Order A Meat Pack

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 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.

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


Eric, Wendy and Team.

February 2011

Welcome and a Happy New Year to you all even though it is already February. It seems that this year is going to go as quickly as 2010 did.

November and December were best described as “frantic” as we tried to shear our sheep and harvest a barley crop in an exceptionally wet 2 months. We had the total rainfall of 2009, fall from the 1st of November to the 14th of December in 2010.
It was very wet and at times frustrating being able to see a bumper crop in the field and not being able to get it harvested and into the silos. Our rainfall records dating from 1951, show that 2010 was our wettest year on record. We ended up with 1183mm of rainfall for the year almost double our long term average of 600mm of rainfall.

We were however very Blessed to have been able to harvest what we did of the crop and to complete our shearing.

Our thoughts and prayers have been with the many friends and all the people who have been affected by the floods and now cyclones all over Australia.
Our daughter Hayley and husband Scott were forced to leave their home in Emerald for 2 nights with the floodwaters that were experienced in that part of Queensland. The waters came into their front and back yards but fortunately not into their house when 80{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} of Emerald went under water in December.

Below are some of our flood water photos in early December.

‘Glenara’ Crossing                                       ‘Murga Ridge’ Driveway (Water was 500m wide)


Meat Pack Prices
We have lifted the prices on our meatpacks.  Rising costs in the production line and the phenomenal rise in ‘live market’ prices have necessitated this move after 18 months. (I would love to be able to give it away.)

Our research shows that our pricing is still under supermarket prices and less than half the price of most of our competitors in the same market and the product we know is far superior.

Meat Packs Availability and Distribution
We will have the first of this year’s meat packs available from around the 24th of February and we will be back in full production now for the rest of the year. So don’t forget to get your orders in quickly.

Our Dubbo delivery point (Newtown Providores) has closed so we will inform you of our new pick up point in due course for all our Dubbo customers. We would like to thank Peter Davis for his support, encouragement and help whilst we used his facilities for our deliveries in Dubbo. We wish him well for the future.

What’s Happening on the Farms
We are in the process of rebuilding infrastructure on the farms after the enormous amount of water that went through them last year.
In all we lost 3 dams whose walls were breached;
2 main creek crossings on stock laneways / access roads were washed out;
about a kilometre of fencing needs to be replaced;
and 28km of driveways and laneways need to be reformed and then graded.

We will be pregnancy testing our cows and weaning calves in February and then resowing winter grazing crops in March.

Eric and Wendy
have been away in Adeliade catching up with the family before travelling on to Tasmania for our first visit.
It was wonderful to “re-connect” with the children and grandchildren whilst in Adelaide, and Wendy and I thoroughly enjoyed our scuba diving experience there.

Highlights of the Tasmanian trip were the history of places like Stanley, Strahan, Macquarie Harbour and Port Arthur. The seafood, cheese, beer and wine were exceptional.
Wendy however did not “like the roads or the altitude of the roads” and taking a motorhome up Mt Wellington in Hobart didn’t help. It has been a bit of a shock to come back to 40C plus temperatures after 16 days in “cool Tasmania.”

Eric and Wendy with Cradle Mountain in the backgound

Luke and Karissa and family are enjoying their well earned break away on the NSW central coast. Their first few days away were very hot but it has since cooled down for them to relax and enjoy themselves.

We have had a run of birthdays with Dwight (2 yrs, grandson) on the 4th of January,
Mum on the 9th of January as well as Mum and Dad’s 57th wedding anniversary,
Rhonda’s on the 14th of January,
Scott (son in law) on the 1st of February,
the twins Hannah and Kailee (4 yrs, granddaughters) on the 3rd of February and
Coco-Nicole, a granddaughter in Adelaide, will be having her 4th birthday on the 19th of February.

Kailee and Hannah and Cake
“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”

Regards and wishing you all good health for 2011.

Eric, Wendy and Team

September/October Newsletter


It has been an exceptionally busy September and October and a lot has been happening.

Meat Packs
Congratulations and Thank you to Liza Twohill and family who have become our 100th customer. We thank you for your patronage and are sure you will enjoy the meat. Liza is a nutrition specialist and has her own business Macquarie Natural Health located in Dubbo where she specializes in nutritional medicine. Her website is www.macquarienaturalhealth.com.au and will be going live soon.

Can’t think of what to get someone for Christmas???
We can send a Gilgai Farms meat packon your behalf. For those of you, who have tried our meat, you know that it is great value for money and would be a wonderful and practical gift for Christmas.

We have established freight links and depots for Melbourne and Adelaide and have had our first shipment to Adelaide this week. There is also a new page on the website with delivery points for our meat packs. The above link will take you to it.

We will be having a break from the meat business over Christmas and the New Year and will resume sales at the beginning of February. If you are contemplating ordering in the near future it would be wise to order early as the last despatch for this year will go out in the first week of December.

We won’t be able to process any orders this year, that are received after the 3rd week in November.

Carbon Issues
Our farming system and production examples from our farms have been used in a book just published called
‘Should Meat be on the Menu written by David Mason – Jones.

‘David explores the carbon issues in our food, paddock to plate. He was initially influenced by the general public mood that livestock cast a long shadow in terms of their global warming gas emissions. Since researching this matter in more detail however, David has completely reversed his opinion.’


The “Flerd” at Murga Ridge (Flock and Herd)

Our belief has always been that Grass fed meat production is a “closed carbon cycle”.

Animals can only eat what has already been sequestered through the process of photosynthesis. It is refreshing to see other people are now seeing not only the health benefits but also the environmental benefits from Grass Fed Meat.
The book can be purchased from the following websites www.journalist.com.au and www.smallfarms.net

Rhino Awards
Once again the Rhino Awards for Excellence in Business have come and gone. The Rhino Awards are run by the Dubbo City Chamber of Commerce and recognise individuals and Business’s under different categories for excellence in their field. We were nominated in 3 categories, finalists in 2 categories (Excellence in Environmental Sustainability and Excellence in Rural Achievement) and had a great night at the gala dinner and presentation.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to repeat last years performance but were able to celebrate with Bosweb Systems (who host our website) and Vanguard Business Services (who chair our quarterly board meetings) with their well justified wins.
Bosweb Systems won the Silver Rhino for Excellence in Customer Focus for the second year in a row and Mark Gardner and his team at Vanguard won 2 Silver Rhinos for Excellence in Rural Achievement and Excellence in People Development. Congratulations especially to you two, but also to all the Rhino winners.

What’s Happening or Happened on the Farm
Calving and Lambing
– We achieved 104{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} this year in our sheep, which is the first time above 100{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} and a 9{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} lift on last year. We have also had 9 sets of twins in our calving this year, up from 5 sets last year.

Water– The amazing rainfall continues and the last dam to overflow happened on the 9th of September. This dam was built in the drought of 2002 and has never overflowed before. We have also recieved over 100mm of rainfall for the month of October.

Comobella Dam full and overflowing.

– We plan to start the harvest of our Barley crop after we have finished shearing. It is looking good, and we think it will yield well.

Telemetry – The Observant Remote Monitoring system is up and running. We are able to monitor 3 sets of water storage tanks for our livestock watering system. We also have a mobile camera which we move with the animals. This camera can be set to take photos at different intervals of time and Luke has had a lot of fun ‘tweeking’ and fine tuning the alarm levels, low levels, high levels etc. This system in summer should save us about 2 hours per day in checking of water levels and pumping. Luke is also able to monitor this from his mobile phone.

In the next week the pump electrical harness and flow meters should be hooked up, which will allow us to restart and stop the pump according to tank levels. It will monitor the diesel pump for service schedules and pumping rates.

Our granddaughter Kailee and
grandson Dwight helping
at Shearing in October

Shearing– We have shorn the dry ewes earlier in October and our annual shearing will start on the 8th of November. We will be busy for about 2 weeks, weather permitting.

We had Wendy’s cousin Brian and wife Anne stay with us during October and it was great to catch up with them. Their son Jason has gone into a small boutique winery in the Clare Valley in South Australia and we sampled some of their first bottles of Shiraz and Riesling. We can now say that we have an excellent “family” wine to go with our excellent beef or wonderful lamb. Their label is Jenner and Webb Wines and we think the both “drops” were great.

Wendy has been appointed as Regional Co-ordinator for the Orana Playgroup Association as well as fulfilling her role as Geurie Playgroup Co -ordinator. She has also been kept exceptionally busy with Scripture at Geurie Public School, Playgroup, Ballet with our twin granddaughters Hannah and Kailee as well as all the entertaining and work at home and in Dubbo.

Luke and Karissa are well and keeping busy with the family at Preschool 2 days a week. Karissa has also been helping Luke and I on the farm 2 to 3 days a week with all the individual animal records, tagging, Ecological Monitoring and being the general run around girl. Many thanks for all your help.

Eric has finally rebuilt our farming records after a software crash, been a participant to the CWCMA evaluation day regarding their Farming System program, worked with Dubbo West Rotary at the Caravan and Camping Show and the Dubbo Car show, nearly completed all his assignments (1 to go) for the Diploma in Rural Business Management.

He has also had numerous visitors to the farm over the last few months including Dept of I & I (formerly Dept of Ag), The Land Newspaper, and David Goldney and Paul Newell. It was a pleasure to have David and Paul visit recently to look at our farms, farming system and see the data we have collected over the years. David Goldney is the Principal Consulting Ecologist of Cenwest Environmental Services, past Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court, and an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University and the University of Sydney.

He will be using our farm and farming system as a case study in his keynote address to the 50th Anniversary of the Ecological Society of Australia in December. Paul Newell who accompanied David is a land owner from the Canowindra district of Central West NSW whose farming system is based around a lot of the same principles as ours.

Albert and Perle seem to be coping well and Dad has started a new batch of compost which seems to be going exceptionally well.
Mum has had a good report after her mammogram and been given the all clear again for another year. Dad spoke at Rotary during October on his and Mum’s 28 years in southern Africa, which was very well received.

Rhonda is still in Singapore and plans on revisiting the farms towards the end of January and for a major part of February. She is well and overseeing the business’s in Asia.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. Elbert Hubbard

Wishing you Good Health

Eric, Wendy and Team

July/August Newsletter

Welcome to what was an incredibly WET July and August where all the properties have averaged around the 150mm for the 2 months, and we have nearly had our average annual rainfall so far this year. This amazing season has meant that we will have a big Spring. Our soil moisture profile is completely full and water is starting to seep out of the hills again. The last time I can remember this happening was in 2000.
The photo of the Comobella Rd in Geurie (below) was taken from the car as we brought our grandchildren home early from Preschool in Dubbo that day.

Our Front driveway and the Comobella Rd in Geurie on the 10th of August



Calving and Lambing
Calving of over 200 cows and lambing of 2000 ewes has finished for this year. At times it has been difficult to get around the properties to check them each morning with the amount of rain we have had. We have had a couple vehicles bogged, a couple of times.

The quality of the calves we have on the ground this year has given us a great sense of satisfaction. They have also been a great source of encouragement that we are on the right path with the genetics we are using. In addition we have had 9 sets of twins this year.
We believe they are the best “drop” of calves we have had in the ten years we have been here.

Some of our cows and newborn calves (August 2010)

Lambing, has also been exceptional this year. We are about lamb mark so we will know in the next week how we have gone.
It is looking as though we might break the 100{12a0b04c8112bc6fb02f4968898d7361e96e550d77e132d7a1c2b48f4bcc1854} for the first time. This year we have even had a number of triplets which the ewes have been able to rear as well as a lot of twin lambs. Fingers crossed for some good percentages!!

We will be shortly commencing some trials on remote monitoring. We have received a grant from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Central West Catchment Management Authority(CWCMA) and Rabobank. This funding has been wonderfully co-ordinated by Mark Gardner from Vanguard Business Services and we would like to thank Mark for his efforts on our behalf, and for the sponsors for their kind donations. The testing of this sort of technology and its feasibilty within our region is going to be an interesting exercise. We plan on holding field days for people to come and see it in action and provide all the information associated with its implementation.

We will be able to remotely monitor pump flows, water flow from storage and water levels in storage tanks and be able to turn pumps off and on remotely.We are also hoping to be able to put a “live feed” camera onto the website at a later date. I know Rhonda was hoping to be able to remotely open and shut gates without leaving the car. We will have to wait and see on that one.

Meat Packs

If you tick this box on your order form, we will be able to forward the same order to you on a monthly, bi monthly or quarterly basis. We believe this will help streamline the reordering process and save you the time and hassle of trying to remember when to get your Gilgai Farms meat pack order in as well as allowing us to fill your orders with less waiting time.

Our meat packs are continuing to progress and build slowly but surely. The exciting part for us has been the feedback from you on the consistency of the product in tenderness, taste and texture.

There are some new options in the cuts available in the hogget packs of either the 6 cutlets or a rack of lamb.

One of the criteria in our “Triple Bottom Line”(Ecology, Finances and People) is sometimes the most neglected. We have been constantly reminded over the last few months how important they all are to us and how fragile life really is.

We have had an international visitor, Sharon Vree, with us for August. Sharon has completed her first year of Agriculture at University in the Netherlands and is heading back to start her second year at the beginning of September. We wish her well in her future studies and hope we have been able to broaden her horizons and understanding of Agriculture in Australia.

Wendy and Sharon

Mumhas had 2 lots of surgery to remove cancers from her foot and leg in August and is making a great recovery, well assisted by Rhonda who has flown out from Singapore again as girl “Friday”. Mum, I think was getting a bit tired of Dad’s cooking and his ‘variety’ of meals, but he has been able to learn a few more dishes besides fish fingers and baked beans. Dad celebrated 81 years on the 1st of September and had a great day with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who brought him his favourite chocolates.

As mentioned earlier Rhonda has had a quick trip back to Geurie and will be leaving again for Singapore mid September. We thank her for all her help over the past few weeks.

Wendy has been exceptionally busy looking after grandchildren, Geurie Play group, Scripture and all of her farm chores as well as her cleaning jobs in Dubbo.
Eric had a great visit with his schoolfriend Allan and wife Cheryl-Lynn Rockhill, when they visited Australia in early July from Durban in South Africa and has another schoolfriend from Africa coming to visit in early September whom he hasn’t seen since 1976. He has also hosted a bus trip from ‘Communities in Landscapes’ to look at the changes that have occurred and the research site where the monitoring, detailing these changes has happened and is happening.

Luke has set up a Facebook fan page recently and so you will be able to follow us on that as well. The page is Gilgai Farms. The sub-titling of some of the photos are not quite “correct” when they show the platter of meat and call it a “vegetarians nightmare”. We thank him for his effort and adding another dimension to promoting our great healthy and nutritious product.


“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”

Wishing you good health

Eric, Wendy and team.

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



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