My experience on an organic farm

15 Aug

Last week I spent 6 days in Mareeba (1 hour from Cairns) living and working on an organic farm. My mission was to live the simple life, experience new things, meet new people, get some sun (great for vitamin D production) spend a lot of time in parasympathetic (great for stress reduction), perform some hardcore workouts using little to no equipment and to learn all I could about organic vs chemical farms.

All objectives were accomplished.

As far as living simply, check out my room here with no glass on the windows, just a fly screen to let the fresh country air in. My room has no TV (in fact the whole farm has no TV), no radio, no clock, no cupboards, nothing. Just a mattress, it was great. Without all the modern entertainment you used your imagination to make up your own fun like people would have done before the invention of TV.  

My simple room

The days would involve doing a workout, helping with the farm work, spending time at the creek, reading, writing, meditating, work in exercises, singing and exploring, sitting around the campfire at night sharing stories and having fun with the other great people there. Was such a fun, relaxing experience.
The workouts I did involved using the “Ultimate instrument” straps over the mango tree. Some of you will be familiar with that. You can do chin ups, push ups, dips, lunges and other exercises utilizing your own body weight. I felt like I needed more leg exercises, so I did walking lunges while piggy backing one of my new friends. Stair runs up and down on the stairs to the creek. Sprints up and down the farm, travelling squat jumps and took my basketball to do some skill work. The farm work we did, shovelling, digging trenches, picking coconuts, moving rocks and that type of stuff was a workout too.
As far as lessons learned about organic farming methods vs chemical farming, there was a lot of information shared with me, most notably when we were discussing the bananas. Bananas trees have what’s called a sucker tree which is a little tree that grows next to the main tree. I was told that on chemical farms this sucker tree is injected with diesel fuel to kill it off so the main tree can receive all the nutrients to grow bananas. The bell part of the banana tree gets injected with growth hormones which helps separate the bananas making them easier to pick. And if that’s not dodgy enough, the bananas are then picked when they’re green and stored in a big room and gased with ethylene gas (a highly flammable, hazardous waste according to the material data safety sheet which shouldn’t be ingested, touch your skin, eyes or be breathed in). So your bananas have diesel fuel, growth hormones and ethylene gas in them. Processes like this happen with all chemically grown fruit and vegetables. It’s no wonder all that chemically farmed fruit is powdery, has no taste and is depleted in vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
The orchid that the fruit trees are in is massive, and what happens is all this grass and weeds grows between the trees. One of the jobs we had to do was slash the high grass around the trees so the tree could be effectively watered and fertilized. This all happened through man power. On a chemical farm they would just spray the weeds with pesticides and insecticides.

Banana trees

One of my jobs was also to hand fertilize the fruit trees using an organic liquid fertilizer. You would walk to the Ute, fill up your two watering cans with the fertilizer and walk back to the trees and water them individually. On a chemical farm this would be done spraying chemical fertilizer from a plane or vehicle. I must of walked about 5km back and forward that day doing farmers walks.
What I ate on the farm was a lot of eggs, organic butter, raw milk,  fruits such as jack fruit, coconuts, coconut water, avocados, strawberries, ice cream beans, chocolate supodees, paw paw, mangos, bananas, tomatoes, fresh greens from the garden such as spinach, lettuce, rocket, parsley, beet leaves and other greens I can’t remember the name of. Potatoes, pumpkin, onion cooked on the coals, cod liver oil, Spirulina, macca powder, mandarin juice and the juice from sugar canes. All this tasted amazing and made you feel amazing. 
Two people at the farm pretty much ate raw everything including organ meats, steak and eggs. 
The sugar cane juice we had with lime and it tasted amazing. It gave me so much energy, I had to do another workout that night just to burn off the excess energy I felt. I made sure I had some butter afterwards to balance out the carbs with some fats.
Overall it was a fantastic experience on the farm and was a great learning experience living the simple life. The energy you feel from being in nature, the sunshine and eating foods as nature intended makes you feel amazing.
More pictures can be seen on the facebook page Action Time Fitness.

8 Responses to “My experience on an organic farm”

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