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Clockmaker feels the time is right to return to the land.

Meet Phil - Butcher turned clockmaker turned avocado farmer. 

After 24 years of clockmaking, Phil’s heart took him in another direction...back to the land. Seeing the potential of a long neglected avocado orchard, and the run down cottage on the property, Phil and his wife Fran began a new life as farmers.

Phil and Fran quickly learned that being a farmer isn’t all sunshine and smashed avo on toast. There was some serious work to be done to bring their farm back to life. The trees were neglected and unhealthy, the land was overgrown, and the cottage needed a little TLC. So, they got to work. Phil worked away, one step at a time, calling on building experience acquired over the years to renovate the cottage, and leaning on the farming knowledge from his youth in Woodenbong to patiently work the land. One major hurdle still stood in their way. The avocado trees.  Not having any experience with avocados, let alone the know how to rejuvenate an old decrepit orchard, Phil turned to some of the best experts around town, engaging Nutri-Tech Solutions and Dave from in Palmwoods. With their guidance and a whole lot of patience and hard work, gradually the tree’s health and production improved, and Phil and Fran dream bagan to take shape. 

Experienced agronomists in your corner really helps speed things up and takes the guess work out of the equation. Phil revived his trees by pruning away the dead wood, and giving the long-neglected trees the nutrients they needed to thrive, with the bounty of microbial life through composted cow manure. It all starts with healthy soil, and when the soil was amended and healthy, and the roots were blanketed so they could stay moist and shaded, the orchard was recovering, and Phil’s avocado farm was thriving. 

With the trees healthy and producing beautiful avocados, Phil turned his attention to the cottage. With some hard work and smart renovations, and a good dose of entrepreneurial spirit, Phil and Fran found another function for their beautiful land - a farm-stay destination! They took full advantage of the wedding culture of Flaxton, which offers a unique experience one only finds in the misty hills of the Sunshine Coast, Hinterland.The farm is now the perfect spot for a unique wedding experience. Staying on the beautiful farm in the charming cottage, with gorgeous photo opportunities at every turn, is an ideal start to any couple’s life together. Phil took back the land, not only restoring a beautiful piece of the Sunshine Coast, but restoring community and tourism as well, by making his farm a destination.   

We couldn’t do what we do here at Fresh Box, without farmers like Phil. Thanks for your efforts to preserve some of the beautiful farmland of the Sunshine Coast, thank you for your commitment to growing organically, and thank you for making possible our favourite smashed avo on toast. We owe you a lot.

Thanks for all you do Phil,

The Fresh Box Community

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