In Conversation with Emma Lane of The Farm Byron Bay

In Conversation with Emma Lane of The Farm Byron Bay

Our local hills are brimming with creative, interesting folk. Emma Lane – co-founder of The Farm Byron Bay – is happily one of them. Together with her husband Tom, Emma has helped to create a thriving community of growers, producers, eateries and educators at their idyllic Ewingsdale location.

United by a passion for growing food using sustainable methods, and sharing this joy with as many people as possible, The Farm offers farming opportunities; fresh produce and home-grown flowers; workshops for all ages; and the opportunity to indulge in a tasty treat from the on-site restaurant, cafe or bakery. These delights – produced by a collection of like-minded micro businesses – can be sampled in-house, as part of a picnic, or on a stroll around the property. 

Motivated by family, good health and natural beauty, Emma has arranged their home in way that reflects this spirit. We have been happy to shoot some of the The Dharma Door collection in this gorgeous space, so thought it timely to share some of her thoughts on style, sustainability and adventure. 

How has your focus on sustainable farming, family, health and nature influenced the way you have furnished your home?

We all share this earth together which is the overarching home to all of us. Like your own home you want it to be a safe and positive haven to live. We want the earth to be alive and well for future generations. The only way we can do this is for us all to live as consciously as we can. We try as far as possible to make sustainable choices around our home and furnishings. Buying items from companies that source fair trade and sustainable lifestyle products is a good place to start. We are lucky to have a large number of businesses like this in the Byron region.

Nature heavily influences our home aesthetics, from natural fibres to our earthy colour palette and minimal clutter. For us it’s then becomes a joy and an easy place to live. Our way of living is to take want you need from nature and the earth and try to leave it better than when you arrived.

Describe your personal style. What inspires and influences you when it comes to decorating your home, and fashion?

My personal style is casual and natural, quality versus quantity. I would rather fewer great items that tell a story around my home or in my wardrobe. Natural fibres are my preference once again, and harmony with nature in terms of colours. I try and have a wardrobe that works together so you need less and you can create multiple looks from fewer items. I have a number of pieces in both my wardrobe and home that will stay with me for life. My personal style is not disposable, the great thing about this way of thinking means it can continued to be passed onto future generations to tell a story.

You obviously love to travel. How does this experience translate to the design of your home and your surroundings?

One of the great things about travel is the escape from everyday life. I often question why your home shouldn’t reflect the escapism of a holiday. This has influenced me over the years and my travels have definitely lead me to bring elements into my home from our adventures overseas. I love the Spanish aesthetic; we are presently renovating a house in the hinterland heavily influenced by the concept of a Spanish Finca – a Finca is traditionally a piece of rural land typically with a farmhouse and agricultural buildings, often with a plantation adjacent.

We have several macadamia orchards (which we farm sustainably) and plan to create a little village of buildings. The feel of the place will definitely bring in the use of natural timber and rough renders like the Spanish, but include large timber awnings used in Australian architecture to help work with the harsh summers. The palate will be natural and earthy. I love the concept of creating an element of your travel in everyday life. Bring the holiday to you!

You share a remarkable vision with your husband and family. Can you tell us a little about it?

Our vision is living and delivering amazing experiences that add to people’s lives. We love to travel and see the world as a family. Equally, we have created The Farm for the people, as a place that gives the community an opportunity to experience a real working farm; appreciate the beauty of farmland; and learn about sustainable farming practices and where real food comes from. It is through travelling overseas and seeing what others are doing that helped us create the concept for The Farm.

Ultimately, we were inspired by having a small farm of our own and the positive effect that had on our family. Our philosophy is 'Grow, Feed Educate' and recently we added 'Give back' which is reflected in all aspects of the business. Our mission is to encourage young people to question where their food comes from and even one day think about the possibility of becoming a farmer themselves.

'Grow' is not just about growing food – it’s about growing a community; 'feed' is about feeding our bodies, but also our souls; 'education' is the backbone that helps us to create a ripple effect around our mission of increasing well being; and 'give back' is about giving back to the community with social enterprises as well as giving back to our soil. This is sustainability.

Finally, we’d love to hear a little bit more about the next chapter of your journey. Tell us about your upcoming project by the sea?

Tom and I love creating and we have another venture coming which is a sister project to The Farm, based in a beach location nearby. Along with delivering an amazing coastal experience for customers, we will also be focusing on sustainability of the ocean and the coastal ecosystem – so expanding on the agricultural focus of just farmland.

Just as we have created a Farm for the people, we would like to create a Beach House for the community to be able to use. We feel strongly about having an element of conscious living in all our projects. Our decisions can then go beyond sustainability to being regenerative and also have the ability to nurture a community.

We also have our personal farm that we are renovating – its 120 acres and we are in the process of regenerating the land and its rainforests. All of this allows us to provide a positive influence in our community and hopefully inspire our children to continue the legacy.

Main Image by Bridget Wood; product photography by Louise Roche @villastyling

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