This interview with Tom and Emma Lane from The Farm Byron Bay sits close to my heart because I am and always will be a country girl. I was born and raised in rural Australia growing up on a sheep and cattle station in Northern NSW. Growing up in outback Australia gave me an extraordinary appreciation for the land, it’s people and their communities. I am delighted to share the work that Emma and Tom are doing with their #legacyproject and I hope that you are inspired by their story, passion, and intention to serve a higher purpose through their daily work.
“The Farm is principally a working farm that houses a collection of micro-businesses all sharing a common goal. We invite you to come and visit us and see for yourself how a farm operates, supports the environment and contributes to a healthier lifestyle.”
What inspired you to set up The Farm Byron Bay?
We are lucky enough to have 4 young kids and we are passionate about giving them a rich and fulfilled life. We purchased a small farm in the hinterland of Byron Bay with the vision of teaching the kids where food came from and getting them out of the city. Our little farm had chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cows and about half an acre of veggies. All the kids pitched in and got involved with the veggie garden and tended to the animals.
One day Matilda, our three-year-old went missing on the farm. We searched high and low and feared for the worse, checking the dams. Eventually, we found Matilda in the veggie garden with her shirt stretched out full of beans. They were the beans that she had planted and grown herself. She was eating them as though they were chips. This sparked us to think that if we can do this for our family can we do it on a bigger scale. The idea of the farm was born.
What were you doing before starting this? Was there an event or circumstances that served as a catalyst for this work and your move to the country?
We believe Sydney has become a competitive arena for kids to grow up in and go to school. We wanted our children to have a real childhood that allowed plenty of contact with nature and freedom to be a child, much like what we experienced growing up. Being in touch with nature as a child is very important.
How does the work bring your unique talents to life? In what way does it give you personal fulfilment or a sense of purpose?
Creating The Farm has been rewarding on a number of levels for both of us. Tom has the ability to exercise his entrepreneurial muscle and be more connected to the land which reminds him of his upbringing going to his parent’s farm in Braidwood. My background (Emma) has been in advertising and brand building, so creating The Farm has provided me with the opportunity to build a brand for ourselves rather than other clients in an area that we are passionate and interested in.
I have had an increasing interest in nutrition since having children. After completing a health coach course, I realised that The Farm is an amazing vehicle to help educate others about where food comes from and question what they eat.
What drives you to keep on going?
The feedback from our customers and the desire to continue to educate people about real food and sustainable farming.
Is there a highlight of The Farm so far?
Eating a Sunday roast at our Three Blue Ducks Restaurant with produce that came entirely from our land – no food miles, raised ethically right here on the farm. Seeing families enjoy getting on the land every single day always brings a smile to our faces.
How does your work serve a higher purpose on planet earth? And how does that make you feel?
Our motto is GROW FEED EDUCATE. We see The Farm as a legacy project helping people understand about sustainable farming and where their food comes from. When we say “grow” it is not only growing the food but growing people, small businesses and the community.
What great lesson or lessons have you learnt so far in life?
Hard work, passion and commitment often pay off. There will be challenges along the way but these learnings give us skills to improve our offering.If you never try and follow your dreams, you will never know if they will come true.Click To Tweet
How would you like to be remembered?
As a family of “doers” willing to give it a go, and paving the way with initiatives such as The Farm that help to build on the real food movement.
If you could give one piece of advice what would it be and why?
We have been fortunate to have so much support from locals and further afield, but even when you are involved in a project that you believe is for the good of all, there will always be people who are not always supportive you in your endeavours – this may be because of jealousy, they might feel their business is threatened, or simply that they wish they came up with the idea. Don’t let this put you off your course. Let it be water off a duck’s back and continue on your projector. Stay true to your belief and vision.Surround yourself with a great support network of people who believe in what you are doing.Click To Tweet
How can people find out more about you and The Farm Byron Bay?
A few of my favourite bonus questions with Tom and Emma…
Who or what is your favourite?
- Musician? Emma: My son Charlie who is learning to play the guitar and just started singing along
- Author or Book? I love facts. Probably the encyclopaedia. Boring but true. (Tom)
- Mantra or quote? Tom: You only live once. Today is today, you will never live today again. Make every day count! Emma : Trust your gut instinct and inner voice
Find out more about The Farm:
Thank you for being here and consciously choosing to explore the different ways that ordinary people are living extraordinary lives by serving a higher purpose through their daily work. Everything we do here at YLP.com is designed to inspire and empower you to live your legacy and bring your unique talents to life.
So tell me what is your #legacyproject going to be? Let’s take a page from Tom and Emma’s book and really think about the world we are creating for our children and for our children’s children. Are you concerned about current acceptable farming practises? Have an idea for a local community garden or sustainability project? If you do we’d love to know. Would you like to comment? I’d love to know what you think – please share with your friends and family and take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Live With Purpose,