Farmer Profile

Regan Gallager

Regan Gallager

 Melbourne VIC, Australia
 1
 Victoria
North East NSW, Northern NSW, South East Queensland, Melbourne, South East Vic, North West Vic, South West Vic
 Research scientist
 PhD
 1-3 Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Goats 4
  • Chickens 4
  • Mixed Farming 4
  • Horse Breeding 3
  • Other livestock 3
  • Pig Farming 3
  • Sheep 3
  • Beef 3
  • Dairy 3
  • Aquaculture 3
  • Market garden 2
  • Sugar Cane 2
  • Viticulture 2
  • Specialty Crops 2
  • Orchard 2
  • Broad Acre Cropping 2
  • Cotton 1
  • Rice 1
  • Other Farming Preferences: None

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Agronomy 4
  • Livestock Mustering 3
  • Book Keeping 3
  • Business Management 2
  • Orcharding 2
  • Fencing 2
  • Accounting 2
  • Cropping 2
  • Animal Husbandry 2
  • Human Resources 1
  • Marketing 1
  • Sales 1
  • Planning 1
  • Machinery Operation 1
  • Other Farming Skills: None

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Regenerative 4
  • Permaculture 4
  • Organic 3
  • Biodynamic 3
  • Grass fed 2
  • Urban 1
  • Conventional 1
  • Other Farming Methods: None

Farm Opportunities Sought:

  • Equity
  • Lease
  • Share Farm
  • Vendor Finance

What have you been doing to get farm ready?

I have a backyard permaculture 'farm' (it's really just transitioning my backyard from nothing into a productive food system). I have chickens, bees, a small variety of fruit trees and vegetables. I am signed up to wwoofing so that I can get some hands on experience on a range of farms, and am considering becoming a wwoof host. Currently, I'm training 2 cattle dog pups and would like to get them farm experience mustering livestock (I train them on my chickens).

Why are you passionate about farming?

After spending a decade in science research, I cannot justify being theoretical anymore. I see the problems in the world and I understand the solution requires me to get my hands dirty - not writing research articles. Once I realised how important taking care of the soil is to the health of everything on the planet, I started my own backyard operation (really, my wife started us composting and we never looked back!). My goal is not about obtaining a high yield (although you can't work on an empty stomach), but rather about improving the soil, the methods, and the biodiversity of my system, no matter how small. In the year or so since I've invested myself in permaculture, I do a little bit every day (in between my day job) and devour books on the topic. I spend as much free time as possible in the garden building fertility in my soil. The time has now come that I'm ready to leave my job and commit to farming. Being stuck in lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne for the last 6 months was just the kick I needed.

Best days of being a farmer:

My vision is to return fertility and biodiversity to depleted land using permaculture and regenerative agriculture techniques. I have no single version of what my perfect day looks like, but it might be something like this: I wake at around 5-530 in the morning with my son (now 4) and our 2 Australian stumpy tail cattle dogs. Before breakfast, we do a perimeter check of the property. We examine the fencing, taking note of issues on the property that need immediate and long term attention. While we check our perimeters, we move our small herd of cattle on from their current grazing cell and adjust fencing of their new cell. We then let our multiple flocks of chickens out of their mobile chicken tractors into the land the cows have just vacated. We are currently focusing on building fertility where the cows have just vacated. We collect the chicken (and duck) eggs and head into the farmstead for breakfast and tea with my wife. By mid morning, we make sure the goats are clearing any overgrowth that needs to be removed before we can send in the pigs to disturb any of the harder-to-shift thickets. We continue our chopping and dropping of overgrowth in our now-established food forests (and have our mid-morning snack) in order build the forest floor and soil microbes. We then return to our market garden to harvest lunch. The evening follows a similar pattern to the morning, with a perimeter check and plenty of time to sit by the creek that feeds the dam(s) on our property. We visit our greenhouse to plant out new seedlings so they have the night to settle into their new soil, and plant them out the next day. We make sure all the livestock are where they need to be, ready for tomorrow, and then head back to the homestead to sit down to a meal with all of the wwoofers and helpers on the farm. After dinner, we have a campfire and read until it's time for bed. Tomorrow we'll be planting out new trees into the food forest and preparing new garden beds to bump up our self-sufficiency another level. We already provide over 75% of the daily food for our family and all the workers who help out each day. Things are looking good!