|I’ve often used the expression, “Happy as a pig in the mud.” Now I grasp the full significance of this expression!|
We’d contacted Guy Robinson, owner of Mount Gnomon Farm in December hoping to have an opportunity to visit his farm during our six weeks in Penguin. We’d yet to visit a pig farm and with our curiosity about pigs, this seemed like a perfect day’s outing.
|Mount Gnomon Farm is located less than a 15 minute drive from the center of Penguin.|
Communicating back and forth on Facebook chat over the holidays, Guy suggested we come by after the first of the year when things settled down during their busy holiday season.
|During certain periods of the year Mount Gnomon Restaurant serves gourmet meals. Check their website here for dates and special events. Often a highly skilled chef will stay at the farm to cook for special events and during the holiday season.|
Not only is the farm’s restaurant opened on weekends and for special events over the holiday season but often, throughout the year its opened for special events, music festivals and the opportunity for the public to purchase bacon, pork, lamb, beef and produce. Please check their Facebook page for events by searching: Mount Gnomon Farm.
|Volunteers, often animal studies students, come from all over the world to assist at the farm through a variety of international work/visa programs. The temporary caravans are available in a pinch when there is an overflow volunteers on site. The owner, Guy Robertson, works hard to ensure the flow of volunteers and the overall management of the farm.|
The magic of this special agricultural environment was evident in the time we spent speaking to Guy and later on during a lengthy tour with his volunteers. His goal is to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly and thought provoking farm for the public’s enjoyment including children who can learn so much from the nuances of farm life.
|This sow was in labor in a small shed of which there are many for the birthing process. Seeing these piglets only minutes after birth was quite an experience.|
With many plans and dreams for the future, Guy’s compassion and interest for his animals, volunteers, paid workers and visitors is evident in everything he does.
|Born only minutes earlier, it was interesting to see this piglet looking at us. We were among the first humans, he/she may have seen.|
Coming off an outrageously busy holiday season and a recent trip out of town, it was obvious Guy needed some quiet time to relax and unwind. His considerate and fast learning volunteers took over after our chat with Guy, when Sam and Danielle, both students took us on the tour of the farm.
|He/she still had remnants of afterbirth on his/her little face.|
With plenty of flies, bees and dust surrounding us, added to the pungent smells one encounters at a farm, we felt right at home. In our almost 51 months of world travel, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to interact with animals in their habitat when in the wild, in our own backyard or in such facilities as a farm.
|More piglet born in the past few hours.|
We managed just fine feeling more at ease in this type of environment than we do in a shopping mall. I often joke that both of us must have “agricultural genes” in our respective DNA inspiring our interest in barnyard animals and farming.
|This huge male was watching over the activities in the mud hole.|
Tom’s mother and father grew up on farms that perhaps has influence him. And for me and the rest of us, surely many of our ancestors lived on and worked on farms for their own sustenance if not with the intent of earning a living.
|Not only are there pigs at Mount Gnomom but also sheep and cattle.|
Mount Gnomon Farm sells a portion of their products to some restaurants with the remainder being sold to customers who either call to place orders or visit the farm during their “open” dates throughout the year.
To place an order or inquire:
Phone: 0448 067 779
Email – email@example.com (please note sometimes it takes us a few days to respond to emails)
Snail mail – PO Box 320, Penguin, Tasmania, 7316
Farm address – 886 Ironcliffe Rd, Penguin, Tasmania, 7316
|A mom and her growing young lounging in the shade on a warm sunny day.|
As we wandered through the often muddy clay soil through the farm, we had the opportunity to see the birthing sheds with laboring sows under cover from the heat of the sun.
|Even a small mud hole gathers a crowd.|
Under their own volition the sows enter the sheds when delivery is imminent. The hay bed and enclosed space provide the perfect environment for giving birth.
|These cattle are friendly allowing us to enter the paddock.|
To be able to witness this firsthand gave us the same sense of joy and wonder we’d experienced only a year ago while living on the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Please click here for details. (If you scroll through our archives for February, 2016, there are numerous posts on alpacas giving birth).
|These scene made us “squeal” with delight, especially when we heard the pigs squealing over their individual right to occupy the mud hole. Check our video above to see and hear!|
As we walked through the farm we observed sheep, pigs and cattle in any of the 15 paddocks with a variety of chickens and ducks wandering about near the houses, barns and sheds at various points on the almost 100 acre farm.
|More cattle checking us out.|
From Guy’s website:
“I am a passionate Tasmanian farmer who wants to share a love of farming, food, music, and our region with you. We want to reconnect families with their food and local producers.
In 2009 I bought 35 hectares of beautiful red dirt behind the seaside village of Penguin in north-west Tasmania. (Continued below).
|A lot of pigs. There can be as many as 400 pigs at any given time at Mount Gnomon Farm.|
It was just going to be a hobby farm, but somehow over a couple of years it became a pretty serious free range pig farm, then the cows and sheep arrived, and now there’s a restaurant and butchery sitting in our front paddock overlooking 1,000 cider trees.
We’re on the menu of some of Australia’s and Tassie’s best restaurants. We visit farmers markets across Tasmania selling our fresh pork, beef, lamb and hand-crafted smallgoods. If you go to a food, art, or music festival you’ll see us there serving flavoursome, meaty dishes.(Continued below).
|Sam, a student volunteer, working at the farm along with another student Danielle, provided us with quite a tour. Thanks to both of them for their assistance!|
We run the farm with the help of a fabulous team of locals and international volunteers. We hope you really enjoy your Mount Gnomon Farm experience – whether it’s eating our food at a festival, or spending time at the farm.”
|Raspberries growing in the extensive garden. Many other crops. are grown in fields.|
When the tour ended we began the dusty long walk back to the car. Our shoes were covered in dust, manure and mud. When we returned to our vacation home, we shook and cleaned them off with paper towels and threw both pairs in the washer leaving them to dry outdoors.
|The farm has an enormous garden with produce and flowers in abundance.|
Visiting Mount Gnomon Farm will surely remain in our repertoire of worthwhile and memorable experiences for many years to come. Over the next few days, we’ll be posting additional scenery photos from the farm we wouldn’t want our readers to miss.
Thanks to Guy Robinson and his staff for fabulous tour!
May you have a day filled with wonderful adventures!
Photo from one year ago today, January 11, 2016:
|This is my entrée for four nights aboard the ship, seafood on a bed of cooked cabbage and vegetables. The chef is always willing to accommodate my way of eating. For more details, please click here.|