The SLOW principle is at the heart of everything we do here at Imprint House, particularly when it comes to sourcing. That is, is it Sustainable, Local, Organic, or Whole. And we strive to find unique pieces that have a meaningful story - whether it be about the maker, the history or the artisanal practices. One of your favourite winter pieces are our beautiful merino wool sheepskin rugs. So today, we take you to a farm in country Victoria that produced them. Glendemar farm is an independent family-owned and run business that is committed to caring and protecting the animals and ecological diversity of the landscape. The Duxson family has been maintaining the care for the animals and the farm since the 1880’s. Glendamar farm aspires to continue to make sustainable choices in the running of the farm while continually practicing the 5 freedoms for the Welfare of Animals.
1. Can you share the story of Glendemar Farm, when did it start?
Glendemar is located at the foothills of the Bolangum Ranges in central Victoria. Current owners and managers Ben, Cheryl, Ava and Jimmy Duxson continue a 140 year tradition of Duxson Family members that have farmed the same land since the 1880’s.
2. As a farmer what are some values that you live by?
Our farming is driven by a passion for the land, animals and the people that are involved in our farming business. Our aim and drive, is to always leave these three facets of our farming business in a better shape for the following generation. We have a strong sense of being active members of our community, making our region a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
3. Can you share with us some of the sustainable choices you make for the farm?
Our farm is involved in 5 different quality assurance programs, resulting in all products produced on the farm being the highest of quality in regards to animal welfare and land management. For over 20 years, we have been one of the leading farms in discontinuing mulesing as an animal management practice. We use planned grazing charts, allowing for planned grazing management of plants for optimum growth, recovery, biodiversity and maintaining 100% ground cover all of the time. Strategic use of well designed containment area’s, has the dual focus of animal welfare and land management sustainability at times when drought is an issue for our farm.
4. What are some of the ethical practices your business uses that sets you aside from others?
Our animals are raised under the 5 freedoms of Welfare of Animals, these being freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviours and freedom of fear and distress. Along with being a non-mulsed farm we also use pain relief for all lamb marking procedures. Our grazing management practices allows for our soils and environment to replicate the natural landscape and biodiversity for a healthy, productive and vibrant eco system, benefiting our animals and people.
5. Can you share with us some ways you manage the farmland and animals. With a well planned grazing management plan we have over a number of years divided our farm into lots of smaller paddocks, each with permanent shade and water, divided into different land types.
We also have strategic locked up area’s, fenced-off sensitive creek-ways and shelter belts to use in times of very cold and wet days. The development of new sheep yards, shearing shed and sheep handling facilities and the use of Low Stress Stock handling techniques means all of our animal management practices are undertaken in a safe, efficient, low stress and enjoyable environment for both animals and people.
We used Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV’s) and a well developed Breeding Objective to select animals with production traits, but also animal welfare and labour saving traits that allow us to use minimal chemical on our farm. Likewise our Holistic grazing system means minimal chemical use on crops, pastures and natural vegetation.
6. Can you tell us why merino sheepskins are superior and the manufacturing process?
All our merino sheepskins carry the same amazing properties that the wool we produce does. Our sheepskins are 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable. They are sustainable, hypo-allergenic, naturally thermal insulated, absorbs harmful pollutants, anti-static, and fire retardant. Our sheepskins are highly durable, wash easily with a wool wash and then air dry out of direct sunlight. Our skins are processed in Australia, minimal chemical is used and are delivered in an all natural state.