On the Hunter’s southern edge, down a secluded bush driveway lie 50 acres of neat paddocks and cosy country vistas that would fulfil most people’s dream of a hobby farm. But for the couple calling Little Valley Farm home, their dream of making it a highly productive farm is proving to be a lot more than just a hobby.
Lavender, garlic, alpaca wool and cattle are just a few of the diverse range of goodies Daniela and Riccio are producing on their small farm just off the old convict highway near Laguna. Best of all, they are throwing open their doors to the public, as part of an innovative new government program aimed at bridging the city-country divide.
New South Wales and Victorian Governments recently launched the ‘Visit My Farm’ website to try to improve connectivity between urban folk and farmers. The idea is simple; farmers sign up their properties and enthusiastic city slickers drop by for a visit to educate themselves and their kids about where their food and fibres come from.
Daniela is one of the first Hunter Valley property owners to jump on board. She says the Department of Primary Industries has been helpful in getting her started as a farmer, so it’s a chance to give something back. “I saw it online and thought it was a really, really good idea to connect the city people with how their food is grown,” she says.