Myocum farmer Lindsay Murray with some of the poultry he rears on his farm.
Myocum farmer Lindsay Murray with some of the poultry he rears on his farm. Cathy Adams

Backyard to your table

LINDSAY MURRAY is a medico with a passion for spreading sustainable farming knowledge on the Northern Rivers.

He helps Northern Rivers people to be sustainable by offering workshops on how to breed, grow and slaughter their own poultry.

Dr Murray commutes between the Northern Rivers and Canberra, where he works as an emergency department specialist four days each fortnight.

The rest of the fortnight he is a Myocum farmer, selling chickens grown on his property at the Mullumbimby Markets between October and February each year.

It was at the markets that he saw a need for people to learn how to prepare their own poultry to be consumed.

He's run workshops for two years at his property while he processes his own poultry.

"For every hen that I sell, there is a rooster. I grow all the male chicks instead of destroying them like commercial growers do," he said.

He said he would like to see people on two to ten hectares at least produce a proportion of their own food, "and poultry is a very easy thing to do".

"The more people that do that the more chance to swap animals. At the moment people really have to hunt around to buy some chickens," he said.

Dr Murray said Northern Rivers land should be used to produce the food we eat and regenerate native forest - he spends a day a fortnight regenerating 15% of his 60ha property.

Dr Murray also grazes a rare breed of cattle called British white.

The British white breed came close to extinction about 40 years ago after they fell out of favour with commercial growers.

He now owns 70 bulls, cows and calves of that breed.

"With the cattle, the main objective is to preserve the breed, but for that it needs to be commercial," he said.

"As a start, I want to be able to sell bulls to people."

He also started an assisted insemination program at his property to ensure the breed remains strong in the area.

"We should be eating the meat from excess male animals grown here. We should have access to local grass-fed beef," he said.

"People living in this area may have one or two cows and some poultry, but they are not producing any agricultural products."



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