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Landcare Australia
by Published on November 25, 2016
Next February, 17 lucky Australians will begin the trek of a lifetime on a seven-day adventure along Tasmania’s vibrant east coast, visiting local farming enterprises, trying freshly produced delicacies, and learning about Tassie’s unique history.

Organised by Landcare Australia’s From Farm to Fork initiative, and led by Sustainability Ambassador Charlie Arnott, the trek offers an opportunity to leave your urban life behind. Open to all walks of life, the trek provides the ideal prospect for farmers to escape their heavy schedules and explore and learn how farmers on the “Apple Isle” do it.

“A lot of Australian farmers get so caught up with their own businesses and farms that they don’t always get out to see other farms,” Charlie said. “This trek would allow them to appreciate what amazing work other farmers are doing. Learning from other farmers is, in my mind, the most valuable way that I can improve my farming skills.”
From Farm to Fork’s Sustainability Ambassador Charlie Arnott.

One of the stops on the fundraising trek that is being facilitated in conjunction with Inspired Adventures, will be Willie Smiths Organic Cider apple farm in the Huon Valley. Co-founder Sam Reid believes Tasmania is unique and has a lot to show the world, with its incredibly clean and fresh air and water.

“All of this results in lots of innovative small producers focussing on delivering the best artisan and small batch products that they can,” Sam said. “We have an incredible number of ‘tree-changers’ in Tasmania who are all committed to living a better lifestyle by focussing on producing quality products. Much of this is driven by farmer’s markets these days, as more and more people think local,” he said.

Willie Smiths is the largest organic orchard in Australia. “Trekkers will be able to see organic farming at commercial scale and understand that organic farming can be a relevant business, and there is lots more demand for organic products than the market can currently deliver,” said Sam.

Connecting to our food

Tasmanians have had to be innovative to overcome their unique challenges, Charlie added, due to its isolation and limited market.

“But the environment is pristine with wonderful resources,” said Charlie. “Tasmanians are very good farmers who love their environment and are doing wonderful things, not just in food production but in landscape management.”

Another important aspect of the trek is the opportunity for people to make the connection with where their food comes from.

“The city/farmer divide has grown,” Charlie said. “I’m determined to turn that around. The support that city people can give by buying produce and visiting farms and rural towns will be profound for all involved, as a healthy, grounding experience for everyone.”

Participants are tasked with raising $1,000 or more each prior to the commencement of the trek, which will include hiking 43 kilometres over 293 km of terrain starting in Launceston and finishing in Derwent Valley. Would-be trekkers can register by calling 1300 905 188 or visiting fromfarmtofork.org.au.
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