Meet the growers: Marlivale Farm

July 29, 2022

Meet the growers: Marlivale Farm

Meet Andrea, Frank, Sophie and Mac (plus Wilbur the dog!) - the farmers behind some of the newest treats in our pantry section. On a rehabilitated, former dairy farm in Nimbin Valley (Northern NSW), they grow beautiful pecan nuts and dryland rice with a 'soil first' approach.

Andrea and Frank took on the then-derelict farm in the 80s and raised their daughters there, with Sophie (and husband Mac) returning from Melbourne to join the family business in 2020. In that time, they've worked hard to reverse the damage intensive dairying wreaked on the land.

Working seasonally, the family has planted lots of trees, providing habitat for native wildlife and a natural windbreaker for their pecan orchards. To enhance soil biodiversity and water retention, they rotate a small herd of very happy cattle through the orchards resulting in better nutrient-density and climate resilience.

And the really cool bit - the rice! Rice doesn't have to be grown in the thirsty, swampy (and unsuitable for Australia) paddies you might be picturing. Marlivale's rice is made up of two hardy varieties grown in paddocks, treated similarly to wheat. Their harvest varies with the season and weather, as it's fed only by the rain - no intensive or unnatural irrigation. 

And to keep food miles (and all the packaging and double handling that comes with it) their products are processed and packed on-farm!

They say 'Our all natural farming practices are focused on restoring the harm that’s been done to the land in the past, and nurturing it towards a more fruitful future that we hope continues to feed generations to come.'