Name - Trish MacFarlane
Location - Holwell, Tasmania
Size of land - 93 acres
Crops - Organic blueberries and transitioning to other products
The Fountain of Blues is a farm managed by Trish Macfarlane in northern Tasmania. She grows organic blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, kale, and the list goes on. Trish is investigating updating her brand and value adding. What they are trying to achieve is a sustainable farm which has produce to sell for most of the year and that people remember their products for their taste!
We are currently “In Conversion” to Organic Certification and will hopefully have certification prior to the end of this year.
We have been operating for the last 2.5 years. Now is the perfect time for us to look at expanding our current operations as well as diversifying into other produce and value-adding.
The list of things we want to learn just keeps growing. I hope that we never stop learning or striving to be better, as I feel that if we do then we have probably also lost our passion…..our passion to produce something that people remember for the taste, not the volume that we can produce.
Currently 95% of our produce goes to the Mainland but you can buy direct from us here at our gate. We are hoping that as people in Tasmania begin to recognise our produce, that this percentage will start to change.
In the next 12 months we will be planning, planning, planning and did I mention planning. Working “on” our business instead of “in” it. By attending the Sprout Field Days and beginning the Online Course it has become increasingly clear that we were spending way too much time on other aspects of our business and we needed to stop, breathe and “jump out of the fish bowl and start looking in”. How can we streamline the current way we do business and still have time for expansion.
Marketing is our biggest challenge that we face. In the next 2-3 years we are looking to expand our current blueberry side of the farm with more varieties of fantastic tasting blueberries. At the same time develop our organic range of different produce. We will also be looking at introducing our own bee hives to pollinate our trees as we currently have to hire these and it is becoming expensive. We can then possibly look at options with organic honey.
My one wish is quite simple. That one day, instead of everyone else’s children or grandchildren, just maybe one day it will be mine who are now standing in front of an audience (perhaps even at the Sprout Conference CP2070…..), with a tale to tell about their slightly crazy mother who had a dream. She packed up her 3 kids and her life and went to live in another state to start up a very small, very run down family farm. And imagine if, against all the odds, imagine if that family tradition started with me.