As I drive through the winding roads of Witheren, I can’t help but feel as if I’m driving on a beautiful country road well away from society.
A peaceful trek, I pull into the driveway of Chantilly farm, passing the sweetest fruit and veg stall you've ever laid eyes on, and park my car in front of the goat pen.
Completely in her element, I’m greeted by Bec, who is affectionately known as 'the lettuce lady', sitting on the grass surrounded by goats and her six children Tyrus, Hudson, Alexis, London, Finlay and Sloan.
I had originally met Bec through a home-school farm tour, and you can't help but be taken aback by her kindness and patience towards teaching children. Like lost puppies, my children followed her around the farm for a blissful 2-hour educating tour on something she is so clearly passionate about.
A mere six months ago, the opportunity to lease a 12-acre micro herb and lettuce farm arose. Bec, who is originally from Melbourne, and her husband, Josh, from Western Australia, fell in love with the Gold Coast. With a need to find a farm close to the beach, purchasing Chantilly farm was a dream come true.
"My husband would love to take me in the middle of nowhere and have a farm out there. He's from a cattle station, so he'd love to replicate that, but I needed people. I needed civilisation. Especially because we homeschool. So when this came up, it was almost an impossible dream that we never thought was going to happen."
This small dream was sparked by an interest to become self-sustainable for her family. To grow everything themselves, sell the surplus and live off the farm.
After travelling Australia for 12 months in a caravan and homeschooling out of need, Bec and Josh realised that they didn’t have to send their children to school and could educate them by involving the farming life in with the schooling life. Thrown into farm life, Bec and her family knew nothing about edible flowers, micro herbs and lettuces.
“I hit the ground running and learnt basically everything from being taught for two weeks from the previous owner who is honestly the Yoda of gardening, or there’s Google. Now six months later, it's a satisfying feeling as a mum that my staff can ask my 10-year-old what's going on, or what the problem is. Every step of the way, everyone is involved."
With a dream to only supply locally, open up a coffee shop and provide a hands-on farm experience, Bec and Josh are working hard behind the scenes to take it as far as they can on every level. With a goal to sell the produce, supply locally, open the farm to tours and get kids involved in workshops, Chantilly farm is really just about getting the community back together.
"Listen, this is us, this is what we do and a lot of the time the people are willing to buy from the farmer. I would open the farm and gates tomorrow if I could, but we need to raise the funds to submit our plans for council approval."
You can help support Chantilly farm by coming along to their fundraiser on Saturday 13th October. Gates open at 10:30 am with food, coffee, live music, market stalls, kids activities and cooking demonstrations.