Living in Eurobodalla: What brings you here?
10 March 2023
From farming Belted Galloway to their focus on agri-tourism, the couple behind Mogendoura Farm share their story in a regular feature about the shire’s business owners – the entrepreneurs, the risk takers, the visionaries who keep this beautiful shire of ours changing for the better.
You may have heard of Mogendoura Farm – their beef makes an appearance at SAGE Tuesday afternoon markets. And since last summer, the farm has played gracious host to small events and workshops featuring talented local folk.
Ten years ago, Emma Lipscombe and Robert Bradley moved with their two teenagers from Sydney to Eurobodalla to fulfill their dream. The dream was to live on land with water, close to the ocean.
They bought a house on 220 acres of farmland with three cottage stays at Mogendoura – a 10-minute drive from Moruya. Their Sydney friends thought they were mad. But the move became the best thing for their family.
“The kids weren’t happy in Sydney, they’re very much country kids now and say the best thing we’ve done for them is take them out of the city to live in a small community,” Emma said.
Emma considers the move her mid-life crisis. As soon as she arrived, she bought a fast horse to ride: “It was like a Harley Davidson, when I only needed a moped.”
Robert and Emma set out to start a small beef farm of Belted Galloway. Emma calls them her ‘moos’. While both continued to work their desk jobs remotely, there were many moments they felt they’d bitten off more than they could chew. Neighbouring farmers, soon to be good friends, helped them along their learning journey.
“We knew we couldn’t waltz in and expect respect. Like anywhere, you have to earn it.”
They started with five Belties, and now have 60. There would be more if the 2019/20 bushfires hadn’t taken half their herd.
“Just before the fires, we bred enough cows to be able to process one beast every two weeks to sell at Moruya markets.”
“After the fires, it was pretty much back to square one for us – all the infrastructure too.”
Eventually they’d get their beef farm back in shape, but at the same time needed a mental break. Emma wanted to channel their focus on welcoming the community to the farm and having some fun.
She worked on creating a space for some social chatter, workshops and small events – just what we all needed after bushfires and pandemic.
Mogendoura Farm now has ‘The Loft’, a charmingly comfortable farmhouse space, decorated with bits and bobs either made, recycled or collected with Emma’s discerningly stylish eye.
The Loft has seen the likes of engagement parties, art and flower arranging workshops, book launches and equine therapy sessions. Families booked into the three farmstay cottages also get a kick out of events at The Loft.
“The Loft is like a value-add to the cottages – it’s something people can participate in when they visit or a venue that can be hired to celebrate a birthday or engagement. It’s open to the whole community, whatever can be imagined! I love to package together the venue with local catering.
“Working here day-in and day-out, it is easy to take the farm for granted. When people visit I get to see the farm through their eyes – and remember why we first fell in love with the place.”
Follow Mogendoura farm on their socials (you’re missing out on a real slice of Eurobodalla life if you aren’t) or visit mogendoura.com.au
- This story was first published in Council’s quarterly newsletter for residents, Living in Eurobodalla. A printed edition is delivered to the shire’s 26,000 households.
- Download a copy of Living in Eurobodalla: March - May 2023 (1.3 MB)
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