Hidden Valley Honey
Introducing raw, unpasteurised bush honey from bees that feed on native eucalypts, blue and grey gums, tallowwood and yellow box. The honey is less sweet than commercially available honey, but has a real depth of flavour and a beautiful floral bush bouquet. You can find their honey in 450g jars and 1Kg tubs under Feature Fruits and in the Honey and Jam section.
Hidden Valley Farm in Wherrol Flat is run by Shane and Brooke Hulands. Although Shane had experience working on the family farm, he and Brooke only started farming 3 years ago. They’re running cattle, pigs and about 500 hens, and collect bush honey from about 50 hives. Both are saying that they haven’t worked as hard as they are now, but loving every minute of it.
The Wherrol Flat farm is 475 acres and is mostly timber. All their animals are running free range, using holistic management and low stress stock handling principles.
On their farm the cows eat down the long grass, and are moved on to another paddock. They are followed by chooks who live in the paddocks in mobile caravans. One hectare at a time is sectioned off with electric netting, and once the area is fertilised the caravan is moved on.
They say they’ve seen the soil improving, holding moisture better. They’ve also noticed the pastures change from bracken fern and Parramatta grass to having a significant increase in plant diversity, including a return of many native pasture species.
“For us it’s about seeing the land comfortable. If we see that we know the soil will be good and our animals healthy, creating a future for our children” says Shane. “We are doing what feels right and it seems to be working.”
“We’re redoing internal fencing so we have better control of our paddocks and letting the stock do the work for us.
“We don’t need to mulch. The cows tread in the older grass to build the soil carbon, so we retain moisture in our paddocks.”
The Hulands moved up from Sydney for family health reasons to raise their young family. Shane had previously worked on a family farm. Brooke is city born and bred, but would never go back now. She says “I’ve never worked so hard in my life but I’m loving every minute of it, and it’s fantastic seeing the kids getting involved.”
“It’s not a job, it’s a passion” adds Shane.
Shane and Brooke sell pastured free range eggs at the Wingham Farmers markets and some retail outlets. They are in the process of setting up paddock to plate pastured beef and pork.