More on Organics

Last weekend I posted some information about the organic farm on Macleay Island.  I decided to take a trip over this morning and check it out.

The transport system around the islands is fantastic.  I didn’t want to take a car and packed up the cargo bicycle with Cutty in tow.  There are two ways to travel, either by high speed passenger ferry or vehicle barge.  Both are free between the islands for passengers (not motor vehicles).  I prefer the barge as it’s less crowded and I like the open air.  Either way it’s less than 5 minutes between Lamb Island and Macleay.

Here is Cutty and the bike on the barge.

Macleay Island is much bigger than Lamb and while it doesn’t have the intimate and  tiny vibe of Lamb it is still very quaint.  This is the Main Street.

Along the waterfront there are all kinds of houses from contemporary styled mansions to little beach shacks.  It is truly one of the best kept secrets in Australian real estate and no doubt it will be discovered in the years to come.

After a couple of kilometres riding we came to the entrance of the Lemon Farm.


As I rode down the entrance it was immediately clear that this was not your everyday commercial enterprise.


Scattered about the farm there are interesting things like old machines or quirky signs and sculptures.


This is the main store and dog parking area.


I got talking to the owner Elise and she told me that they do grow some of the produce but the rest they bring in from known organic farmers.  Elise and her husband are trying to encourage locals to farm on the island so that the market can be supplied wholly from local organic produce.  Their farm is 75 acres and they have some exciting plans in the works.

Cutty had a great time checking out the animals.


There’s even a fire pit and pizza oven and once per month the farm hosts an outdoor cinema night.


I bought a few items including some beautiful fresh figs.  It’s so inspiring to meet people who take a step away from the norm and actually take the steps to turn their dreams into reality. 

While I was at the market I met a man by the name of Ted. He is one of the many artists who call the island home.  We got talking and Ted invited me to his home/studio.  Ted and his wife Linda have lived on the island for years and both have a fascinating life story.  He sculpts wood and Linda is a silversmith /jewellery maker.

This is Ted with one of his totem posts. I love totem posts and my awful photography doesn’t do it justice.


Ted clearly loves carving the female form (although those pants may suggest otherwise. I wouldn’t say it to his face because Ted is a large man who hauls big heavy logs about and more often than not has sharp chisels and a chainsaw in his hands.  He did mention that his wife bought them for him.)

These are some of his beautiful carvings 


This is the backside of the sculpture above. Literally,  figuratively and figuratively.


Ted also does some smaller pieces and inside his studio he has dozens of beautiful pieces laying around.




I loved this piece.


This is an Ibis made from wood and antler.


This is a portrait of Ted painted by another local artist on the island (see David Wells below)

I saw this old apron hanging up and thought it made a great photo  


Ted and his wife’s hospitality and openness was so refreshing and very different to the mainland where people tend to be guarded.  I asked Ted if he would mind me putting these photos on the blog and he was very happy for me to share them.  I felt like I was intruding on their privacy a bit since this was their home but they are super friendly and sharing people.  I was truly inspired by their home and I thought this photo below captured a sense of who they are. 


If you want to see some more of Ted’s work he has a facebook page

Click here for Ted Upton’s Facebook page

Ted’s wife Linda has her studio downstairs and she creates beautiful silver jewellery.  The necklace on the left is a clever design.

I was running out of time today but I would love to visit Ted & Linda again soon.

Ted dropped me back to the market and along the way showed me some of the sculpted seats he makes. He has installed them around the island and each one is named after a local identity.

This one was in remembrance of a young lady who took her own life and Ted felt compelled to create something beautiful in her name. 


This one looks out over the bay and my photo doesn’t do the view justice.



This bench is dedicated to all Mariners.

Along the way we dropped by one of the other local artist’s home/studio. David Wells is an award winning artist.  When I saw his work I was simply speechless.  You know when you see something so amazing and you just think to yourself, this is special. Well this was one of those moments.  Below is a work in progress and David has a time lapse photography setup while he paints which will capture the whole process.  The portrait on the floor is actually a pastel and pencil piece. It’s not a photograph.


 Here is a closeup shot. 


David’s partner Karen Foster is also a well known artist. Her workspace is just across from David’s.  Her style is more quirky but equally amazing.  David features in some of her works. 

A huge thank you to both David and Karen for their hospitality and apologies for the impromptu drop in.  

If you would like t see more of David and Karen’s incredible work. Their website is:

We left the studio and went down to the jetty to head home.  Cutty found another one of Ted’s bench seats and got comfortable while waiting for the ferry.


 I got back home late this afternoon with a renewed sense of excitement to get the garden and landscaping finished.  I have a couple of plans in the pipeline which fit nicely with the organic farm and hopefully over the next 6 months those plans will come together.  I may even try carving a totem post.


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