Drover's Rest Organic Berry Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Surrounding ForestDrover's Rest is an attractive property located in a bushland setting 8 km east of Bridgetown in the South West of Western Australia. It is readily accessible from the centre of town by a scenic route through hobby farms and pasture on bitumen road, except for the last 2.8 km of wide gravel road. The property is 86.8 Ha in area with only approximately 20% cleared. The uncleared portions are jarrah and marri regrowth forest with understorey in very good condition. Soils vary from sand through sandy loam to gravel. The property has two winter stream beds and a permanent wetland, considered valuable by nature conservationists, watered by an underground stream.

 

Drover's Rest was purchased by the present owners in 1995. It was previously used for grazing only. The property takes its name from droving operations early in the area's history, when stock were brought from the east to the railhead at Bridgetown and rested at Drover's Rest presumably because of its permanent water supply.

 

The property is surrounded on the north, on the east and on part of the southern boundary by the CALM Hester forest conservation area. The reminder of the boundary adjoins forest on private properties. These forests provide a buffer to surrounding farming activities for organic production and add potential to the property as a future tourist destination.

 

 

Our Irrigation DamSoon after purchasing the property, the owners constructed a large dam, with an estimated storage capacity of about 20 to 30 million litres. It is spring fed by fresh water, and generally fills each year except in drought years. It was carefully located so as not to interfere with the adjacent wetlands. Overflow from the dam flows into the wetlands and then into a winter stream which discharges through the south boundary.
In order to decrease run off into the Blackwood River, a desirable outcome under environmental management initiatives, water from this winter stream is pumped via a shallow bore back into the dam when the dam is not full. The dam contains an island as a haven for bird life.

 

Our Pump RoomThe dam is currently a back up water supply for the irrigation system. The main irrigation water comes from a bore, again located away from the wetlands. Water saving drip irrigation systems are used for all growing areas plus the property landscaping. The entire irrigation system runs automatically and can be reprogrammed depending on the degree of watering required. Water quality and underground reservoir level are monitored regularly in order to better understand the environmental impact of water usage.