Leap Farm

Leap Farm
Photograph courtesy of Leap Farm
Trusting the unknown is a leap of faith. In Mao’s China, social and economic change came with the great leap forward. A leap invokes a joyful spring in the step, energy and excitement.
Leap Farm is all that and an environmentally sustainable goat and cattle farm in the Tasman region.
About two years ago, a property overlooking Marion Bay went on the market.
At the same time, a University lecturer and research fellow in marine vertebrate ecology and an emergency department doctor were ready to leave Sydney, and the daily grind behind.
Kate and Iain Field had a penchant for the land and a hankering to make some cheese.
To produce the cheese they wanted, they had to source quality milk. To ensure quality milk they were determined that the animals producing the milk had a good life. They knew that meant they’d have to raise the animals themselves, using sustainable farming practices and environmentally sound land management.
Photograph courtesy of Leap Farm
Kate and Iain have lived and travelled all over. But they both love Hobart and they both had stints living here previously. Keen kite surfers, they knew Marion Bay, ranking it one of the best kite surfing sites around the world.
They got on to realestate.com and found themselves a 100-hectare farm with around 100 Cashmere goats and 50 cows in calf overlooking the bay.
And so the course of their lives changed dramatically, from traffic jams and administration to hand rearing kids, building a dairy and caring for their land.
They now have more goats than they can count with Rangeland/Cashmere-cross, Toggenburg and Boer breeds, some cows, a handful of chooks and a six-week old baby called Hamish.
Photograph courtesy of Leap Farm
Next year, Leap Farm will start cheese production providing another local sustainable goat cheese source in southern Tasmania.
This year they’re working through the health regulations required to meet Australia’s milk and cheese production standards and get their dairy licensed. They hope to be milking sooner and sell the milk to another local producer until they can start making their own cheese.
Being a big goats cheese fan, This Girl can’t wait.
Of course, you need lactating goats to produce milk so each year the goats have to get pregnant. In the cow dairy industry male calves are more trouble than they’re worth: they cost to feed, don’t produce milk and are often considered too expensive to produce as veal. Not so at Leap Farm, where Kate and Iain are complementing their goat meat production by managing their male kid numbers through meat production and this will continue to be an integral part of their dairy. 
They’ve established the necessary partnerships with a butcher and abattoir and are producing goat meat and beef. With the help of Dunalley Primary School’s community commercial kitchen, they’re also making their own goat sausages and curry.
Photograph courtesy of Leap Farm
And while they move into production they have a close eye on their land. On a tour of their farm they explain the role of the Dung beetles in breaking down cowpats and fertilising the land. They’ve started fencing off native tree stands to provide shade and reduce soil erosion. They’ve also fenced off damns to reduce erosion and fouling of the water. They must be doing something right because there are happy frogs everywhere.
I followed my visit to Leap Farm up with a visit to the Bream Creek Farmers Markets and I picked up a couple of kilos of goat shoulder.
I’ve just made my favourite New Mexican meal, Carne Adovada by slow cooking and then shredding the meat. I’ve used a pre-packaged spice mix from the United States in this version.
Goat shoulder carne adovada served with roast corn and black bean salad,
pico de gallo, rice and beans and pickled onions.
You can find Kate and Iain the first Sunday of each month at Bream Creek Farmers Markets selling their meat products.
If you’re curious, but have never eaten goat, pick up one of Kate’s recipes. I’m looking forward to trying her Pulled Goat Shoulder with the second kilo I bought.
Like we’ve said before, goat is the new black, so it makes sense that you add it to your menu planning and impress your dinner guests.
Find Leap Farm on Facebook here.    
Email them leap.farm@yahoo.com.au
This is our post on Bream Creek Markets where we met Kate and Iain.
Here’s the closest thing to New Mexican food in Hobart, Chulo Café.