Glenn Bunter & Therese Cawte / Eden Hope
Quite a few years ago Glenn Bunter and Therese Cawte had a decision to make. At that time the dairy farming sector was being deregulated and there was not much money to be made from selling milk to the wholesale market. Furthermore, Glenn was experiencing severe migraine headaches when chemically treating his cows for Buffalo Fly. The ‘experts’ were advising them to get out of dairy farming or get bigger. Therese and Glenn thankfully did not heed the expert advice and instead decided to stay small and go organic. Their 64 hectare property – Eden Hope Dairy – near Gympie is managed through organic and biodynamic principles.
They have a herd of just 60 cows, which is predominantly made up of pure bred Jersey cattle. These cattle do not have the prodigious milk output of other breeds, such as Friesians, but their milk is of higher quality and more nutrient dense. Glenn and Therese have spent years using biodynamic techniques and carefully selecting plant species to maintain green pastures all year round. However, there does need to be moisture to grow pasture and, consequently, the last couple of years were grim as the drought severely impeded plant growth. Things are so different now. The rain last summer has filled the dams and brought the paddocks, and this farming family for that matter, back to life. Glenn commented that the rain has taken the pressure off; “everything is different after the good rains”.
Therese is adamant that she will never, ever complain about the rain again, even if it lasts for weeks. At the moment, Glenn and Therese’s paddocks are a luscious green (see the photo below). Their cows spend their days, and presumably some of their nights, roaming about grazing upon the abundant grass. Consequently, the milk these cows produce is more nutritious than the milk obtained from cows fed predominantly on grain.After all, cows have actually spent millennia eating a predominantly grass based diet; not a diet focused on grain, candy waste or who knows what.
They have found their involvement with Food Connect to be rewarding at a number of levels. Our subscribers, who purchase their bath milk product , provide Glenn and Therese a reliable and growing market. This growing market is complimented by the financial returns obtained through Food Connect, which are fairer than those received from the wholesale market. Furthermore, they have met subscribers who have come up to their farm and they find having a connection with the people who purchase their bath milk product important. Glenn succinctly summarised all these benefits by commenting, “The relationship with Food Connect just works!” It also works the other way. Dairy farming is a busy life at any time, but especially so when you have six children. Both Glenn and Therese love home schooling their children, working with animals and just being in nature. Small scale dairy farming is a way of life for them.