We are putting the focus on Greenvale Farm this week let you get to know the faces behind one of our favourite ham and pork products as well as learn what makes these producers different from the rest in terms of their farming values and and how they make their products as natural and delicious as they are.
Before we get started on the interview, we would also like to mention that Greenvale Farm have officially made their products chemical nitrate free. Bacons and Hams all require preservatives to make them safe to eat but often hams and bacons have lots of other artificial chemicals added to extend shelf life and retain moisture. For the last 6 months, Greenvale have been working towards removing all these from their bacons and hams. They have been delighted with the results in terms of flavour and are happy to be able to offer their customer chemical nitrate free products with the preservatives now coming from naturally occurring nitrates in celery salts and rosemary extracts.
1. Who are the faces behind Greenvale Farm and what got you into pigs and farming?
Greenvale Farm is an 1150 acre property of scenic red gum pasture in Western Victoria. The farm is located on the Willaura-Wickliffe Road, 10km from the village of Willaura. Willaura lies about 34 km south of Ararat, a town supported by the local farming industry, involved mainly in wool and cropping. The homestead was built in the early 1850’s and the property originally spanned more than 60,000 acres in the Western District. The Hopkins River runs the length of the property and a majestic escarpment overlooks the river, across the property and beyond to the Grampians.
Greenvale Farm is managed by Anthony and Amanda Kumnick, who live on the property with their young family. In 2008 the Kumnicks returned to Australia from an IT career in UK and Canada to pursue their passion for pigs and to develop a value adding business system for the family farm. They believe they are merely stewards of the land, and that sustainable farming is farming with the future in mind.
2. What makes Greenvale arm and your product different from the rest?
Our free-range rare breed live in large paddocks with access to water and foraging and sleep in large sheds – or on summer nights prefer to congregate under one of the impressive trees scattered throughout the paddocks. We let them grow in their own good time. They are raised without antibiotics, and only medicated and supplemented when required for their health. We aren’t organic, but want to be as close as we can get to it.
Our free range rare breed pigs are fed a grain based diet that comes from pastures and supplementary grain feeding. Feeding on grass is a pig’s natural inclination, so it makes them easier to raise, as they can exhibit natural behaviours in the pasture, reducing aggression and agitation and improving the overall health or the herd.
We are moving towards a closed system in which the farm will generate all the feed that the pigs require for a biodynamic diet.
3. What does a day in the life of the Greenvale Farm team look like?
A day in the life at Greenvale Farm is never typical, with over 1500 free range pigs it can be very busy. Feeding, fixing water leaks and fencing all combined with piggery management. Making sure our Mums are happy and piglets too. Building farrowing pens and generally ensuring we have a bunch of happy pigs. We are also organising butchery, deliveries, marketing and sales as we do undertake the whole paddock to plate distribution. We work with our customers both direct and hospitality customers to find exactly what they are looking for.
4. When you’re not busy on the farm with the pigs, what are your favourite things to do around Western Victoria?
We are always busy on the farm but when we get away we love to visit Port Fairy, pop in to our favourite Inn the Merrijig Kitchen to see Liz and Tanya, or we might go for Fish and Chips from East Beach fish & chip shop and after the kids go mad on the beach we finish the day with a Poco icecream.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful products the Greenvale Farm so mindfully and sustainably create for us.