- Healthy Eating Jo
Back 2 Earth Farm Stay
The beautiful South Coast of Sydney, including the Shoalhaven and Berry is basically where my kids grew up during school holidays, visiting grandparents, body boarding, building sandcastles, and playing golf. It is such a stunning area, and only 2 hours drive south of Sydney. So it's great for a day trip, or a quick getaway for the weekend. I've never been anywhere quite like it, where the stunning Seven Mile Beach is a few minutes in one direction, and lush mountains a few minutes in the other.
The town of Berry is also where I've bought many a food prop item, and eaten at some amazing cafes up and down Berry's main street. It's also the location of Back 2 Earth, an Organic Farm Stay, Bed & Breakfast, Health Retreat, and animal sanctuary, which is home to numerous rescued animals. I found Back 2 Earth via their Instagram, and was so impressed with their Raw Vegan food, and focus on sustainable living, and I just knew the kids would love to visit the animals. So we finally organised to stay the night during one of our visits to the South Coast.
We arrived at Back 2 Earth just before 4pm, and Jenny the owner, immediately invited us into her home, where my son Logan was quickly enamoured with their two gorgeous new kittens Kovu and Nala, and owner Marc entertained him by playing with the kittens and their dog Smudge.
Before animal feeding was about to begin, we got settled into our accomodation. Logan just loved his own room with the bunk bed and stairs, and I loved the modern fittings and facilities. As well as the gorgeous Welcome Basket that Jenny had put together for us including local fruit and vegetables, and some of Marc's Vegan Feta, crackers and nibble mix.
All though it had been raining, Back 2 Earth had ample gumboots in varying sizes to borrow, and raincoats, so that we could enjoy our time visiting and feeding the animals without ruining our clothes and getting wet.
We were just amazed how close we could get to all the animals, and spent the next 2 hours, feeding them, stroking them, and mingling with them in the paddocks, whilst Jenny told us all about their history, the animals names and their personalities! It was clear they really had a strong bond and passion for the animals there. It was also really interesting to hear how they sourced the fresh vegetables for the animals from local supermarkets and restaurants, where it would normally be thrown in the bin at the end of the day. What a great way to reduce waste.
We headed back to our room to wash up, and prepare for dinner.
Dinner was served in the Cushion Room, where we had the most delicious mostly raw vegan platter that owner Marc had prepared. Even my husband Josh who isn't vegan, just devoured the food.
We followed that up with a raw blueberry cheesecake and some fresh and dehydrated fruit dipped in homemade chocolate. What a dream come true that was.
Dinner was also a great chance to chat to other guests.
We returned to our room to enjoy the hot tea that Jenny and Marc prepared for us, using freshly picked herbs from the garden, and prepared for a restful sleep in our comfy beds.
The next morning, the sun shone bright, and I was up early to help with the morning animal feeding. The rule there was that the animals got fed before the humans, which I just loved! You don't have to help out of course, but I wanted another chance to take some photos, and see all the cute animals in the sunshine.
Here's me feeding Pegasus the goat. He was so huge it was crazy, but such a sweetheart, who loved eating everyone else's food.
Again I was amazed to be in amongst the animals, as opposed to just admiring them through a fence.
The bunnies were unbelievably fluffy and cute
The chickens did a great job at laying some fresh eggs for the farm, and we were all in awe of being able to hold a chicken for the first time.
After all of the animals were fed, we headed back to our rooms to get ready for breakfast
I marvelled at Jenny's ability to create a birds nest out of dehydrated apple and cinnamon, given I don't yet own a dehydrator. And could hardly wait to dig into the homemade blueberry vegan yoghurt with chia pudding and fresh fruit. It was so good!
Josh did a great job of spilling the fresh juice they made for us all over the place, but none of it was a hassle. Jenny tidied up without a fuss, and brought us a new one! You clearly can't take us anywhere! (Insert eye roll at this point!) :)
After breakfast I did a raw cooking workshop with Marc and learnt how he made vegan cheese, yoghurt and sour cream. I think I may have eaten most of his pre-prepared cheese along the way, including some of his olives, and of course had to end on his chocolate yoghurt mousse. I highly recommend doing a raw cooking class while you're there.
Sadly after that, it was time to head off home to Sydney. So we packed our things and said our farewells.
Fortunately you can visit Back 2 Earth just for the day, a few days, or stay forever! They also do massage and have a float tank, which I'm definitely trying next time. It's also a great place for team building, or to run your own retreat, or meet and greet. Got me thinking about future options to run my own photography and food styling sessions there, since they do high tea and other catering as well...
All though it was a short trip, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and can't wait to return next time we're down that way.
Definitely make sure to check out their Instagram and Website for more information.