Maurice Franklin with his partner Jan has been supplying us with his glamour Biodynamic Bananas since 1999. As with many of the farmers we deal with we work on an agreed price for the entire season, hence we offer you fruit at the same price all year…
Maurice purchased his 160-acre farm in 1970. The farm was certified organic in 1992, and is now certified Demeter (Bio-dynamic or BD) and grows bananas, noni fruit (both native fruit), lychees, carambolas, avocadoes, passionfruit and mandarins. There remains 100 acres of rainforest.
The property is 1.2 km from the coast in Mission Beach, North Queensland and abuts world heritage. The property has 'shelter belts' (hedges and trees) on all boundaries and fruit and native tree avenues separate the paddocks. One of the notable features of the property is the absence of bare soil. This is achieved with ground covers, legumes, clovers, herbs and flowers.
The shelterbelts, avenues and groundcovers are not only aesthetically pleasing, with the shelterbelts a buffer against neighbours, but importantly provide habitat for insects, animals and birds. Rather than seeing all insects as pests, many insects are neither pest nor beneficial but provide a food source to sustain a level of predatory insects and prevent a build up of pest insects. The insects and flowers also attract the birds. The snakes and lizards that live in the hedges are also valuable predators catching mice and rats in the area.
There is a whole ecosystem living and dying on the farm which provides a natural nutrient source encouraging fertile open soil allowing for rapid water penetration, particularly on the high ground. Although this is a high rainfall area, rain is a valuable asset and every attempt is made to allow the rain to penetrate, build up moisture and maintain the water table and water reserves. In torrential downpours only clear run-off leaves the property.
Maurice is from an engineering background and the agricultural system on the farm is designed to have a positive effect on the environment. All tractors are low weight and fitted with anti compaction tyres. All diesel engines are fitted with hydrogen supplement generators giving a fuel saving of 17% or better. Maurice is ahead with alternate power sources and has built an electric-powered four-wheeler (ATV).
Demeter (DA) is a trademark held by the Demeter Association of BD farmers for the purpose of maintaining production standards used both is farming and processing foodstuffs. The trademark is intended to protect both the consumers and the producer of BD products.
Healthy soil is a prime basis for healthy plants, animals and people
Maurice’s focus is on growing the best, tastiest and most nutritious produce.