Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Me­gan Masters news@ru­ral­

I grew up on the beach, but this is the life­style we’ve cho­sen and my idea was to share it with the com­mu­nity.


FIONA May thought she had all her ducks in a row when she de­cided to start a small busi­ness to en­able her to max­imise time with her chil­dren.

But she was not pre­pared for the im­me­di­ate and sus­tained pop­u­lar­ity of From Pad­dock to Potager.

If you have never heard of it, think one part pet­ting zoo, one part food ed­u­ca­tion and one part ex­hi­bi­tion farm for the tree-change, nat­u­ral liv­ing life­style.

The lit­tle busi­ness on the Old Goom­bungee Rd soon got out of hand – and life with it.

And af­ter find­ing she had less time than ever for her kids and hus­band, more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, late nights, early morn­ings and plenty of stress, Mrs May took a two-week hol­i­day in New South Wales and came back with a plan.

“I left my full-time po­si­tion to take this on board and the rea­son for that was I wanted to stay at home with my two boys, Heath and Ol­lie,” she said.

“I grew up on the beach, but this is the life­style we’ve cho­sen and my idea was to share it with the com­mu­nity.

“There is a lot of stuff hap­pen­ing in the food in­dus­try, with people be­com­ing more aware of what they eat – and I have an early child­hood back­ground, so it seemed per­fect.

“But it was crazy how much de­mand there was.

“It overwhelmed me to the point where my head was spin­ning.”

Mrs May said in­stead of spend­ing more time with the kids, life be­gan to re­volve around mar­ket­ing, bud­get­ing and or­gan­i­sa­tion.

She said this meant late nights, fol­lowed by early starts to look af­ter all the farm an­i­mals.

And with hubby work­ing long hours as a car­pen­ter, Mrs May said they were not see­ing much of each other.

“I was try­ing to make ev­ery­one happy and the busi­ness started to take over my fam­ily,” she said. “I wasn’t proud of that. “I got in a lit­tle over my head and had to take a step back and close the whole thing down.”

But city-liv­ing lovers of farm life need not de­spair be­cause there will still be the odd open day on of­fer, as Mrs May pur­sues her next ven­ture – breed­ing pigs for meat, in con­junc­tion with lo­cal pad­dock to plate pro­duc­ers Ban­nock Brae.

Mrs May said there would also be a steady sup­ply of chooks and chicks for the back­yard, as well as beau­ti­ful hand­made soaps, pro­duced with milk fresh from their dairy cows and herbs from the gar­den.

To keep up with events at From Pad­dock to Potager, search for it on Face­book, where you can sign up for the news­let­ter, buy soaps and re­ceive up­dates.


ONTO A GOOD THING: Fiona May and son Oliver with the an­i­mals at From Pad­dock to Potager.

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