A BRIDGETOWN farm aims to provide one solution to the nationwide labour shortage and encourage more young people into agriculture.
Galloway Springs owners Raquel and Murray Johnson said it was challenging for people without access to land and a solid financial grounding to get started in agriculture.
"Unless you have a lot of land that you inherit, it's very hard," Ms Johnson said.
"How do we encourage young people into agriculture? Mr Johnson said.
"By giving them land and an opportunity.
"If a young entrepreneur sought to raise pastured eggs, meat rabbits, flowers, honey or even a scaled mushroom facility - whatever the person is passionate about - the opportunity is there.
"Anyone with a vehicle and living within daily commuting distance of the farm, is welcome to come and discover the possibilities.
"There are plenty of people in the industry that are willing to share their knowledge either by internship or work experience."
Seven years ago the couple and their three children moved to Bridgetown from Perth and took over a 1950s era farmhouse on 80 hectares, of which 60ha are arable.
They started from scratch and now farm livestock, grow spray-free garlic and run a small farm shop.
They are - in some ways - limited by the size of their property.
"We need diversity in what we're doing, if we were to put all our fingers in one pie it would be very, very hard," Mr Johnson said.
"If we were just doing animals, we'd need more land."
The Johnsons needed to create more ways to make the most of their regenerative farm, for the benefit of the wider community.
"We have so many suppliers for our farm shop now and I think that's what a community dynamic really is," Ms Johnson said.
One of these ways is through a business model which incorporates stacked enterprises.
Others bring their businesses onto the farm and lease land space at the Galloway Springs farm.
The Johnsons share their land with three other people, including their daughter Emily, who operates a chicken farm.
Two other market gardeners grow produce for the farm shop.
They will also share their knowledge with WA College of Agriculture, Harvey, year 12 students during a visit to Galloway Springs and two other regenerative farms in the South West.
"This gives young adults ideas for where they might want to direct their future careers or businesses as they transition into employment," Mr Johnson said.
In a new step to making the farm open and accessible, the Johnsons recently implemented another business model onto their farm - agritourism.
At the back of their property sits a tiny home, with plans for more to come.
The first one launched about two months ago and has been a success, with positive feedback from guests.
Mr Johnson said they wanted to get more people to understand where their food came from and how the farming process worked.
"There's a big disconnect between metropolitan and rural and a misunderstanding of animal ethics," he said.
"Our hope is that they come onto the land and then when they go back to Perth, they go to a farmer's market to buy their vegetables - so there's a connection between yourself and supporting a farmer directly."
Mr Johnson grew up farming beef cattle, working in abattoirs and on farm machinery, but Ms Johnson had no prior agriculture experience, learning everything on the job.
"What we enjoy most about farming is the lifestyle, we enjoy the good food we're eating and the connection to the community," she said.
"And we're realising people are craving those things.
"We've had a few people say to us that we're living the dream.
"They don't realise the hard work, and it's not that easy financially but I think what they're wanting or admiring about what we do is we're connecting to food, land and people."
The Johnsons strives to be regenerative and holistic in their farming practices.
"We're focused on improving soil, so we have healthy people, community and landscape," Mr Johnson said.
"We want to leave things better than we found it.
"We want to demonstrate the abundance of nature, just by allowing people to observe what happens when you let nature do what it does."
One benefit of their stacked enterprise plan is that it allows for far greater diversity in what goes into the soil.
It's also an opportunity to rotate animals to reap different benefits on the soil, which includes Emily's chickens.
Mr Johnson pointed to some green patches in dried pasture.
"That's where the chickens were," he said.
They have pigs to control onion weed and aerating the soil and goats control blackberry, avoiding herbicide use.
Having tacked enterprises also works on their regenerative farm because there's a lot of space in the market.
"We're not in competition with each other, you don't have to hide secrets from one another, it's really open."
Ms Johnson said a friend and smaller scale garlic grower handed a buyer to their farm, when he wasn't producing enough garlic to supply.
Stacked enterprises on a regenerative farm is a great way for newcomers to make a start in, or the transition from, conventional to regenerative farming.
"We're lucky we've had support from our business in Perth supporting us in transitioning from conventional to regenerative and that takes time, energy and money - but it's worth it," Mr Johnson said.
"It's a slow transition, I think some people have failed because they've gone all into it too quickly."
Ms Johnson said more retirees or semi-retirees on large scale properties could be giving young people mentorship in agriculture.
"Retirees who buy land are the ones that can give young people amazing opportunities into agriculture, there's so much land they're not utilising," she said.
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