Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Morvenvale Farm (New South Wales - between Walgett and Collarenebri on the North Western Plains; 14000 acres; wheat, barley, chickpeas. fababeans)

I've been in touch with Dave Ricardo in Australia about his blogs Morvenvale Farm and his 'comic distraction' David's Farm.

Firstly, Dave was quite right to pick me up on my definition of farming (now changed accordingly) to include food and fibre.

"There are many cotton growers about my district,"
he wrote, "not to mention numerous sheep breeders well known for their fine merino wools."

Dave's blogs work off a platform he has developped for farmers called Farmnet , something I want to come back and post about in the near future in more detail.

"Farmnet," Dave writes, "is all about farm blogs and is based on the popular platform, Wordpress. I have modified many bits to suit farmers including themes, weather widgets, classifieds, and more. I believe its a basic right for anyone to start their own webpage or blog much like freedom of speech is a basic right, and it should be free. So, I have committed myself to building this collection or community of farm blogs. It's a hobby and very much a part time thing. I am farming about 25,000 acres this year having taken on alot of share farming. So that keeps me busy - often at the loss of family time (wife and four kids) and sometimes Farmnet is often like "whenever I get there." "

But for now, a little more information on Morvenvale

Morenvale looks like it could be a great site and blog if you want to get a handle on what a 25,000 acre grain farm is all about.

However, it's clear Dave allocates his time along the lines of farming and family first, Farmnet second, David's Farm third, and Morvenvale ?

Well, Morenvale isn't exactly being updated at the moment.

Dave hopes to keep the news page at Morvenvale updated "so folks can follow the stages of crop development over the season" and he "hopes to install a crop cam in the coming months also".

I personally wouldn't recommend it myself right now until all of the above happens. For now it's essentially a single home page, so it's very much under construction, but it looks like it has the potential to be a very interesting blog.

All the information there is about Morenvale can be found on this home page, but en bref, it's:

  • a grain farm located between Walgett and Collarenebri on the North Western Plains of New South Wales, Australia, owned and operated by brothers, David and Peter Ricardo and families.

  • they are zero till farmers cropping around 5600 Ha (14000 acres) on 475mm (19 inch) annual rainfall.

  • they grow a mixture of crops in rotation. Wheat, barley, chickpeas and fababeans are their main crops with some canola too.

I hope Dave lets me know when Morenvale takes flight and when it does, I'll be sure to post again about this blog.

And as soon as I have a moment I will be posting about his project Farmnet .

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