Featherview is a nine hectare eco-farm in New South Wales, overlooking Byron Bay. They currently have three hectares of lady finger bananas and plan to diversify with other horticultural crops, eventually using a permaculture layout.

Garry Fetherston (photo above) describes himself as a hippie banana farmer. “My parents bought our special piece of paradise over 30 years ago when land was cheap. We immediately went about restoring the degraded, weed infested natural bushland, which includes koala habitat and threatened ecosystems … I love rainforests and can identify most species in the local area and can recognise local birds from their calls.”

“Half of the property is natural bushland with pockets of rainforest and there are walks and lookouts to enjoy it fully. There are many rare and threatened species like koalas, birds, frogs and echidnas. We also have wallabies, possums, snakes and many other creatures too. Every day we have a new surprise visitor from the natural world.”

“The core philosophy at Featherview is harmlessness. We deal with pests and pathogens with microbial diversity and applications of purposely cultured beneficial microbes. By adding more life to the farming system a balance is created, and harmful organisms are suppressed rather than specifically targeted. Nothing is intentionally killed or harmed in the day to day running of the farm. Our aim is to sow the seeds of harmony as we sow fruit and vegetable seeds. With harmlessness as the guiding principle in all our management decisions we hope to create a food producing paradise that enhances the beautiful landscape.”

Holiday accommodation on the farm (in a two bedroom cabin with ocean views) is available too. Details at www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/819991

This article appeared in Growing Green International magazine Num 37 (Summer/Autumn 2016), p38.