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Women Who Farm

Women Who Farm

A bit over a year ago, a lovely group, somewhat orchestrated by myself and my friend Veneta Scott was quite organically established. The idea was to host a seasonal gathering to connect with other women in our region who are passionate about farming. We decided to call it 'Women Who Farm'.

We had met with a group of such women at a talk at Pearce Creek Hall titled "Conversations with Women About Land". It was such a beautiful and inspiring evening, we figured we needed more of that in our lives.

Depending on the situation, farming can be quite a solitary occupation, which has both upsides and down. Many women present, whether they were farmers or not, expressed that they yearned for more connection with other women, especially those that understand the challenges and joys of living on the land. Ive definitely felt like this myself.

Our first official gathering happened at Dirty's in Lismore, a funky little burger joint, which unfortunately was flooded in the recent Northern Rivers Floods. (We hope you come back guys!!)

Above: Women Who Farm @ Dirty's, Lismore

Conversations were dancing about with a wonderful mix of ages and experience between the women. We began with a circle, where everyone introduced themselves and gave a brief rundown on where they are at on their farming journey. Some people were starting out, some were seasoned veterans and some were just curious to see what it's like to take a hobby and turn it into a career path.

I overheard women talking about raising ducks, pigs and goats with such enthusiasm that it was infectious. And the same goes for the veggie and flower farmers that generously started sharing their tips of the season. Knowledge too good to not be shared!

Above: Conversations with Women about Land, Pearce Creek Hall

Unfortunately, following this came a long string of cancellations and postponements due to COVID. As isolation became the new normal, many of us felt the groups presence was more important than ever.

Just when it looked liked things were easing up, the catastrophic floods in February devastated our whole region. Many farms, including my own, were flooded under 2-3 meters of water and the loss of life, livestock and possessions affected absolutely everyone. These are the times that the light of community shines even brighter. I was so sad to hear of others struggles, but we were all in it together and these connections became a real saving grace when things were hard.

Reeling from the events, we went ahead anyway with a gathering about a month after the floods, to regroup and connect with those who could make it. This was a more intimate gathering by the fire on my community "Korinderie Ridge" and was some much needed food for the soul.

Above: Post flood gathering, Korinderie Ridge Community

We finally have another one coming up and this time it's a winter gathering! 

A similar group has been started by my friend Rosie in Bellingen for the Mid North Coast Region and it's such a lovely thing to try out if you are feeling called to do something similar.

We hope that the idea will build and more women will find connection and support with their local farming community.

 Above: Conversations with women about land (i'm in the centre of this squish)

For those local you can order tickets here.

I'd love to know how you build community for yourself in ways big and small?




Erika Van Schellebeck

Hi! I’m a RA student at SCU. Brooke C just posted about the northern rivers women who farm group, and a google search brought me to your site.
I’m from Coffs Harbour and read with interest that “ A similar group has been started by my friend Rosie in Bellingen for the Mid North Coast Region “.
When you have a chance, would you mind telling me how I might get in contact with Rosie?
Thanks so much, Erika

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