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#081: The mindful meatsmith of ethicurean farming – Tammi Jonas of Jonai Farms

By Jordan Michaelides

Tammi Jonas ( @tammois ) is the co-founder of Jonai Farms, President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, an ethicurean farmer, and mindful meatsmith. Jonai Farms is a pastured fed farm which was the first in Australia to crowdfund development of its infrastructure and a leader in community-supported agriculture.

From a very young age, I idolised the idea of having my own place to produce homegrown food. When an old friend purchased a farm recently in Gippsland, my interest was piqued again.

Keeping the “pigness of the pig” is the first line in Tammi’s list of principles, inspired by one of my favourite farmers, Joel Salatin. The commonality amongst both Tammi and Joel is what we call Holistic Farm Management. A systems thinking approach to farming that minimises the effects on the local environment, ensures the “pigness of the pig” and provides healthy food or animals for us to eat. The bedrock that supports this is a distribution model called Community Supported Agriculture, a subscription-based form of distribution that caps the horrible downside that farmers can experience.

Many thanks to Jackson O’Malley for the recommendation to Tammi’s work.

  • Where her interest in hats comes from
  • Leaving America, perceptions of Australia
  • The farming and food production industry
  • Joel Salatin, regenerative farming and holistic management
  • Jonai Farms and Meatsmiths
  • Distribution methods including Community Supported Agriculture
  • Lifestyle changes from city to country girl
  • Advocacy and the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

Listen to the episode

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01:15 – Introduction
04:51 – Where her interest in hats comes from
06:12 – Leaving America and perceptions of Australia
09:14 – Polarisation, homelessness, Neoliberalism
14:09 – Her education path, earliest memory of food
15:40 – Lessons learnt from her parents
19:36 – What she wanted to be growing up, early career path
21:40 – Shifting towards food, her thesis
24:51 – Food and industrial livestock production
27:53 – Farming, moving to the country
30:38 – Joel Salatin, regenerative farming, holistic management
38:55 – Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths
47:09 – Distribution, Community Supported Agriculture
55:48 – What surprised her the most about farming
57:27 – How her life has changed
01:02:42 – Advocacy and principles
01:08:14 – Regulation
01:14:47 – AFSA prosecution cases
01:17:53 – Morning and evening rituals
01:19:27 – What she would do with $100 million
01:20:20 – Best purchase under $200
01:20:43 – 5 favorite non-musical sounds
01:21:22 – Most influential book
01:22:53 – If she could have a billboard anywhere in Australia