Farmer inspires next generation to grow

Farmer inspires next generation to grow

A love for land and a passion for regenerative farming have seen Jacki Hinchey create a variety of unique paddock to plate experiences for her local community.

Mrs Hinchey is the founder of Blue Dog Farm, where she produces beef, microgreens and “Really Fancy Salad”.

“My life is all about food and agribusiness,” Mrs Hinchey said.

“I grew up in the bush, where I felt connected to the land, and I have always felt happier in a natural landscape.

“When I arrived on the farm with my husband and three kids, I started a veggie garden for our family, and eventually that grew into an intensive market garden.

“To add value to the yield from the garden, I turned the seasonal leaves and micro microgreens into a ready-to-eat mix, which is called Really Fancy Salad.”

When COVID-19 struck, Mrs Hinchey began to wonder how it would impact other growers and producers who relied on hospitality and farmers’ markets to survive.

That’s when she came up with the idea of REKO – a digital farmers’ market that connects consumers directly with local farmers, makers and growers, with a shared goal of supporting small scale producers and encouraging ethical production values.

“It’s a combination of local markets, Tinder and a fast food drive-through in the sense that it has products you would pick up at your local market, you choose what you want on the website, and then come and pick it up at the one convenient location,” she said.

“The idea came from Scandinavia, and I had heard of it, but didn’t consider useful here until COVID hit in 2020.

“It has been a lifesaver for at least twenty Moreton Bay food businesses, and that brings joy to my heart.

“REKO provides producers, makers and consumers with an opportunity to really get to know each other, both on social media, and personally at the weekly pickups. It has really been a case of locals backing locals.

“We are always stronger when we work together.”

In addition, Mrs Hinchey is also the Moreton Bay Coordinator for the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), a cluster that supports collaboration, accelerates innovation and drives trade locally and globally.

'Amazing time to be a woman' 

Mrs Hinchey hopes to inspire others with her tenacity and thinking-outside-the-box mentality in honour of International Women’s Day.

“I think it is an amazing time to be a woman because we have so many opportunities and advantages in this country,” she said.

“Men and women bring inherently different qualities to their farm roles, and I know that both of my grandmothers and my mother were well respected and appreciated graziers in their own right.”

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