Down the winding fire trails in the bush behind Moruya is Deua River Farm. Michael Hulse has been a farmer his whole life and is a pioneer of the local food movement in the area. His produce can be found at farmer’s markets on the South Coast and in Canberra, and also on the menu at some great local restaurants. It’s Michael’s passion for growing biodynamic, nutritious and tasty produce – and his commitment to the environment – that makes his work fascinating.
“We’ve got a big worm farm that produces our fertiliser. We want our soil produce nutrients naturally, that’s the whole idea of bio-dynamics. We get organic matter and have the soil break it down itself,” he explains. Michael also believes that it’s landscape of the South Coast that provides such favourable conditions for growing. “The tides and the ocean keep the water table up, so we don’t have to rely on irrigation. The rivers that come down the escarpment provide us with some of the cleanest water in the world. There’s a living for people down here, and it’s extremely beautiful,” he says.
Michael is also passionate about keeping the money in the hands of the growers, encouraging people to join the local food movement and pay attention to where their food comes from. “You should eat food that’s grown where you live. For ages the big supermarket chains have taken advantage of farmers, so the new farmer’s market system and the support for local growers is really great. It’s the only hope we’ve got.”