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Every family needs a farmer

gympie beef and bean farm
Our neighbour grows beef and beans. This is the view of his farm from our back verandah.

It’s the Australian Year of the Farmer – and every family needs a farmer.  This family in particular needs farmers.

We live in the country.  Our property is surrounded by beef, dairy, macadamia, banana, deer and small crops farms.  Slowly but surely these farms are dwindling in size and variety as town moves out and the career farmers move on.  A local abattoir has recently closed and properties running a few pigs and cattle are now left without a nearby facility to have them slaughtered for their family meat.  Their choice, now, is to pay to have them transported over a longer distance to another abattoir, hire an on-farm butcher to come and do the job on the property or not bother growing their own meat.

If I hadn’t moved to Gympie Dissection Connection would not exist.  That’s no exaggeration.  Gympie is in the perfect geographical position to get good quality stock, get it packaged and get it on the road – and this is where I met Mr Vivi ♥  The closure of small and medium sized abattoirs threatens our ability to source good specimens for you.  You know how difficult it is to get stock out of the really big export abattoirs and that’s because they are under much more pressure to produce more meat in less time in order to remain viable as a business.

Since I started the business we have been buying almost all of our meat from local butchers and I can tell you the quality is head and shoulders above the meat I used to buy at the big supermarkets.  Home smoked bacon and ham, handmade sausages, t-bones from a beast that came from a local farm that the butcher could give me directions to if I wanted to visit, duck dressed at the abattoir and cooked in my kitchen on the same day – there’s nothing quite like it. And the value for money at the butcher is incredible.  We often buy a quarter of a beast or an entire pig and share it with another family.  Where else are you going to get Black Angus beef t-bones or free range shoulder ham on the bone for about $6.00/kg?

When you buy specimens from Dissection Connection you are keeping countless numbers of families afloat.  The meat industry supports Mr Vivi and I, the growers, the butchers, truck drivers, slaughtermen, admin staff, cleaners, electricians, plumbers, engineers and even the public servants that regulate the industry – just to name a few.

Abattoirs keep small towns alive.  They provide full time employment, apprenticeships and traineeships for people that would otherwise have to move to the city.  They bring people to regional towns that would otherwise not be able to grow and thrive.  And they keep you in meat for the barbecue.

Every family needs a farmer.  Every family.  When you buy specimens from us you are are buying 100% home grown Australian produce – not specimens chemically treated and imported from America.  Well done you!  Now – how about going one step further and grabbing some meat from the local butcher and having a barbecue with your mates this weekend?

Miss Vivi

ps. there are some great classroom resources on the Australian Year of the Farmer website


seven days without beef makes one weak
Australian beef growers bumper sticker on a ute I pulled up behind at the servo. The man in the background is the beef grower.
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Cheryl Hayashi: The magnificence of spider silk on TED

Huntsman spider
Cylon 2012 - the Huntsman spider that has decided to live in our bathroom this year

My spidey sense is really tingling this week.  I had downloaded this TED podcast of Cheryl Hayashi talking about spider silk, where it comes from and all it’s amazing properties.  I listened to it in the car this week and it was so good I’ve tracked down the video for you to have a look at.

Cheryl talks about dissecting an orb weaving spider, which I’ve never done.  But, now that she has put the idea into my head, I’m really keen to have a go.  To be honest I wouldn’t really know where to start, but if I find a dead orb weaver around the property I might see what I can do.

We’ve also had a visit from a pretty magnificent Huntsman spider in the house this week.  She’s taken up residence in the bathroom near the nightlight to hunt.  The photo really doesn’t do her size and hairiness justice.  She’s so big I can see her two rows of shiny eyes without my glasses on – which is really saying something, believe me.

We usually get a couple of Huntsmans a year come into the house to hunt and breed.  We don’t mind and we usually christen them Cylon while they are visiting, but they are very messy eaters and the carnage on the floor in the mornings is a bit much.  One night Mr Vivi looked up at the living room ceiling and hundreds of tiny Huntsmans were coming out between the ceiling boards to say hello.  I think he took a photo.  I’ll ask him to post it here if he has it.

Miss Vivi


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Skin Thing

Two of my awesome things

One of the blogs I (and about 30 million other people around the world) really love is 1000 Awesome Things.

I get the RSS feed into my inbox and now when the folder lights up to let me know there is a new post I get a little rush of excitement about it. They usually make me smile, they often make me think and they give me a few moments in the day when I feel like I’m doing something that’s really good for me. Sometimes I save it up for just before I turn off the computer before bed.

I like to share them, too. Mr Vivi gets the odd one forwarded on. I’ve posted a couple on the Facebook page. I send them to myself at school so I can print them out and stick them up on the window for the kids to read – and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of catching a group of kids gathered around something you’ve put up just for them to see, giggling and pointing and having an actual discussion in mostly complete sentences.

Last week 1000 Awesome Things posted #285 – Your Skin and it was, indeed, a pretty awesome post about a pretty awesome organ. So I’ve decided to share it with you.  Enjoy!>

Miss Vivi

Mar 25, 2011