Juggling farm work and raising a family is no easy job. PakMag recently reached out to a few local farming families and asked them to share their story about raising kids on a farm, from the struggles to the happiest of times.
Jessica, Justin, Eva, Isabelle, Travis and James Greenwood – sugar cane farming family
Mum Jessica and dad Justin, together with kids Eva, six, Isabelle, five, Travis, three, and James, two, are living the adventure on their sugar cane farm.
“We had a ‘love at first sight’ relationship and married within two years of meeting!” Jessica told PakMag. “A year later we had our first baby. Four years after that we’d rounded our family off with our fourth and final baby.”
The family adores the land they live on. The kids are outside from sun up to sun down, climbing trees and creating their own fun with dirt and rocks. Dad Justin is a hardworking cane farmer. While he works long hours, he strives to spend time with his family. “Any chance he gets to have off, we take our boat out to nearby islands or take the kids fishing down the rivers and creeks,” Jessica told us. The family also loves to take the kids on the quad bike down to the Behana Creek for a swim or head out water-skiing at the Tinaroo Dam.
When asked what her favourite thing about living on a farm is, six-year-old Eva told us that “It’s nice and peaceful and we get our whole yard to ourselves. We have lots of nature and room to play.”
Krista, Rob, Kate and Kira Watkins – green banana flour farming family
Krista and Rob, together with their girls Kate, six, and Kira, two, operate a banana farm on the Tablelands. As well as growing the delicious yellow fruit, Krista and Rob have come up with a way to put over 450 tonnes of otherwise wasted green bananas to good use through the invention of green banana flour.
Cyclones have proven themselves to be a challenge for the family’s farm, having destroyed their banana crops multiple times over the years. “We needed to have a backup plan,” Dad Rob said, “and that’s easier said than done.” This led to the beginning of Natural Evolution Foods in 2010, when Rob produced his first batch of gluten-free flour from green bananas. Today, the family owns a banana flour processing facility, producing tonnes of versatile banana flour every week!
Kate and Kira love helping their parents out on the farm wherever they can. In fact, they have been doing so from a very young age. They also enjoy helping out in the kitchen, creating all sorts of yummy goodies with the banana flour. This includes pancakes, bread and waffles.
“We love what we do! We are farmers, we are guardians of our patch of dirt, we are focused on making the world a better place than we found it,” Krista said. “Real food and love grows here.”
PakMag would like to send out a huge congratulations to Krista for winning the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year Award.
Juana, Alex, Eli, Scarlett, Emily and Victoria Adoberg – Christmas tree farming family
Juana and Alex, together with kids Eli, nine, Scarlett, seven, Victoria, five, Emily, two, and Hannah, four months, play a huge role in bringing the Christmas spirit to the Far North every year with their Christmas tree farm!
As a family of seven living on a farm, life is certainly busy but never dull. “Eli has special needs and attends a local school in Atherton, and the girls are home-schooled,” Juana told PakMag. “We are home a lot, just enjoying our family life together, and either schooling or working on our family farm.”
Most of the work on the farm is flexible, with harvesting time being during the Christmas season. “This allows us much flexibility to spend time with our children,” Juana told us. “We love swimming in local waterholes, bushwalking, bike riding around Tinaroo and picnicking in local natural areas. We also enjoy spending time with friends and extended family.” The family loves being able to supply Far North Queensland families with joy at Christmas time with beautifully real farm-grown trees.
When asked what they love the most about living on a farm, seven-year-old Scarlett said “the animals that you can’t have in the city like my pet cows and chickens. And also, lots of land to play on.” Five-year-old Victoria said she loves seeing the neighbour’s horses.