Be ‘alert’ to alternative farming opportunities

By Country News

Now I know there are lots of new things around in farming these days.

There's this guy in Victoria's Gippsland I met at the High Country Sales the other week.

He farms goldfish. Don't laugh at me, I'm fair dinkum.

And not just goldfish, he also does a handy line in axolotls. But the goldfish are his bread and butter.

Just holding back a giggle I asked him what sort of numbers he puts through. He said last year he topped 3.5 million.

Enough said. Anyone at that scale qualifies as a farmer.

Of course then there are those with toy cattle. You know the ones I am talking about.

With their Dexters and their Lowlines — the Spoodles of agricultural Australia.

And let's not overlook the alpacas with their owners getting around in those alpaca wool ponchos wondering why everyone is laughing at them.

But carbon farming — I have never seen a carbon.

The only carbon I know is the black stuff after the most recent bushfire. Not worth a cracker.

Or the crystallised carbon the missus has on every second finger. And I must have been crackers to have bought most of those.

First we tried the carbon tax and we all know what happened there, so now apparently we have to farm the stuff to avoid being taxed.

Then there are all of those halfwits queuing up and saying living five miles from a wind farm is making their teeth chatter uncontrollably.

Put on a bloody jumper the Curmudgeon says. Do they seriously expect us to take them seriously?

If you ask me — and even if you don't, I will tell you what I think.

I wish someone would come and whack up a wind farm at chez Curmudgeon. The money those guys fork out would mean we would be on easy street.

Drought, flood or fire — who cares? The royalties keep on rolling in.

Of course, they might be a blight on the landscape but so is Sydney. And who is complaining about that?

And no-one in Sydney is offering me thousands of dollars to put up with the eyesore sprawling across the east of the state and slowly grinding its way west.

So bring it on, I say (the missus reckons I generate enough hot air to keep a good-sized wind farm going).

But there is plenty of hot air around our district because we are near the junction of four federal and three state electorates, so what the Curmudgeon is lacking the seven politicians and the opposition will more than make up for.

Back in the old man's days there was also some alternative farming, which was beyond my experience.

I remember one day we were out shooting foxes and I told him to be alert.

“Just what farming needs, boy,” he said.

“More lerts.”