Leaving behind the fast-paced city for life in the country isn’t necessarily all about lying around in hammocks, sipping wine and smelling the roses. Although one might imagine recent tree-changer and the new owner of Yass River’s Nemori Flower Farm, Pip Gorton, spending more time among flowers than most. Her only regret is not making the move earlier.
Pip says running the microflower farm and beekeeping business keeps her multigenerational family of 12 well and truly occupied. “There’s me, my husband and our four children, and then my parents and my sister, and her husband and their two children,” she explains. For Pip, the dream had always been to allow their children to grow up on the land, but living in the Hawkesbury region of NSW, they knew the size of the plot they wanted was out of reach.
When Pip’s parents retired, it seemed the timing wasn’t going to get better. But while she says it was difficult to leave family and friends behind, they knew if they didn’t make a move, it wouldn’t be possible down the track.
The market for non-chemically grown flowers in Canberra is expanding. “There seemed to be a lack of local flowers in Canberra, with the main sources for flowers being Sydney and Melbourne,” says Pip. “Then the more we looked around, the more we saw microfarms around the area and began to make contacts with people.”
Making these contacts has been invaluable for the family because none of the microfarms in the area are big enough to be a ‘one-stop shop’ and therefore they are not in competition with each other. “We all get on and if somebody wants something you can’t provide, we simply contact another and pass on the business,” says Pip. “There are plenty of florists in Canberra who are really interested in local flowers, sourcing them responsibly and in a way that is environmentally friendly.”
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