Phillip Marshall, local farmer and founding member of the Torbay Catchment Group (TCG) deserves credit for his environmentally sympathetic farming practices and his support of the TCG. A farmer from the UK, he arrived in Torbay in 1970 with wife Sheelagh and family having decided that the Torbay / Albany area was the best place to bring up their kids and make a living.
Their first farming initiative was to fence off their remnant bush and waterways to preserve the native landscape on their 615 hectares. This was followed up by a vigorous weed control program (with support from the council and the Catchment Group) focussing on Taylorina, Blackberry and Watsonia.
Initially they farmed beef cattle, but when prices took a dive the family planted asparagus and reaped their first harvest in 1974.
As a founding member of the Albany Farmers Markets Phillip has been selling asparagus since the markets commenced ten years ago.
The family (including son Bruce, daughter in law Fiona and grandkids Henry, Alice and Elsa) have also grown horse radish, sweet corn, raspberries, artichokes, sugar peas and boysenberries. At present they look after 450 head of beef cattle plus calves that are paddock rotated every 3 - 7 days to aid pasture production.
Kikuyu is their main grass as it stabilises the soil and binds nutrients.
Phillip has rigorously practiced soil testing every three years since 1970 and states that this is one of the most important acts he undertakes as a land carer and farmer.
Phillip is very knowledgeable about local sustainable farming practices and like many others in the TCG is willing to share his knowledge. If you would like to know more, contact the TCG.
Rail Trail update
A grant to establish toilets, water tanks and parking areas at both ends of the Torbay Rail Trail is now complete thanks to funding from Royalties for Regions, Elleker Sporting and Progress Association, Torbay Agricultural Hall Committee and the City of Albany.
Bush Fire Brigade Contacts
Laurie Nissen 0429 838 038
Roy Parsons 0422 607 347
Lance Flett 08 9845 3048
Derek Jones 0409 882 958
Phillip Marshall 08 9845 1045
Kevin Martin 0427 452 032