Welcome to our beautiful farmstays and boutique accommodation providers. We feel honoured and proud to be able to share our knowledge and experience of land management and sustainable practices through the Outback Beds community and on our beautiful properties. Like many people living and working on the land, it is often through sharing ideas in a community that we are inspired to make changes, be more innovative and seek more sustainable solutions. We hope that by providing our guest with a unique and fun experience, we too can inspire and educate people on a more environmentally friendly way of life.
Since our beginnings 30 years ago we have been working to build and develop what our customers call ‘An Oasis in the Bush’ - The Pilliga Pottery and Barkala Farm in Central West NSW.
The property currently houses the largest pottery in NSW, an organic farm producing various veggies and herbs, six separate accommodation homes for our guests and an authentic bush cafe and restaurant. It’s made possible by the hard work of our family, friends, staff and wwoofers, all living and contributing to the many projects and activities.
The development of the property and business began when the Rickert family moved to the outback from Germany. Falling in love with the landscape, Maria Rickert, the ‘backbone’ of the business, wanted to “live here, love here and to try to live in partnership with the natural environment”. It is often through the strength of women and the connection to community that enables families and businesses to thrive. Whether it be educating their children at home, or picking up a paintbrush or hammer, the courage, skills and leadership of these women ensure the vision of their business, family and community is brought to life.
Over the past 30 years we have strived to incorporate innovative and sustainable practices in the different areas of our business and lives. We believe in working with the environment and having a healthy reciprocal relationship with the land on which we live and work. Like many of the Outback Bed providers, we strive to continuously develop sustainable buildings, power supplies, waste management solutions and fun, interactive activities for our guests.
Our water is mainly from rainfall – clean, pure and chemical-free. We collect it on our rooftops, store it in our tanks (450,000 Litre capacity) and use it for drinking and laundry. It taste beautiful and requires little energy to store and transport. The grey water produced from our laundry is collected and used to water our native gardens. We have a well, a bore and a dozen dams that we use to provide the water for our toilets. Our ‘compostable ’ toilet system is available for our campers and wwoofers and uses the sawdust from our building projects. We provide information and offer our guests the opportunity to partake in our sustainable lifestyle. We invite them to look around our property, guesthouses and greenhouse and encourage feeding of animals with food scraps.
Our electricity is produced by solar power and we have one of the largest privately owned solar systems in Australia. It is clean, green, silent and with the continued improvement in solar technologies, surprisingly powerful and user friendly. It is quite marvellous what we can run with this sustainable technology – a cool room, an air conditioner, our pool pump, all of the pottery related machinery, a coffee machine, two laundries, six guesthouses, and a machine workshop.
We grow as much organic food as we can in our greenhouse and gardens. Our chooks and ducks provide us with yummy eggs and our beautiful cow Jemma supplies us with milk that we drink and make into cheese and yoghurt. We bake our own bread using biodynamic products, make our own jams and pickles, and source as much local products as possible. Our licensed restaurant serves local, organic wines and our dinner speciality – wood fired pizza – is fuelled from the scrap timber from our building projects.
All of our buildings are hand built using a variety of local materials including local timber, mud bricks, rammed earth, straw bale, sawdust bricks, stone, and recycled materials. Each building has been designed to include sustainability and unique features. Mud brick keeps the rooms cool in summer and warm in winter. We have also built multiple walking tracks on the property and focus on showcasing the natural beauty of the land and wildlife. Our tracks range from an easy walk to a half day round trip, although some people are more interested in roaming around our various architectural masterpieces than looking at our pottery or bird species! And no wonder – if you tour the “old countries” you will find the same individual feel in the buildings, made by hand using the materials available. We have both an old, yet classic look and feel.
We have a very practical and user-friendly recycling station. Everything that can be recycled or used for fuel is. Our kitchen scraps are feed to our pigs and the sawdust produced from building projects is used in our compostable toilet systems.
We hope to provide a fun, interactive experience on our farmstay in which our guests feel welcomed, nurtured and nourished by the lifestyle and activities we offer.
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Barkala Farm.