The Sheralee dairy in Cooranbong is apparently the last certified producer of non-pasteurised goats milk in NSW. And… Wow.
Our afternoon out at the Sheralee dairy reminded me that we are frittering away at an alarming rate the generations of cumulative knowledge our farmers have built up. If living on a property, creating a permaculture garden and raising farm animals has taught me anything it is this: you cannot become even remotely self-sufficient overnight.
Pat and her daughter Rose, who run the dairy together, are amazing. True Yasus! After just a few hours sleep Pat welcomed my three young children and I like family and stretched out her already long day to accommodate our questions and curiosity. We all milked the most enormous goat teats we’d ever seen and the kids draped themselves lovingly over the does, who seemed to be as eternally patient as their owners!
These two women hold within themselves an incredible wealth of information and the way they manage their farm is a beautiful example of how productive our earth can be in human terms, if we just work with the laws of nature. But the weight and cost of all the regulations are close to putting them out of business.
Food insecurity is not a looming issue, it has already hit many parts of the world and it isn’t a smart policy to ignore a problem as big as this on the off-chance that we might dodge the bullet. Because by the time that projectile is about to hit digging up some dirt and tossing in a few tomato seeds just isn’t going to cut it.
We need to start cultivating the skills now. If you find your gardening attempts disappointing remember how much more disappointing they’ll feel if you are relying on them to feed the family. And keep practicing! And whether or not gardening is your thing support those in your community who do have the skills.
We must treasure our family farmers – the ones like Pat and Rose that practice true husbandry of the earth and their animals. Or we may find we can’t get those skills back quickly enough when we need them.
We have created a Demonstration Garden for Lachlan Storrie of Tree Frog Permaculture to share his wealth of knowledge because what we’ve discovered is that there are plenty of people with information and solutions but they are finding it very hard to be heard. Please seek out and support people with skills that benefit your community, and if you can make it along to one of our Saturday mornings we’d love to see you.
If you’ve been looking for raw goats milk you can pick up fresh from the Sheralee dairy or they deliver around the Central Coast. I couldn’t find a web page for them but there is a phone number at the end of this article.