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Glorious Googies

Glorious Googies

When Emma Brown and her husband Aaron purchased their property in Victoria’s South Gippsland, it had been a cattlePhoto taken on the farm of Glorious Googies farm for decades.  The treeless landscape was suffering from significant soil erosion and environmental degradation.

But having been raised next door, Emma understood the property’s potential, and set about building a free range egg farm, Glorious Googies, to tread lighter on the land.

Today, Emma’s 1,200 free range chooks spend their days foraging around the paddocks and Emma says she’s seen a dramatic improvement in the pasture quality simply from the nitrogen-rich fertiliser the hens leave behind. 

There is a noticeable difference in the soil quality and vegetation in the areas where we keep the hens – the grass is much longer and lusher, and we’ve halted the erosion of creek beds around the property,” she explains.

But with a vision to restore the property’s natural balance, Emma knew more needed to be done.

After investigating a range of options, from grants to partnerships with not-for-profits, Emma eventually concluded that “Greenfleet was the only organisation that could help me do what I wanted to do.”

In Autumn 2016, Greenfleet will work with the Browns to plant 37 hectares of the property with a mixture of 28 species, re-establishing the warm temperature rainforest that once existed on her farm.

The area we’ve chosen is steep and rugged – and should never have been cleared in the first place.  Working with Greenfleet provides us with a great opportunity to leave a legacy beyond what the two of us and our chooks could ever hope to do.”

Trees will help with the visible erosion on Korumburra and provide natural shelter for the hens. “It gets windy here – so the trees will help with protection against the wind, as well as with the water evaporation that further damages the soil,” she explains.

A recent academic study by Nagle and Glatz has found enriching the free range environment attracts chickens out of their coops and onto the land. The research confirms that well-sheltered pasture areas produce healthier and happier hens.

 Emma is “100 per cent confident” that the revegetation process of this ‘chicken haven’ will improve the farm’s productivity, as well as providing new habitat for native wildlife. 

It will be a ‘bush block’ that we can enjoy for bushwalks in our own backyard.  How good is that?”