Value-adding key at Lessismore

By Quinton McCallum
January 10 2021 - 5:32am

SELLING their produce from an on-property shop and offering farm tours to immerse others in agriculture are two of the approaches the Bagshaw family are using to make the most of their limited land holding Lessismore on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Relocating from a Meningie broadacre and livestock farm several years ago, Dean and Michelle Bagshaw now run a sheep and cattle enterprise on 200 hectares at Myponga Beach and Wattle Flat.



In an effort to make the enterprise a full-time focus and expand, the Bagshaws are in the process of incorporating Berkshire pigs into the mix and building an on-farm shop where they plan to sell lamb, beef and pork products, as well as eggs and vegetables, all grown on-farm.

"On a smaller acreage, pigs and egg production are two things where you can generate a lot of product off a small area so we'll do that rather than sheep and cattle alone," Mr Bagshaw said.

"Whatever we grow here will go out through the shop.

"We'll basically be a cellar door for food."

The Bagshaws run Dorpers for lamb production and Angus-Friesian cattle, getting the livestock processed at Willunga Butchers.

The shedding breed was praised by the Bagshaws for its low maintenance, meat yield and adaptability to the conditions on the hills at Myponga Beach, which can be waterlogged during winter and extremely dry during summer.

"They're a really low maintenance sheep," Mr Bagshaw said.

"We don't have a shearing shed and I can just hang a machine up on the post in the yards if I need to dag any.

"They yield really well meat-wise and taste nice - I think they have a bit more flavour than a crossbred lamb."

With a plan to run Berkshire free-range pigs and sell the resulting product on-farm, the Bagshaws have bought two sows to get a feel for their behaviours and management requirements.

Mr Bagshaw says they will eventually sell their own ham and bacon and use pork in their lamb sausages, while also utilising the pigs in their on-farm tours.

"I like making sausages and all good sausages, even lamb ones, have a percentage of pork in them," he said.


As well as selling their own home-grown food and that of other Fleurieu producers, Dean and Michelle Bagshaw offer on-farm experiences to value-add to their Myponga Beach operation.

"When we lived at Meningie, we would have lots of friends come down there and the first thing they'd want to do is hop in the car and have a look around the farm," Mrs Bagshaw said. "The tours stemmed from that."

Mr Bagshaw said it was a way to connect.

"People can come here and see, and interact with where there food is coming from," he said.

"People have lost that - some people think lamb comes from the supermarket and eggs come from a carton.



"We want people to have connectivity with the land again."

The Bagshaws offer afternoon, half day and a 12-hour farm experience, where visitors get a farm tour, observe livestock, engage in farm activities, learn to make food using local products and taste their handiwork.

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