Young farmer smashes eggsellent goal
OLIVER Bora is a 17-year-old student with a passion for sustainable farming and a dream to provide fresh, organic, free-range eggs to his Mullumbimby community.
Oliver believes young farmers are the future of a sustainable food system and is leading by example by setting up an ethical, free-range egg farm called Oliver's Hens at his Mullumbimby Steiner school, Shearwater.
He started fundraising last year to get the project off the ground and since welcoming the arrival of 450 hens, is one step closer to providing fresh organic, free-range eggs. .
Thanks to the "overwhelming" support, Oliver has managed to raise $15,000 to get his venture off the ground through a Pozible crowd funding campaign.
"In the end I received a few donations which included purpose built chicken caravan, fences and feeders - all donated to me by Chris Murphy from INXS - so I only ended up needing to raise about $15,000 for my egg farm," Oliver said.
"He just called me up and was so supportive. I'm so grateful.
"The caravan is specially made for egg farming and is really efficient.
"The hens sit in there every night, and lay the eggs. The caravan collects water too so the only thing you need to bring in is feed, it's basically self-sustainable."
Oliver's hens came from Bond Enterprises - with half Isa Brown and the other, Bond black.
"The goal is to have them laying about 220 eggs per week, which will start in a few weeks - then I'll selling them at the Mullum Farmers Market and will eventually look at capturing the school market," he said.
"The students were involved in the set up, designing the logo and helping with the campaign but now it's all set up, I'm giving little talks at school to try and educate kids about the process.
"When the eggs start coming I will be able to start teaching kids about the full production of how it all works.
"I'll let them collect eggs too... they love collecting eggs it's their favourite thing to do."
Oliver said Shearwater Steiner School had backed the project 100 per cent and guaranteed him 10 acres to farm on for a year at the school's farm.
He said the business idea originally came from seeing the need for sustainable farming and more young farmers.
"It also originated through a little hobby of mine of having a few chickens at home," he said.
"I just feel having sustainable and ethical food produced locally is the future, and being a young farmer and I'm also trying to encourage other people to do the same. Having fresh and healthy, sustainable well-farmed eggs is very important."
Oliver soon began to realise he could turn his idea into a bigger enterprise.
"After talking to the school farmers it turned into a school project," he said.
"This project is part of my HSC and I really like it, because allows me to connect it to my subjects.
"I really appreciate the love and support everyone has given me so far," he said.
"After school I want to trying to build the business up so it can sustain itself - and then be able to employ students to collect eggs. .
"Then I'll look at getting more chickens when I have my own land - it will evolve. I want to keep the social enterprise aspect of it and try to involve the whole community."
To follow his story head to: Oliver's Hens on Facebook or Instagram : @Olivershens.