Biodynamics is a system of farming which works with the indications given from the deep and spiritual insights into nature of Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Steiner’s initial suggestions were refined by Dr Ehrenfried Pfeiffer who determined exact quantities, quality production methods and application techniques for the biodynamic preparations. In Australia, Alex Podolinsky and the farmers he has inspired, have taken up the challenge of applying the biodynamic method in the unpredicatable and harsh australian environment.
Biodynamic farmers work with nature and observe the natural environment closely. We use biodynamic preparations, and mineral supplements where necessary. Farming practices which enhance soil health and the development of life, humus and structure in the soil are the foundation of the process. Healthy plants and animals are the result, and also good nutritious and flavoursome food.
The Demeter trademark is an international symbol of quality biodynamic produce.
We have been involved with the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia since 1985, and have been certified Demeter with the Biodynamic Research Institute (www.demeter.org.au) almost as long.
Marrook Farm is on the Bulga Plateau which is part of the headwaters of the Manning and Hastings rivers. Inland from the towns of Taree and Wingham in the Manning valley and Wauchope and Port Macquarie in the Hastings valley. The farm is between 650m and 750m above sea level. Which means summers are generally cooler than on the coastal plain and winters are much colder.
The plateau is surrounded by forests and National Parks (Tapin Tops, Biriwal Bulga and Coton Bimbang) and is famous for the beautiful Ellenborough Falls, the second longest single drop waterfall in Australia. The water is exceptionally clean and fresh. Native wildlife abounds.
Our cows were originally mainly Ayrshire, but now we have introduced some Scandinavian genetics and they would be better classified as Aussie Red. The calves are kept with their mothers for up to a week, and then are kept separately and fed fresh milk and hay. All heifer (female) calves are kept, and most bull calves are sent to the sale yards when they are a suitable size.
Traditional production methods combined with our Biodynamic ethos informed our decision to have our factory on the farm, adjacent to the milking facility. Established since 1999, Marrook Farm was the first on farm factory in NSW. This ensures that we get the most pure milk and that we remain in control of our quality through the entirety of the process. This symbiotic nature of the factory and farm make us not only unique in flavour, but ensure that we leave a smaller footprint behind.
We believe that high quality food is produced when the soil life and mineral balance is good and plants and animals consequently are also healthy. Our cows’ milk is the basis of all our products. As we use only our own cows’ milk, and as pastures change through the year, the flavour and texture of our products will vary subtly throughout the year’s production.