There’s adventure to be had in Currumbin Valley and it’s all thanks to a somewhat unlikely farmer. David Gower Freeman started his career in the defence force as a military lawyer. Following a successful career as an international lawyer and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at QUT, it was David’s passion for fresh organic food that took his life in a completely different direction and drew him back to the family farm.
David holds public tours of the farm every Sunday at 10am, where visitors can see his 70 different organic crops, including 40 types of vegetables and 30 types of fruit, which are grown on-site. David puts his agricultural success down to the high quality of the soil.
“We are lucky enough to have red volcanic soil, which is the most fertile agricultural soil in the world,” he says. “Due to its unique minerals and fertility, our produce not only grows better, but has a wonderful taste and texture and is also nutrient dense.”
Guests on the farm tour can also visit David’s farm shop, open from Friday to Monday each week. It has a fresh range of 30 different fruit and vegetables and is principally organic, with around 80 per cent of stock grown on the farm.
The Freeman’s Organic Farm story goes back to David’s great uncle, Arthur Freeman, who is regarded as the pioneer of the banana industry in Australia. He began growing bananas in the Currumbin Valley, after leaving his banana plantations in Fiji. The farm was established in 1915, and in the 1920s became the largest commercial banana farm in Australia, with more than 100 acres of bananas (some 100,000 banana trees) and 40 full-time employees. In honour of Arthur, the then Albert Shire Council and Gold Coast City Council erected ‘Arthur Freeman Lookout’.
Freeman’s Organic Farm can be found at 618 Tomewin Mountain Road, Currumbin Valley.
LEARN FROM A PRO
For those looking for a bit more insight into organic farming or maybe starting their own farm, David recommends his two-day Organic Farming and Nutrition course, which will run in mid-November. The workshop costs $500 and includes an organic gardening book with all the notes from the course, a soil test kit, 200 organic seeds, a punnet of organic seedlings and a consultation at home to test your soil and help design your organic garden.