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One Organic

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In the Byron hinterland village of Coorabell, more specifically at Sunnyview Farm on Friday Hut road, I meet Kieran Weston and his wife Lyndal. I immediately recognise Lyndal from photographing her at The New Brighton Farmers market where her welcoming smile and knowledge of her organic seedings sold me organic Kale at their stall One Organic, I actually bought a few seedlings that day,  seedlings that I grew in my  garden and I used as medicine to heal myself from a chronic illness last year.

I spent a few months eating nothing but organic meat and the green vegetables that were grown in my own garden and that coupled with following my friend Sarah Wilson’s book “I Quit Sugar” and I lost weight and any sign of Hashimotos Thyroiditis that I had been medicated for, for over 10 years. No more medication and I have barely even had one sick day since.

So I went looking for more. Through friends that also live in Coorabell – I was invited up to meet Keiran and Lyndal and actually witness the passion behind their story and why they do what they do. I have never felt so inspired.  This is the first of a number of stories I will write about my health journey and how it intersects with Keiran, Lyndal and a few others that I have met and others that continue to cross my path.

Keiran had a big BIG corporate career – but through a series of events lost his business a few years back and ended up in Byron Bay growing organic vegetables and perfecting his craft, something that he has been living, breathing and eating since he first broke ground 9 months ago and seeded the future and started farming for the first time in his life. He went from earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to not much at all and has never been happier. Keiran told me that even as a little boy he dreamed of being a farmer, used to visualise himself driving a tractor on a farm. He hasn’t quite got there with the tractor as yet but he certainly is a gifted and extremely passionate organic farmer growing the most vibrant seedlings in the shire.

Keiran is a wealth of knowledge, living so close to the source has made him an expert he regularly conducts “extreme gardening workshops” and actually held one during the cyclonic conditions that the area endured earlier this year. Teaching people how to grow their edible gardens to withstand the most extreme conditions sharing his learning from the indigenous people of this land right through to growing your own medicine.

Even though he operates his farm fully organically, Keiran has just dropped organic certification due to the governing body imposing unjustified fees & levies that add an additional financial burden to growing clean healthy produce  in turn making it more unaffordable to the public, yet at the same time offering no support to the family producer and not really guaranteeing purity of nutrient content in the produce.  The governing body does not do regular checks – especially on corporate entities….so to raise the bar on integrity Kieran has become Certified biodymanic – a more spiritual form  of farming that takes into consideration  – harmonious microbes and mycelia in the soil and how it all works together with the cycles of the Sun, the moon and the Stars.

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Kirra Pendergast is the editor of Common Ground Australia. An award winning photographer, Kirra first picked up a camera at 12yrs old. Her photography has been widely published in everything from international newspapers through to Rolling Stone Magazine (which was a major bucket list tick) Kirra is always out capturing photographs of things as varied as the immense power and beauty of the ocean, storms, and the breathtaking landscapes of Northern NSW. Kirra's photographic passion is music, portraiture and street photography. Born and raised in Byron Bay, Kirra's family has spent generations in the Northern Rivers hailing from Lismore, Tuntable Falls, Tregagle and Byron Bay. Kirra is passionate about supporting local music, creatives, the arts and local business using Common Ground as a platform to promote this place, its people and their passion.

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