Value is more than money

This is a transcript of an unpeeled podcast interview with Charlie Showers of Black Barn Farm in Stanley. Charlie grows over 60 varieties of heirloom apples on young trees that are now coming in to production. You can also listen here.

Hello, everyone, I’m Peter Kenyon and welcome to another podcast from unpeeled press where I’m exploring the food culture of North East Victoria. Apples are an extraordinary fruit and today I’m delighted to speak with Charlie Showers of Black Barn Farm in Stanley. Charlie’s even more passionate about apples than I am and he has, with partner Jade and their three children Harry, Bertie and Minni, created a small commercial orchard specialising in heirloom apples.

Charlie Showers, we’re at Black Barn Farm in Stanley, your property with Jade. And what are you doing here, particularly around apples?

Charlie Showers

Well, apples was the first large part of the inspiration for Black Barn Farm but as we’ve evolved the business, it’s become one of many facets. But we farm heritage apples. So we have about 60 to 70 different apple varieties here that we grow primarily for pick your own. We also have a heritage tree nursery where we sell heritage apple trees to the public bare rooted online during winter. So the orchard also provides us the wood that we then use to graft those trees up. So that’s the apple component of Black Barn Farm and as I said it was really apples that gave us the initial inspiration to run the farm, but it’s branched off into a range of other areas, but essentially apples is the bolt-hole, the main spine of the business operation.

Peter Kenyon

When did you put your first apples in?

Charlie Showers

We’ve propagated all our own apple trees here at Black Barn Farm. We first grafted our trees in 2016 and then we’ve carried them out for two years in a nursery. So they were planted out in 2018 into the orchard.

Peter Kenyon

And when will they begin to bear?

Charlie Showers

They started to begin to, to fruit this season. So not enough to sell commercially, but definitely enough for us to start tasting and enjoying and experimenting all of those different varieties. So we haven’t had all 50 or 60 varieties fruit yet but we’ve had the majority of them fruit this year so it’s been a lot of fun for us just even to start tasting some that we’ve never even tasted before.

But we’re on semi dwarf rootstock which means the trees much larger than what you’ll see in an industrial orchard these days so they take longer to come into full production and it varies with the trees  and the different varieties.

Peter Kenyon

But that’s affected your spacing as well obviously.

Charlie Showers

Yeah, that’s right. So our trees are spaced about five metres apart.

Peter Kenyon

Gosh, compared to 75 centimetres!

Charlie Showers

That’s right and that’s because we farm organically with as little outside inputs as possible, it’s much easy for us to grow in that fashion with a tree that is much bigger has big, healthy root systems. It’s able to forage for its nutrients much better. It’s much better in drought conditions. You don’t have to irrigate them as much but the downside is there’s more ladders, harder to prune and a bit harder to pick, but they look better. It looks beautiful.

Peter Kenyon

It’s a big thing to have taken on. And having spoken now to quite a number of orchardists who’ve now retired or are approaching retirement there aren’t young people getting into this. I want to call it a calling really rather than an industry because I don’t think you approach it as an industrial production.

Charlie Showers

No, that’s right. And I liked the way you use that word, Peter, because calling for us is probably more appropriate than another description of what we’re doing. So we look at it very differently than someone who might be looking at an apple planting as a purely financial business, as a monoculture of apples and trying to make money out of it. That that’s a very big game these days. That’s a multi, multi-million dollar investment if you want to be selling apples into the supermarkets. So for us, obviously we’re much smaller than a huge commercial apple operation. We only have about 6 to 700 apple trees over a couple of acres. So it’s still commercial in size but for us, it’s all direct to consumer. And it’s also given that we have so many varieties it’s not just about producing as many tonnes per acre as you can do. It’s about keeping alive a lot of these fantastic heritage apples, which some of them are just mindblowing. So they may not store well and they don’t suit the industrial system but you eat them fresh off the tree and they are truly mindblowing.

They are just a beautiful apple but some of them, within two days, they’re terrible. They just don’t last but if you’re eating them fresh, they’re amazing and I think it’s important that we maintain some of that diversity. So that was some of that calling for us and in many ways the romanticism of running an orchard and a lot of that gets waded away amongst all the work of it.

And it’s interesting, you mentioned some of the older orchardists in Stanley who’ve been an amazing support for us. They probably think we’re a little bit crazy but I think once they’ve started to realize the bent that we’re doing it on and the way that we’re diversified as much as, yeah, it probably grates in some regards because we don’t run it in the same way that some traditional orchardists do. I think they understand what we’re trying to do. And it it’s about education, engaging with the public and really for us this is a tourist orchard and a way of explaining to people about farming in an holistic fashion and that it doesn’t create an apple that has been sprayed 40 times in its life cycle. So the apples won’t look like a supermarket apple. They might not be quite as perfect but for me as well it’s partly the challenge of growing an organic apple which is quite a difficult thing to do. Apples, because they hang on the tree for so long and they’re so full of beautiful carbohydrates, everything wants to eat them from fungus to insects, to birds. So trying to farm them organically is a fabulous challenge. And that’s something that I sometimes find very frustrating but equally I really enjoy the challenge of trying to develop an ecosystem. Like a mini forest that actually helps me resolve a lot of those problems. Yeah.

Peter Kenyon

Hail wants to eat apples a lot up in Stanley, too. That’s so what are you going to do about hail?

Charlie Showers

Yeah. Hail and frost is a perennial problem in Stanley and we definitely went into this as far as orcharding in Stanley, with our eyes wide open.  Of course we talked to all the orchardists up here and they said, look, you’ve got to expect that every five to six, seven years, you will completely lose your crop. We’ve understood that from the outset. In saying that you’ve got to look at that in the paradigm of what a lost crop means. So a lost crop means to a lot of orchardists, you can’t sell it into the commodity system. So it doesn’t mean the apples disappear. It just means they have little bumps on them from hail. Frost is another thing. Frost completely can wipe you out. So we’ve got a much more understanding market. As much as a crop can get decimated, a very large proportion of that is still salable. We plan on being able to juice as well. In fact, we’ve done juice before with the support of one of the other Beechworth orchardists. Andy Christesen helped us juice about seven or eight tonnes of apples which was really helpful. So for us, it’s about diversification as well.  As I said, we don’t just do apples. We do nursery trees which are much more resilient to the weather. They can’t get frosted out or hailed out and that’s a big part of our business. Plus we do education, on farm events. We understand some years we won’t get a crop. We also do berries as well, which flower much later than apples and fruit much earlier so the risk is much lower.

Peter Kenyon

Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t net, could you, because of the size of the tree and the type of planting?

Charlie Showers

Yeah, that’s right. And for us, the return per acre that we get wouldn’t justify the investment of netting but we’ll see how that goes over time. I mean, it depends on our yields and what we’re getting and we’ll analyze that and if we do find that it is justifiable to net then I’m definitely open to it. But at the moment in our startup phase we think our best way around that is to be diversified and be smart about the way we do things.

Peter Kenyon

Charlie, you don’t talk about the economics of it but how do you take that into account?

Charlie Showers

Yeah, so of course, this has to stack up as an economic business venture for Jade and I. I can’t be throwing money into an endless pit. As much as I still work off farm, I work part-time on farm and that time isn’t an indulgence. For me it is about creating a business for me and my family, if any of the kids choose to want to go into it. So as much as I say, it was a romantic choosing to some degree, Jade and I both have extensive business backgrounds and we’ve designed this business to be economic, so it needs to be able to return. But financial return is only one part of, I guess, a metric as far as how we consider our business to be viable but of course it’s an important metric. I can’t be pouring money into something if it’s not giving me more back. And so far we’re, we’re pretty early in our business evolution so I can’t really say whether it will or won’t work, but after running the pick your own at Europa Gully that we did a few years ago and our experience so far with where we’re at here at Black Barn Farm we’re really hopeful and we have very high expectation that it will be. The advantage of interacting directly with people, going direct to consumer and having a diversified business. Definitely. Yeah. It gives us yeah. Reach in different areas and allows us to be what we think should be a very viable business with lots of room for expansion, incorporation with other people. Cooperation with other people is a big part of what we like to do as well. So it’s not just the Jade and Charlie show, it’s really about trying to integrate with other people and other groups as well.

Peter Kenyon

Have you got KPIs set? How will you know when, I mean KPIs is an awful business term to use, but you know what I mean? There are people who go for their passion and 20 years later, they’re still saying we might make it one day. Have you considered that you might need to set some goals one day that’s make or break?

Charlie Showers

You mean explicit financial goals?

Peter Kenyon

No, no. Any goals,  that you know you’re on track or you’re off track.

Charlie Showers

Yeah, look we haven’t approached it specifically with, with KPIs. I guess my core KPI is how I’m feeling and how much I’m enjoying it and how much I’m getting out of it and how much connection we’re getting to our community, how much other people are enjoying our product. And if I use that as my KPI metric, most of the time it’s fantastic. You know, like anything there’s times when it just sucks and you know, no business is perfect and sometimes I don’t like being out there in the rain when it’s four degrees and sleeting. But overall If I use my happiness, which has to have all sorts of things considered in amongst it, as far as the business and for us, it’s not just a business, you know, it’s a lifestyle choice and the fact that we live on the farm but that’s a big part of it, is that it’s not just a business proposition. This is something that we do with friends and family and with our community. So yeah, the question around KPIs is a tricky one. I guess I haven’t looked at it as blandly as that sort of business terminology, but I use my own feedback to assess and see how we go.

Peter Kenyon

Why are so few people doing what you’re doing?

Charlie Showers

It’s really hard work. And I said it’s a lifestyle choice and that’s a fully encompassing lifestyle choice. So you have to make a lot of sacrifices and you have to be happy to make those sacrifices. So we don’t do a lot of things that we used to do. We don’t hang out with a lot of people that we used to hang out with. And on the whole, I’m really happy with all of those choices that we’ve made. This is something that Jade and I, together, both love doing. It’d be very hard, in fact it’d be impossible to do what we’re doing if your partner wasn’t invested in it as well. So we’ve got the advantage that we both enjoy doing it. We both love nothing more than for us to be together, out there in the nursery or in the orchard doing stuff together. So for us, we love that time together. So we make it work and I guess for some people they wouldn’t be happy with the financial return or the simple lifestyle or the hard work or the fact that with orcharding you can’t leave the place for six, seven months of the year. You just can’t. So we’re stuck here. Winter’s our time off. We can get away in winter. So for a lot of people that doesn’t suit them. So in many ways, it’s kind of good that not many people want to do this because it means we have something unique in a way. But we’re trying to encourage more people to do it and a lot of people are really curious about what we’re doing. And I think over the years, as we start to show a bit of a model that, just as we’ve been inspired by looking at other small scale family owned orchards, both here in Australia and in Canada and the United States in particular, we hope to inspire other people to choose a life path like this, that forms part of a local food system, a rich local food system.

Peter Kenyon

What needs to happen here in our region and that’s at a local government level, state government, federal, the layers, what would help to support more ventures and more food diversity and more local production?

Charlie Showers

That’s a really large question. If I look at our food system overall, there’s so many components of it. If you look at it from a systems point of view there really needs to be an acknowledgement by government that the food system is in fact a system. That it is made up of a suite of components from producers to retailers, to logistics and education and the whole suite of it. It’s very hard to talk to government about progressing components, about a truly resilient and localised food system if they can’t conceive it as a system. If it’s just a siloed section like food production.

Peter Kenyon

Agriculture.

Charlie Showers

And the Victorian Department of Agriculture is very focused on agriculture and producing output and producing export and arguably for an industrial paradigm they do that very well. But trying to get the Victorian Department of Agriculture to think about health and how it integrates with health or how it integrates with community development.

Peter Kenyon

Tourism.

Charlie Showers

Tourism. That’s right. It doesn’t happen. So local government has an advantage in that regard as far as they have their own little mini versions of all of these departments and they’re forced to be a lot more cross-pollinating with ideas. So ecodev [economic development officers] might talk a little bit more with planning who might talk a little bit more with building and community health and development. So we’ve had a lot more success with local government and even with the health side of the Victorian government. But as far as what local government could do to inspire more, or improve avenues for ventures like ours, one of the biggest issues is really the cost of land and in particular the cost of good agricultural land. That’s a real problem in Stanley now. It’s becoming, for good reason, a very popular lifestyle choice. And it’s very hard to price wise, if you’re wanting a viable business, to compete against people who are buying a lifestyle block that don’t need an economic return. If you’re needing to farm a 20 acre block that cost you a million dollars, that’s a very tough proposition.

So yeah, there’s some amazing things that happen in the United States with their agrarian trust and other ways of very smartly locking up land that is used for food production. It can only ever be used for food production. And that’s not all land, it’s discrete parcels of land. And it means that when it’s time for that land to be sold, it doesn’t get sold on the open market for lifestyle, it gets sold for agricultural value. So I think the farming zone potentially in some areas, the way that it’s managed could be changed to ensure that it’s set aside for farming. But that’s very difficult in a market driven economy where the market decides.

Peter Kenyon

And a lot of growers I think, and particularly in Sydney and Melbourne on the edge of it, their retirement is funded by selling the land. They’ve made enough money to creep through year by year but their retirement is funded by the sale of the land. I’m not sure that’s quite to the same extent here but with lifestyle happening in attractive destinations like Beechworth and around Chiltern and around townships that is going to happen.

Charlie Showers

Yeah, that’s exactly right. We get the advantage here that even though our land prices are so very high, we have a lot of tourists in Beechworth and it creates a market for us that is much more viable than it would be otherwise. So that’s the other side of the coin to being a very popular venue is you get exposure to a lot of people and we’re able to sell a lot of produce not just a to Beechworth people but to a lot of tourists as well. So in short, to answer your question there’s no simple, one-off answer. Everything needs to be looked at within a system and really it’s acknowledgement within all tiers of government that our food system is in fact, a system and needs to be thought about in a very strategic and networked way where everything’s interconnected.

And that’s a big challenge. And other governments across the world have begun to do it very well, like parts of Vermont and east coast Canada as well. But we get to see that same level of systems thinking in government, in Australia.

Peter Kenyon

Charlie going back to the very beginning, why do you like apples? Tell me about apples. What’s so good about apples?

Charlie Showers

Well our inspiration to grow apples actually came from one of the original orcharding families here in Stanley, tony Chambeyron who no longer grows apples. But Jade and I first moved to Stanley in the year 2000 and he was our immediate neighbour and he was still farming back then and he’s such a lovely guy, really a lovely man. And we got to know him a little bit and he’d swing by on his tractor and he’d give us a few apples out of the bin out the back when he was picking and then he, he pushed all of his apples out. Obviously he was getting a little bit older, but the economics was making it very hard for those small family owned orchards.

He’d done very well through farmers’ markets and diversifying a little bit as things changed. So that was kind of the, the kickstart for me. I thought, gee, there’s all these amazing trees being pushed out and through no fault of Tony’s, it’s just a fault of the system. So that was the start of it.

But then I think about apples as well and there’s just so much amazing diversity. Apples! They fruit with us here from Christmas, right through until July. You know, nothing else has a fruiting season like that. The flavour diversity is amazing. The colour diversity is amazing. They’re so popular around the world. There’s so many amazing fables and stories from Adam and Eve right through to Johnny Appleseed. They’re such a massive part of human culture. They’re just such an alluring fruit. So I guess for me, that was a large part of it is they’re just, I love the stories around them.

Peter Kenyon

Oh, it’s highly romantic. I’ve always confessed that I bring a romantic outlook to it and I know that’s not very fashionable or very scientific, but I don’t care.

Charlie Showers

No. Well, I agree. And they’re beautiful to look at. They’re lovely. Beautiful. Their blossom is beautiful. The leaves are beautiful. The fruit hanging in the tree looks beautiful. And so it was all of that allure. We spent a bit of time in New England in east coast America as well, where the apple is king. You know you’ve got the whole Big Apple in New York and the whole apple pie culture. And so that rubbed off on us a lot as well and we got a lot of inspiration from family owned orchards in Vermont and just the way they integrate apple into everything. So all of those components has been fairy dusted over us, I guess.

Peter Kenyon

Tell me about our region, and this is sort of bigger than just the apple, but our region and its potential for intensive agriculture, as opposed to Australian agricultural slash food policy, which is an extensive approach: an extensive landscape and very large commodity production.

There’s not many people I could explore it with, but with you, I, I feel I can. How do we get nuanced policy that can reflect landscape production potential rather than just the one size fits all?

Charlie Showers

Yeah. That’s a very valid question because in our alpine valleys here, in our high altitude areas with very good soil, which are only in certain pockets of Victoria, they can’t be treated like a lot of other parts of Victoria down in the riverine plains say that’s quite homogenous. So I guess really what you’re asking is how do things like the planning scheme take account of that variation and how does government policy? I guess in some ways it’s up to us being those people and those people in particular that are farming in those areas to advocate and communicate about how special the areas we have, particularly to a government that does like to homogenize everything. Yeah, that’s a really difficult one and I’ve found trying to communicate and get government to acknowledge change, to be a very challenging aspect. And in fact, I’ve probably stepped back a lot from that component, which I used to be quite active in.

I think it helps when we have place-based politicians as well, to help us advocate. So having people like independent politicians who understand the intricacies and detail, how things spatially change within their electorate. I think both of our independent candidates here or people who have actually won their seats in Indi have a good understanding of what that’s like. But it’s a big challenge as far as trying to communicate with government that wants to homogenize and wants to see export as the way forward. Yeah, it’s a matter of advocating, explaining how more viable local food production system is when it’s diversified. Yeah, but there’s no simple answer to that one either.

Peter Kenyon

Charlie, what’s the first apple you ever tasted do you remember? And what’s your favorite apple now?

Charlie Showers

No I don’t remember the first apple I had as a kid. I’m tipping it was probably mushed Heinz baby food forced down my throat as a four month old. Which ironically could have been grown here in Stanley because a lot of growers here grew the King Cole apple which was a great processing apple for Heinz. Yeah, so ironically, it may well have been a Stanley apple that was my first one. Yeah, so I don’t remember the first apple I had, but my favorite apple? That’s a tough question as well, because it varies throughout the season. So my favourite apple in December is Vista Bella or Lodi which is the first ones to ripen, but in comparison to the later season apples, they’re actually not that flash but at the time it’s the first fresh apple you’ve had for six months and it’s pretty darn good. But overall, if I look at it across the board I love some of the really sweet dessert apples. So things like a Mutsu which is a Japanese bred apple is a beautiful, sweet apple, has a beautiful complex fruity flavour. It’s very crisp and beautiful eating apple, but then some of the heritage apples start to incite flavors inside you that you just don’t associate with an apple. So things like Cox’s Orange Pippin if it’s grown in a coolish climate. Stanley’s probably getting a little bit too warm to get the best out of a Cox’s Orange Pippin. They’re probably best grown in parts of England or North America, but even still the Cox’s we’ve had here they have these flavors in them that is just unlike anything that you have in a standard apple. So it’s nearly nutty to a degree with a, a bit of spice and sweetness. So I love that differentiation in apples as well. So yeah, probably Mutsu if I was to have a standard apple and yeah, maybe something like a Cox’s Orange Pippin if I was feeling a little more …

Peter Kenyon

It’s a pity more people can’t taste a Cox’s Orange Pippin because it really does seem to take the cake all over the world.

Charlie Showers

Yeah, it just has an incredible balance of different flavors and it can be quite a sensation to bite into it if you’re expecting a standard sweet apple and it is a shame that people aren’t exposed to those sorts of flavors. But even with the sweet apples it’s a shame that people aren’t exposed to what a fresh apple off the tree tastes like and not something that’s been in controlled atmosphere storage for, for 12 months. And when we were selling at farmers’ markets, I’d have a lot of people come up to me and say, Oh look your apples look great, but I just don’t like apples. I was like, Oh no, no, you just, I have not tasted a fresh apple off the tree. These apples were picked yesterday. Here’s an apple. Have it for free. If you don’t like it, don’t worry about it. If you like it, buy some more. And it would not be that often that someone would say. Nah, that’s just the same apple I’ve always had. Most people would say, Wow, that is really amazing. And it is. A fresh apple is a really beautiful thing and most people have forgotten what one tastes like. And I fully mean that genuinely. They’ve really forgotten what a fresh apple tastes like.

Peter Kenyon

And it’s harder and harder to discern what’s fresh and what’s not because people don’t understand the variety through the seasons and you’ve now got this extraordinary technology that carries an apple through from one year to the next, but of course they’re not picked for optimal flavor.

Charlie Showers

No, they’re not picked for optimal flavour. In fact, they’re not even bred for optimal flavor anymore. So what used to lead you to believe you were picking the best apple was say the reddest apple. But now the original Pink Ladies which don’t go that pink or that red overall were actually the best tasting and the newer varieties of Pinks that are, are much redder and much deeper pink, they look better, so they look like they should taste better, but they’re so disappointing. The original Pink Lady and the original Gala, they don’t look as good, they don’t look like they’d be as sweet but they actually taste much better. So, yeah, people are our own worst enemies in some ways. And the only reason that those ones have been selected is because they’re the ones that people take off the supermarket shelves and they leave the other ones behind. So yeah, it’s a tricky business in that regard.

Peter Kenyon

If we can keep apples in storage all year round, why are we shipping apples from one side of the planet to the other out of season if the technology exists to allow you to not have to do that? Do you see a logic in that cause I don’t? I’m sort of preaching to the converted here, so I’m feeding you the answer really!

Charlie Showers

No, well that’s right. That does seem an incredibly frustrating part of the industrial food system. A lot of it’s got to do with…

Peter Kenyon

Is it caché about “they’re from somewhere else” or that’s not part of it?

Charlie ShowersWell partly caché but I don’t think so much. I think it’s more, apples like Pink Lady need to grow in a warm climate, so you can’t grow them in North America. Well, east coast North America.

Peter KenyonThey were bred in WA for a warmer climate apple growing area.

Charlie ShowersThat’s right. So there’s lots of parts of Europe and east coast America that can’t grow Pink Ladies and in fact, of course it’s a club variety so you’ve got to be in the group to actually technically sell a Pink Lady otherwise you’re selling it Cripps Pink apple. So I think it’s about protecting the brand and protecting the quality. So Pink Ladies in particular are shipped all round the globe because of that reason, but that’s kind of frustrating because there’s all these other beautiful apples that can be grown in cool climates that are far more impressive than a Pink Lady apple. But again, they don’t last as well. Pink Lady is truly a phenomenal apple on every front because it lasts so well. It is an extremely vigorous growing apple. I look at the Pink Ladies I graft in our nursery and you can pick them. They have these big, massive, tough leaves. They’re just a very strong tree. Their genetics is just incredible. Yeah.

Peter Kenyon

And some of the new varieties, Jazz and Envy and Kanzi that are, it appears to me, they’re almost taking over the old varieties because they’re supported with advertising and promotion and to be fair, the flavor is pretty nice. They wouldn’t sell if they were a horrible flavor but they’re replacing some of the earlier ones in the heirloom apples that have the flavors anyway, but that just aren’t promoted.

Charlie Showers

Yeah, that’s right. And that’s been happening now for quite a number of decades, is that like any fashion, apple varieties and what people want over time changes or probably changes because they’re marketed very well. I don’t think the public are actually crying out for new varieties per se. It’s just that it’s a competitive point of advantage for breeders. But it was the same: Pink Ladies in the early 1990s, when they first came into supermarket shelves, wiped out the Jonathan apple and you won’t see Jonathans anymore and it’ll eventually happen to Kanzis and Jazz and all these other varieties when a new one gets bred. So there’ll be a never ending cycle of poor orchardists having to replace their trees and topwork their trees, but it keeps a lot of nurseries in business. It keeps a lot of breeders in business. And I guess variety’s the spice of life.

Humans have always selected and made new apple varieties ever since the Roman times. I’m sure it’s done a bit differently now than it has done in the past but we’ve always moved from one to the next popular variety. So maybe heirloom apple orchards in a hundred years’ time will be gladly growing the Jazz and the Kanzi and the Honey Crisp because they’ve moved on to something else.

So yeah, I mean, it, it, it is a bit frustrating, but yeah, I guess that that’s just human culture and that’s the way things happen. And I just want to make sure that we maintain some of those lost varieties here because for no fault of the apples, people moved on to another one, but you could nearly start bringing them back.

You know, like eighties music comes back, you can bring back apples from the 1950s very easily. I think in fact that’s what we happily do here and people love them.

Peter Kenyon

Bonza, Red Delicious, Jonathan. They were common when we were kids but you can’t remember them now and you can’t taste them cause you never see them.

Charlie Showers

That’s right. So we could sit out here with an Atari and a Jonathan …

Peter Kenyon

… and listen to Dan Fogelberg. Thank you, Charlie. We could talk all day. We have done before and I could talk to Jade all day as well . Thank you very much.

Charlie Showers

Thanks Peter. And thanks for your awesome collection of podcasts. I think it’s just amazing and I’ve loved listening to them. I love listening to all the old apple orchardists up here in Stanley. There’s a lot for me to learn off them and I’m forever learning off them. So to hear them candidly speak to you is a special treat for me as well.

Peter Kenyon

Thank you, Charlie. Alright, bye.

It’s great speaking to Charlie and I’m looking forward to seeing Black Barn Farm develop as a heritage apple business over the coming years.  I’m Peter Kenyon, and thank you for listening. Please leave a comment or a suggestion at the unpeeled.press website or find me on Facebook or Twitter. A special thank you to Charles Sturt University for its support in getting these podcasts underway through their Community University Partnership Grants. And a special shout out to Dr Sarina Kilham from Charles Sturt and Dr Nick Rose from Sustain Australia for helping to make these podcasts happen. Theme Music by Avocado Junkie. See you next time.

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