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— A Regenerative Journey—
Saint Aire consists of 287.80 acres of undulating open grassland country, situated on the calcareous sands hills between the Aire Valley Wildlife Reserve and Bass Straight.
Having been through ten years of little maintenance, by the time Ros Denney and her husband started to make plans for a beef enterprise, an enormous 'tidy up' was required. Hundreds of metres of worn out old rusty fencing were taken away and then began the slow and expensive task of installing the 'farm plan.' A lot of thought has gone into the farm; ease of stock movement between paddocks, the type of fencing required, shelter belts for both stock protection and biodiversity, areas for conservation, farm shedding, water storage upgrades, water trough outlets, stock handling yards inspired by Temple Grandin.........the work has been extensive and at times exhaustive!
Saint Aire is an active member of the Southern Otway Landcare Network. The support and education which such grass roots organisations can provide are priceless when undertaking whole farm planning. Successful biodiversity grants have been undertaken, with particular success in the area of direct seeding using a mouldboard plough. This technique has had robust results in establishing wide shelter belts which will, in years to come, protect the delicate nature of the pasture, soil, the livestock and provide a refuge for the abundant native fauna.
It was whilst undertaking a Landcare Stewardship course in 2014 that Ros was able to connect with other niche agricultural producers. The course focussed on land management education surrounding soil health, waterways, holistic planned grazing, weed management etc. From this course it was obvious there were a group of people who didn't want to merely 'sustain' their farms, but rather wanted to engage and learn about practices which actually regenerated the land on which they were all custodians. Hence, Saint Aire is proud to be a founding member of 'Otway Coast Regenerative Farmers,' and enjoys the support and learning which this group provides. There is always something to learn, something to do, and something to love!