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                             FOOD & WINE | Food Hero
  The Good Garlic Guy
ONE OF THE NEW BREED OF FARMERS WORKING THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS SOIL, FORMER GREENPEACE WARRIOR AND GRAPHIC ARTIST RUSSELL MCKEAN IS A DIDO (A DRIVE-IN DRIVE-OUT FARMER) TRAVELLING TO AND FROM SYDNEY MOST DAYS AFTER TENDING HIS ORGANIC CROPS.
food her-o
Did you grow up on the land? I grew up a surfer on the Northern Beaches. My dad worked for a farm equipment company and invented the first solar powered electric fence. All my toys as a kid had solar
panels. But I was influenced a lot by TV shows The Good Life and All Creatures Great and Small, and I always thought I’d end up a farmer. How long have you been doing it? This is our third commercial season of garlic and the second
of potatoes. I lend a paddock from friends with a 100 acre property in East Kangaloon and a paddock on vineyard Far Ago Hill at Cayonleigh. Greenpeace is a long way from Kangaloon. I was a bit of a rad and started work experience at Greenpeace in 1986. I wanted to take my surfboard out onto Sydney Harbour and grab onto the US nuclear warships. But they didn’t let me do it. Then 10 years ago I started searching for farmland. The objective was always to make
a living without detriment to the planet. Back to my Greenpeace roots! The Southern Highlands ticked a lot of boxes. Not too humid, close to Sydney and beautiful, pristine landscapes. In fact given its proximity to a growing Sydney the Highlands has everything going for it. Apart from its lovely alliteration, why The Good Garlic Guy? My original company name was Solstice Organics, as I plant by the moon cycles, but one day a customer at a farmers’ market yelled out, ‘Hey, there’s that good garlic guy!’ and I thought, that’s a good name.
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