IT’S been a year since Paul West turned the first piece of earth and – under the guidance of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – embarked on a new sustainable chapter in life at River Cottage Australia.
Now, Paul is ready to take on even bigger challenges when Season 2 of River Cottage Australia premieres on Thursday, May 1 at 8.30pm on The LifeStyle Channel, only on Foxtel.
In the first season, Paul only scratched the surface of the farm in Central Tilba’s potential and tapped into the local community and a handful of people who shared his passion for food, farming and sustainable living.
The summer and autumn months have since passed and the farm has evolved. The garden grows and livestock expands. Hugh is back in England and Paul aims to further develop the farm from a smallholding to a viable small farm, edging closer to self-sufficiency.
His beloved best mate, Digger, is still nipping at his heels. Constantly testing the boundaries, like a rebellious teenager – can he learn how to behave on a functioning farm?
Paul is about to encounter his first taste of summer on the farm. But using his experience of growing up in a rural area of Australia, he takes each day in his stride; like the ongoing issue of water – will he and the farm have enough to survive the dryer months?
He continues to rely on the friends he’s made and the expertise of those around him, but he also makes new friends and learns new ways of living off the land
He finds locally grown produce explores new ways to forage, hunt, gather and live under the watchful eye of sacred Mount Gulaga.
He cooks and shares meals with others who are also growing their own fresh food.
He faces the hardships of raising animals from birth and losing them along the way – all for the purpose of putting food on his table, feeding those around him and earning a living.
As well as being sustainable, River Cottage Australia must also be economically viable. For the first time, Paul takes his own grown and raised produce to the local markets. Can he turn a profit?