Living on the land has certainly changed from the days of Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife, when the Outback woman was left alone with four children in a two-room hut to fend off a snake while her husband was away droving. Yes, there are still snakes and struggles to be had between mankind and Mother Nature, but thankfully the farming community on the Mornington Peninsula is nowhere near as isolated as in this classic Australian short story. That’s not to say it can’t be tough - and this is one of the reasons why the Women on Farms Gathering event is taking place in March.
Women on Farms Gathering committee member and Red Hill Kerri Greens Winery owner/operator Sarah Saxton explains. “This is the first time the event, which recognises the isolation women sometimes face in farming regions, has been held on the Mornington Peninsula, although the event itself is in its 29th year. The first one was held in Warragul in 1990, and since then it has been held across regional shires throughout Victoria. The gathering aims to connect women on the land and groups like the Victorian Rural Women’s Network which enables the sharing of ideas, information and support.”
The Mornington Peninsula WOFG committee was formed some 18 months ago by a group of dedicated volunteers who saw holding one of these events as a real opportunity to bring the female farming community together. Did you know that about 40 per cent of the Peninsula is dedicated to farming? That means there’s lots of people tucked away working hard to produce excellent Peninsula produce and taking care of the land it grows from. The women on the Peninsula WOFG committee know what it’s like being country custodians. Sarah continues. “We think of farming as anything to do with looking after the land. That might be intensive food production, caring for the environment, raising alpacas, goats, llamas, sheep, cattle. The Mornington Peninsula farming community is so diverse. There’s avocados, citrus, nuts, orchards, truffles … the list goes on. There’s also lots of young female farmers in the region. This event aims to bring them together.”
You can register at wofg2018.com to be part of this exciting event, which will be held at the Rosebud Memorial Hall and Surrounds from Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 18. The program offers various workshops including a nightscape photography workshop, tours of the region, a gala dinner and fully catered breakfast, plus a range of highly informed speakers. There’s also a Q&A panel session on our region’s provenance brand Mornington Peninsula Produce.
So, ladies of the land, this is a real opportunity to meet and greet other hard-working farmers in your region. Get online to see how, or call Sarah for more information on 0429 304 445.