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The Farm

Forest Hill Farm is a small regenerative berry farm located on the edge of the village of Newlyn, just west of the renowned spa town of Daylesford.

Prior to the establishment of our farm, the land was part of a larger paddock used for potato and oat production. As one of the earliest irrigated potato paddocks in the region, our soil was depleted of organic matter and had no trees or shrubs - just grass. One of the first things we did after buying the property was plant a wind break around the perimeter with a wide range of local native trees and shrubs. This flourishing tree line now provides wind protection for our crops, and is home to many beautiful native birds. 

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Our vision for the farm involves working with nature to regenerate the land so that it becomes a refuge for native species, while also ensuring that this valuable agricultural land continues to produce food for our community.

We have planted a range of perennial berry crops, including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. We have also formed permanent raised beds for garlic cultivation.

 

Through the use of minimum tillage market gardening techniques such as tarping, cover cropping and heavy mulching, we are able to significantly reduce our weed pressure, increase the health of our soils, and with it, the quality and flavour of the food we grow.

 

Our longer term plans include expanding the range of seasonal vegetables we grow and developing an on-farm shop to welcome people on to the land.

The Farmers 

Forest Hill farm is owned and loved by Ben Wills, Rachel Taylor and their children Beau and Vivian.

 

Ben grew up on a small farm and worked on several market gardens in the United Kingdom before pursing an academic career related to food system innovation and sustainability. Having decided he preferred getting his hands dirty, Ben now works full-time on the farm.

 

Rachel grew up in regional Victoria and was also an academic prior to making the jump to more tangible hands-on work. She now works part-time on the farm and part-time as a primary school teacher.  

When we're not farming or teaching, we love spending time outdoors camping and bush walking with our family.   

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