Banjo's Paddock is owned and run by us, Byron and Ruth Sanders, with help from our fabulous team of workers and volunteers, as well as our kids Ellie and Luke.
The idea for Banjo’s Paddock stemmed from wanting fresh, delicious, healthy, chemical free, locally grown produce. We also wanted to contribute to taking care of the land and ensuring its sustainability for future generations. When we talked to other people about what we wanted to grow on our land and how we wanted to go about it, there was a lot of interest in buying our produce, and so Banjo’s Paddock was born!
We started on a small piece of land in Binalong in 2016 and have slowly grown ever since, despite setbacks such as being wiped out by not one but two floods in our first three months of production.
In late 2018, we were provided with an amazing opportunity to rent an existing certified organic farm, Gleann Na Meala in Wallaroo, just outside of Canberra. Gleann Na Meala, which means valley of honey, has been a certified organic farm since 2011 and was previously owned by Dave and Hideko Pentony, who also originally started the EPIC farmers markets and Choki Bai Jo. They have very kindly agreed to mentor us in our first year on a certified organic farm (we did not use chemicals on our farm in Binalong but were not formally certified organic).
We've been producing our certified organic vegetables and fruit at Glean Na Meala since early 2019 and are continuing to build the range of produce on offer.
As a certified organic farm, we don't use chemicals, but instead use organic principles such as crop rotation, green manure, encouraging beneficial insects and earth friendly products to keep the bugs at bay (such as garlic and chilli oil spray). We are also keen to improve the land as we settle in to the new farm, such as through plans to plant a native vegetation trail and to bring some chickens in for weed and pest management.
We offer a range of certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruit, nuts, and micros. We also sometimes offer dried herbs. We are particularly known for our leafy greens, which are regularly described as the best people have ever had.