Welcome to Melanda Park free range and Swallow Rock Organics, where animals and plants live and work together to produce healthy clean food in a cycle of life that leaves nothing to waste.
We believe that working with nature is the best way to produce happy healthy food. Starting from the ground up, healthy soils grow healthy plants, which feed healthy livestock and inturn makes for healthy people. Life should be treated with humanity and respect and marketed with honesty and integrity, the way god intended.
This is an article written by the local historian Ted Brill
WHAT GOES AROUND
September 1808 when the pioneers of Ebenezer Church met in Thomas
Arndell’s house they formalised their society and each family
committed £10 towards the construction of the church. Currency not
being readily available in 1808, they agreed to pay the stonemasons
and carpenters with the produce of their farms. They set prices –
wheat 10 shillings a bushel, salted pork 1/3d a pound, fresh pork
1/- a pound and live pigs 9d a pound.
Turnbull was one farmer who raised pigs and it is interesting to
know that what was originally Turnbull property at Ebenezer is
again being used in this way. Free range pork is being produced by
Matt & Sue Simmonds who allow pigs to live out their lives in
paddocks with a reasonable amount of pasture. Their farm is not
just a pig farm but an integrated system that uses pigs to help
control weeds and to fertilise the soil to grow better vegetable
the church paddock behind the Historic Tree the Simmonds cut and
bale African love grass and use it as matting in shelters for the
pigs. In this way Ebenezer Church is kept safer in times of bush
fires and it also provides a modern day link between John Turnbull
and the church he helped build.
church paddock - originally part of Owen Cavanough's grant. Owen
would be pleased to see that his former land is still being used
for agriculture purposes. The area from the lagoon to the top of
the picture is the grant given to James Davison.
Matt Simmons baling the grass in the paddock opposite Ebenezer
Meet my team of little diggers.
Each year I put aside 50 gilts to replace some of the older
sows, I put them in the gilt paddock in January and by June they
should all be in pig and the paddock is well on its way to looking
like a moon scape. Just the way I want it, by August I will plough
the rest up and plant potatoes. No other animal can effectively
remove all the weeds and have the paddock fertilised and half
ploughed before they have finished growing like gilts, and these
pigs are my little army of diggers.
No other animal digs like a pig and the most active
diggers are gilts, unmated females, so when people say to me that
they want a pig or a paddock of pigs I tell them the way it is, "
unless you can manage your paddock by putting this behaviour to
good use, you will end up with problem." The pig was born to dig,
you can't change that habit, your only hope is to put it to good
After setting up our cool room trailer, we have been able to
deliver porkers and suckers direct into Sydney. One of the new
restaurants we supply now is Bishop Sessa at Surry Hills. Paul
Copper Chef and co founder of Bishop Sessa prides himself in being
a nose to tail chef, meaning he buys a whole pig weighing
about 55kg and develops a menu to use up every little bit from the
nose to the tail.
If you find yourself in Surry Hills Sydney check it out, at
527 Crown St Surry Hills.
Check out the photos and blog about Melanda Park on Bishops
Sessa's blog at.
Sue and I spent the weekend in Melbourne at the food and wine
festival, watching in on several master classes with Chefs such as
Matthew Evens the Gourmet Farmer, Karen Martini, Annabel Langbein,
The Free Range Chef, and the boys from the 3 Blue Ducks at Bronte.
The highlight and the reason we were there was to support Martin
Boetz from Longrain. Martin was de-boning a Melanda Park suckling
pig and cooking it in a Thai masterstock before roasting
it and serving it with spiced blood plum sauce. The dish was
absolutely brilliant, which inspired me to learn how to de-bone a
whole suckling pig. Surprisingly it should be reasonably straight
forward but I will let you know in a few weeks how it goes.