Growing food, raising ducks and shearing sheep are just a part of the dream for Tim Dalton and Linton Pitson — the Victorian farmers are also keen to share their knowledge with others.
“If you asked me 10 years ago if Linton and I would be two young gay guys married and living on a farm then I would have laughed and said it wasn’t possible,” Mr Dalton said.
Mr Dalton and Mr Pitson have spent the past three years running sheep, breeding ducks and producing vegetables on their 200-acre farm outside Bendigo.
Mr Pitson grew up on a family farm, but it was Mr Dalton’s passion for life on the land that drove the couple to life on the land.
Given that they also work full-time the two are very busy, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’ve got 150 merino ewes, we breed silver appleyard ducks, Toulouse geese, Quamby chickens and we have a massive veggie patch,” Mr Dalton said.
“We just like to know where our food comes from and we’d like to cook our own food and have people out and show them.
Insta offers ‘escape’ from lockdown
The couple documents life on the farm through an Instagram account that has gained a lot of traction.
“I’ve got cousins and friends who live in Melbourne, and they just lived for the live stories that we post on social media, just because it would be an escape from their lockdown or their daily life in the city,” Mr Pitson said.
The two have plans to eventually be completely self-sufficient and to sell what they grow at a cafe they recently leased in Strathfieldsaye.
“We’ve always wanted to have somewhere where we can demonstrate what we do on the farm,” Mr Dalton said.
“The cafe is set on an acre, so we’ve got potential to put market gardens in here and we want to do classes and get other people excited, educate them and have a safe space that people can come and ask us questions.
“If we get to educate someone to make the food system better, or make someone understand what we are, why we do what we do, then I think you’ve achieved something quite good.”
Community ‘really supportive’
The couple feel encouraged by the ag community’s support and have learnt their skills through their “beautiful neighbours” and family.
“I think it’s only getting better and better,” Mr Dalton said.
“I mean, it’s amazing to see so many different people going into it even without any experience.
“Linton’s dad is just an incredible teacher and I’ve always had a real thirst for knowledge and wanting to know.
“We found the ag community is just is really supportive.