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Keeley Bytheway


The Farmer

I moved to Tasmania, with my Icelandic horse Wings in 2019, to study a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Geography and Environment at UTAS. While no one else in my family has ever shown the slightest inclination towards gardening, I have always held and romatisiced idea of a lifestyle centered around growing food and keeping animals. My growing journey officially began in 2018 at the beautiful Falls Farm in Mapleton Southeast Queensland, where I was introduced to the concept and practices of regenerative agriculture. The experience there, combined with a Permaculture Design course, and a profound love for nature, and caring for living things, has led me to where I am today.

I run Fat Pig Produce myself, with my beautiful dog Astrid at my side. To find myself in such a position has only be possible through the incredible support from Matthew and Sadie, who own the farm, and the wonderful people who volunteer in the garden. Off-farm I live in an off-grid tiny house, with my partner, dog and a small tribe of chickens (Wings lives around the corner).

I sincerely believe that growing food holds a profound capacity for change, it is the catalyst by which we can mitigate climate change, reestablish food sovereignty and security, restore and protect biodiversity, create community, alternative economies, and most importantly of all, reconnect humanity with the Earth. What I do is just one small part of this story, but a journey I am incredibly excited and grateful to be on.

The Farm

Situated in Glaziers Bay, Southern Tasmania on the lands of the Melukerdee people, Fat Pig Produce operates from the market garden at Fat Pig Farm, a regenerative, 70 acre property. The garden is 1.5 acres, filled with three distinct vegetable zones, a greenhouse and nursery, with a range of flowers, perennials and native trees interspersed between. This vibrancy and abundance not only provides food for people, but habitat for beneficial insects, native birds and marsupials like bandicoots and quolls.

At the heart of this business is a desire to grow food with as much consciousness and care for the Earth as possible, providing the local community with food that is nutritiously dense, seasonal and organic. The farming practices employed actively seek to regenerate and care for the soil and the broader ecosystem, primarily through minimising soil disturbance, organic principles and encouraging biodiversity. In a nutshell, the aim is to build up the resilience of system: both a the micro scale of an individual bed, to the scale of the whole garden, to be better equipped to deal with the challenges of pests, diseases and weather.

Produce is primarily being sold directly to customers through a veggie box program, with hopes to expand in the near future. Such a direct connection between consumer and producer, is not only wonderfully gratifying, but helps to showcase the incredible impact engaging with local food systems has on our health, environment and community. I would also like to explore more ways that I can facilitate people engaging and connecting with where their food comes from, be that through workshops, collaboration with schools, or my customers participating in working bees.