for our meat packs into the Northern Rivers of NSW (Byron Bay, Lismore, Mullimbimby etc); Central Queensland (Emerald) and Adelaide in South Australia. We have actually sent some beef and hogget up to Singapore to our nephew Simon who has been very appreciative, but it was only a “once off”.

Our meat is currently being delivered to Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and suburbs, The Hawkesbury, Orange, Cumnock, Wellington, Geurie, Dubbo, Coonamble, Lismore, Mullimbimby, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Emerald. We thank you all for your patronage.

Water Quality

We have been able (for the first time in many years) to monitor the water leaving our property. We have always claimed that the water that leaves our properties is better than when it enters. I think that the photos clearly show this and the results of our type of farming system.

Water running into
our property
08/04/2010
Water leaving our
property
08/04/2010
Sample of water
coming on to properties
and sample of water
leaving properties

Feed Quality Tests
As mentioned in the March Newsletter the testing of feed quality of our pastures after the application of compost teas and microbe feeding gave us some marked results. The tests were done on the same native grass species, in the same paddock with the only difference being the application of compost tea and a “feed” of microbe food on one side of the road and no application on the other side of the road.

We have had a 73{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} increase in “greenness” or a 73{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} decrease in dry matter (the plants are staying greener longer).
29{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} increase in crude protein,
20{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} increase in Metabolisable Energy and
17{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} increase in the Digestibility of the Dry Matter.

What’s Happening on the Farms
Sowing of a barley crop is underway on the properties and the wonderful rainfall received over the Easter period has certainly filled the soil profile with plenty of moisture.

Eric will have a couple of trips away towards the end of this month looking to purchase some new bulls to help us achieve our goal of continually improving the standard and quality of our beef herd and thus our product.

Ultra-Sound Scanning for Pregnancy, will happen with our ewes towards the end of this month or the first week in May.

We will be hosting a bus tour from the Lachlan CMA on the 5th of May with a presentation of our farming system, a farm tour and finishing with a dinner of Gilgai Beef and Lamb.

People
Albert and Perle – Mum and Dad are well and Dad is now back on his tractor and doing some slashing of driveways and tracks to water. Mum is keeping herself busy doing tapestries for the grandchildren.

Rhonda – Rhonda is flying back from Singapore to take her mother in law Joan back to England from Sydney to visit old workmates, schoolmates and family if the volcanic ash allows. She will then be returning to the farms in May.

Eric and Wendy – Eric and Wendy had a good trip to Adelaide over Easter to catch up with family. They have another trip to the south coast for a wedding at the end of the month. Wendy is busy with Playgroup on Tuesdays, scripture teaching and craft in Geurie on Wednesdays and working in Dubbo on Fridays. In her spare time she also helps Eric with the packaging of the meat. We have just hosted students from CSU Bathurst who are doing a Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture Systems. We had a great time with them and are looking forward to the bus trip from the Lachlan CMA.

Eric is also back at “school” doing a diploma in Rural Business Management. The days away are good, but the assignments can be a bit wearisome.

Luke and Karissa – Luke, Karissa and family have returned from holidays on the coast where they all agreed they had a great time. Luke however has had a few complaints and is being tested at the moment for Ross River fever and a few other nasties. Their children are growing up so fast and the twins are now in Pre school one day a week in Dubbo as well as at the Geurie Playgroup on a Tuesday.

“Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.”
Hippocrates

Regards

Eric and Wendy

March Newsletter

Welcome to our March Newsletter.

Hogget Meat Packs.
We have been very pleased with the feedback from our “tasters” and our own “sampling” of the meat from our sheep. The Lamb and Rosemary sausages are one of my favourites and Dwight (our 14 month old grandson) managed 4 of them in one sitting, so we believe he likes them too. We have eaten the rolled shoulder “hot” and also as cold meat the next day. I think that it was better as cold meat, but that’s been my personal preference.

We are offering a half hogget pack for $95 and a $10 discount on a full hogget pack for $180. A half hogget pack weighs between 7kgs and 8kgs and contains a “Easy carve” Roast Leg, Chump chops, Loin Chops, Cutlets, Drumsticks, a Boned, Rolled and Stuffed (with Lamb and Rosemary Mince) Shoulder Roast and about a kilogram of the Lamb and Rosemary sausages.

We are also offering a Combination Pack of Beef and Lamb. The combination pack consists of a mini Beef Pack and half a hogget pack and will sell for $200. The combination pack will weigh around the 15kgs to 16kgs (about the size of 4 loaves of bread) and will be basically half Beef and half Lamb by weight. They have so far proven a big hit with a preliminary “phone around” for orders.

We have also changed all the packaging to 500gm serves on both the Beef packs and the Lamb packs. Mince, stir fry strips, diced gravy beef, sausages and sausage mince in the beef packs as well as the Lamb and Rosemary sausages in the Hogget packs are all now in 500gm portions.

 


7 Month Old 400kg Simmental
Calf at Gilgai Feb 2010

Beef Packs
There is now only one Mini Beef pack and we offer a choice of either a Corned Silverside or a Roast Beef. There is also the option in the Regular and Family packs of choosing to have the Silverside Corned or Uncorned as a Silverside Roast.

We have included in our meat pack order form a field asking you to nominate when you would like us to recontact you for your next order. There are a number of options which we trust will allow us to service you better without infringing on your privacy. We don’t want to become a nuisance or pester you with untimely calls.

Please also remember the 20{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} discount on the “fifth” pack and a 10{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} discount on your next order if you can influence a friend.

****Personal Deliveries in Sydney.****

We are working in conjunction with our neighbours Peter and Carmen Gauci who will be delivering our meat packs to your doorstep, if you require, in Sydney. Orders can still be picked up from Italian Foods in Lidcombe freight free. For a delivery fee Peter will arrange to deliver to you personally or organise a group delivery in your area. We will notify you of what days and times these deliveries will happen when you order.

Compost Teas and Microbe Feeding
We have had some interesting preliminary feed test results where we have measured Energy, Digestibility, Protein {12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} and Dry Matter{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} of our pastures. The results have been quite marked between where we had put out compost teas and where there had been no application of compost tea. We ran these trials in the same paddock with the same management on both sites. We also tested the same species of grass under both systems. We plan to do some more testing to confirm the original results.The initial results have confirmed our understanding of a biological farming system and have been an affirmation of our change in management.

People
Luke, Karissa and family are enjoying a couple of weeks away at the coast having a well earned break. Karissa when she returns from holidays will be doing our phone calls for orders, feedback, marketing and promotions as mentioned above. She will be the friendly voice on this end of the line.


Dwight & Eric

Rhonda has returned to Singapore for a few months to see how everything is going before Trade Fairs in the USA and taking her mother in law back to England to visit friends.

Mum and Dad are in good health. Dad is progressing well after major surgery at the beginning of February but is starting to get around better now and is nearly back to his old self.

Eric and Wendy will be having a flying visit to Adelaide for easter to catch up with the 3 grand daughters and their families some of whom they haven’t seen for quite a while.

“The accumulated wisdom from the human race has always acknowledged that there was some kind of relationship between peace of soul and health.”
  Fulton Sheen

Thank you for your patronage and we wish you a Healthy, Happy and Holy Easter.

Eric, Wendy and team.

February Newsletter

Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous 2010.


Hayley and Scott
Wendy And Hayley

Wendy and I have had a good break away from the farms and are now getting back into the swing of things.

We celebrated our daughter Hayley’s wedding to Scott Lambourn on the 16th of January at Sea Spray Resort, Zilzie Bay near Yeppoon. We had a wonderful day and I have to admit that the bride did look stunning and I don’t think that is a biased opinion. This wedding was a bit of a milestone for Wendy and I as all four of our children are now married.
We wish them both all the very best and God’s Richest Blessings for their new life together.

Whilst we were away the farms received wonderful rainfall firstly around Christmas and then on New Years Day and as I write we have had wonderful follow up rain over the weekend. The change in the countryside and on the farms from when we left to when we returned has been amazing.

We have classed our ewes prior to joining with the rams.

We have also sent up another steer and some hogget ewes for slaughter and will be trialling our hogget meat packs in the near future before we launch them in mid March. The initial hoggets have ‘dressed’ very well and are currently dry ageing.

We are getting ready for sowing and running some more trials on the farms with different mixes of soil microbe foods.

Loyalty Bonus and New Customer Incentives

We are offering a 20{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} discount on every fifth ‘regular pack’ that you order. There are a number of clients who will be getting this discount with their next order and we thank you for your support and loyalty. If you have ordered the family pack before, that will count as 2 regular packs. We will offer similar discounts with the hogget packs in conjunction with the beef packs.

IF YOU RECKON OUR MEAT IS GOOD, PLEASE TELL A FRIEND.
We are also offering a 5{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} discount on your next pack if you can help us sell a meatpack to your friends. Your  friends will need to enter your details under the “Comments and Enquiries” field on the order form, when they order their pack. You will then recieve your 5{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} discount on your next order.

Lamb Packs
We are planning on selling Half a Hogget pack and a Full Hogget pack. After consultation with our butcher the initial plan is to do “Easy Carve” roasts as this removes the bone and makes it much easier to cook and carve.

The shoulder roast will be boned out, stuffed with Lamb and Rosemary Mince and then rolled into another “Easy Carve” roast.

Our initial cuts will be:
An “Easy Carve” Roast Leg
An “Easy Carve”, Rolled and Stuffed Shoulder Roast
Chump Chops
Mid Loin Chops
Cutlets
Drumsticks (or Shanks)
and Lamb and Rosemary Sausages

We are working on refining our beef packs and maybe doing 1 OR 2 different cuts. In essence they will remain very much the same. We will also be offering a mixed Lamb and Beef pack, but will have more on that next month.

Until then

Warm Regards

Eric and Wendy

December 2009

A warm welcome to our Christmas newsletter.

Where did the year go???

We have had a number of weeks now where the temperature has been over the 40C mark. The first week of shearing we had 3 days over the 40C mark and our hottest day was 44C.


Luke and the girls shearing the alpacas

I think that I had also better limit my weather forecasting predictions. Last newsletter I said that I hoped the pattern of November being our wettest month would continue, well we had the temperatures and basically no rainfall.

Shearing was completed at the end of November and our wool will be sold on the 15th of December. We have been busy since shearing, drafting and classing all our sheep and selling off all surplus stock.

We have been amazed at how well the tree seedlings and shrubs planted in August and September are progressing despite the lack of rain and the “warm” weather.

People
Rhonda returned from Singapore to give us a hand for the last week of shearing, and will be staying on to look after the place whilst Eric and Wendy enjoy a break over Christmas and New Year. Eric and Wendy will be spending the festive season with Hayley and Scott before their wedding on the 16th of January in Yeppoon.

Luke, Karissa and family are all well and will be enjoying Christmas on the farm with Rhonda and Mum and Dad. It was good to catch up with most of our neighbours and friends at our Christmas party at the beginning of December. A good night I believe was had by all.

Meat Packs
We will be having a break from the “meat business” till middle/end of January when we return from Queensland. We have had to sell most of our steers through the fat sales due to the continuing “dry” and will only have a few(4) left when we resume in January.

We are hoping to start the lamb packs towards the end of March. Technically speaking, the sheep meat we will be offering will not be “lamb” but hogget, it’s the difference that a few months make in age of the sheep as to whether we can call it lamb or hogget. The taste and tenderness, I’m sure will be better than lamb.

We thank you for your patronage of our beef over the last few months and for “sticking with us” as we try to perfect our  meat, supply, packaging and delivery.

We wish you all a happy, safe and Holy Christmas for 2009, and a Prosperous New Year. Wendy has a badge she wears at this time of year which I believe is a timely reminder. The words on it are “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

Peace and Goodwill to all and God Bless.

Eric and Wendy