I visited a ‘farm’ on the weekend near Byron Bay, which I actually thought was a farm…it was probably due to the fact that its called ‘The Farm at Byron Bay’ haha. Also Instagram pictures lead me to believe (with the help of my imagination) that it was an expansive, lush, quiet, FARM. But to my disappointment, it was not…in my eyes anyway. It’s hard to theorise on what makes an actual farm, but to me it was just a massive fancy café/bakery/touristy-thang that was on a large property that grew its own produce and thus was marketed as a ‘farm’. It was a farm for city people, for rich trendy hipsters, for beachy-surfie-‘health’ orientated people that really just wanted to go to the café; that was the main attraction and if you happen to feel like it you could go check out the pigs, cattle and chickens and work off the lovely meal you just had in the fresh air, with a take-away latte in hand. I had wanted to check out the farm and maaaybe the café…the café was just the cherry on the cake, but this cake was upside down.
That being said the staff were really friendly (and so many of them quite attractive – it must be the healthy lifestyle and all that sun! Think blonde, tanned, ‘I’m not trying to look this amazing I JUST AM’ kinda thing. Haha) I guess I get intimidated when surrounded by very well dressed, rich, trendy people and I’m wearing sneakers and a big pink jumper…Guys I thought it was a FAAARM!
Definition of FARM according to forevergirl = heaps of livestock, lots of mud, heaps of land and a very old, down to earth feeling.
But this place was fresh on the map! That being said it’s a lovely place to drop by if you happen to be in the area. The food is pricey (for me) but well worth the money. Plus you are supporting something much more ethical then just another café using caged eggs and packaged ham, just don’t drive all the way there from Brisbane and expect a farm…my mistake :S UGH. The café/restaurant on the ‘farm’ is called ‘Three Blue Ducks’ and I did not know this but it was opened by the surfy attractive health gurus (I just say they are health gurus cause their foods look so wholesome!) and recent authors of the cookbook “The Blue Ducks” – chefs Mark Labrooy and Darren Robertson. I guess that’s why there was such a trendy buzz around the place when I visited…popuuulaaaar! (you have to sing it like the song in Wicked!)
I have to talk about the animals, I love love love animals! So my disappointment was heightened when I realised I couldn’t actually cuddle any of them –bar a lone horse that allowed me a few scratches.
What struck me about these animals are as follows:
Porkies – they were purply/black/blue, quite hairy and LARGE! I had never seen pigs like this before! Their ears were massive and they were quite robust, strong and active. They ran around fighting with each other – with loud squeals ensuing when they got into physical arguments over food. Shoving their snouts in the soft ground – using their noses like shovels, they pulled out what I assume were the roots of some plants they loved with their hardy teeth (which I could not get a view of). I did however hear the immense crunch of roots snapping from the ground and being chewed. They stank a little, but not as much as I had smelt of other pigs – who were of course in small enclosed spaces. These piggies were out in the fresh air, in quite a large outdoor pen – lots of grass, lots of mud, they seemed quite happy.
They had huge balls. It was scary how weirdly large their testicals were. I have to say it! I was like “aagh look at the cute lil piggies and OH MY WORD WHAT WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IS THAT!?” It was quite disturbing. It’s like when you see a horse’s wiener for the first time and you instantly want someone to just wipe your memory of the thing. “HOW CAN THAT EVEN BE REAL OH MY GOSH WHYYYY?!” But nature is nature, and the thing can be harsh sometimes. Their ballsacks were also quite odd…saggy and squishy looking (HAHA you’re like ‘why am I reading this? Better yet, WHY IS SHE WRITING THIS! Haha) The balls were like…oval-ish…GROSS. Anyway. People eat them, the pigs that is, I don’t think they eat the testicals…I dono.
Bovine aka le Cows
The cows also surprised me, perhaps more then the piggies. I had seen a snap of them on Instagram – and of the new baby moo moo, so I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the little guy and cuddling the hell out of it (in a good way). BUT the cows were too far away, down the paddock, just being cow like. DAMN COWS! They were also quite large and not dairy cows (which I kinda had expected, you know media overload and what not) they were hairy, like a Maltese dog! And they had massive horns, quite majestic really, I wouldn’t mind riding one valiantly whilst wearing a cape of some sort…no wearing armour! Anyway I saw the baby moo moo but again, too far away. And there were signs saying we couldn’t enter the enclosure…damn-it….I felt kinda guilty looking at the creatures, I had just eaten one of them…well…one of their friends, in the delicious lamb green curry I had had (UGH LAMB!? It was one of the babies…uugh…uuuuugh But it was so tasty and soft…)
Planet of the Chickens
There were A LOT of chickens. And their butts were red. That’s the first thing I noticed. They were in a temporary fenced enclosure around their large open aired hutch. Again they were like the pigs, very ALIVE! Scratching, running around with really strong long legs (which I had not witnessed in other chickens) pecking at each other, fighting, digging up the earth. They had scratched the hell out of the ground! I was most concerned with their butts however. I thought it was weird that ‘free-range-chickens’ had some kind of disease or ailment that they were loosing feathers over. Was this due to stress, unhealthy living conditions? Some kind of new fashion trend among chickens were their butts had to be plucked clean? I soon saw however that certain chickens in the club were pecking at the other less aggressive chickens. The area seemed quite clean and I surmised that perhaps they weren’t always in the small-ish enclosure (this was confirmed this morning on an Instagram video post where the chickens were ‘let loose’, its like a freaking tsunami of chickens! Its great!)
So the butt plucking is the culprit. I know it can be a common behaviour in chickens for the more dominant chook to bully the less dominant. It happens all the time in the wild and since chickens were wild once upon a time (and some species still are! GO THEM!) I guess it only makes sense. You can only have one male lion in a pack – surrounded by a bunch of lionesses that catch all the food (that is one spoilt guy!) So perhaps this is true in the chicken world too.
One poor chicken’s butt was so raw it was bleeding slightly :S another aggressive and I think psychopathic chicken with cannibal tendencies plucked a feather from another chooks butt, ran away with it happily and then greedily consumed the butt feather. WHAAA? As the farm is new I’m sure the owners are working on the butt plucking problems. I know there is a spray you can apply to the bullied chickens butts, deterring the other chickens from pecking at them, but I’m not sure how that would go with say 100 chickens…well its over to them. I trust them to take good care of the animals, its not McDonalds!
I would really love to talk about the food I had now but I am extremely tired and have to get up early! So you will just have to go there and experience it for yourself! Beware the place is BUSY on the weekend. Take some friends, take a good sized wallet and have fun!