Liz Beavis, Small-Scale Cattle Farmer and Soap-Making Beekeeper
Occupation: Weekend Farmer, Soapmaker and Beekeeper
Residence: Rural Queensland, Australia
Background: Liz and husband, Peter, are passionate about growing their own food. They started with just eight acres in rural Queensland and soon found themselves keeping chickens in homemade tractors, raising a house cow and making their own cheese, butchering beef cattle and tanning hides and growing all kinds of different vegetables in their sub-tropical food forest. It became clear that more land was needed to expand on these hobbies, and they bought 258 acres nearby. As there was no house on the land, they then moved a 100 year-old house onto the property and began several years of renovation to create their dream home, with self-sufficient features.
They currently have three dogs, a herd of cattle, several beehives and plenty of chickens. Their farm life is guided by permaculture, regenerative agriculture and holistic management concepts. Overall, they aim to improve the land, while also feeding themselves and sharing the excess.
Liz has been writing about their adventures in self-sufficiency and permaculture since 2009. At first this was a way to share what they were learning, as there was so little information available online at the time. Gradually a community of like-minded folk have joined Liz on her social media pages. Sometimes it can be hard to find these people among the many who are happy to just buy everything they need and never think to make it. It’s nice to know that you’re not the only one who would rather make, grow, mend and make-do than mindlessly consume.
Liz also makes natural handmade soap from beef tallow, which she sells locally and online via her website. You will find their honey and beeswax on the site as well. Liz has also written several eBooks that go into more detail than the blog posts on her site. These include: Our Experience with House Cows, A Beginners Guide to Backyard Chickens and Chicken Tractors, Make Your Own Natural Soap, and the Solar Bore Pump Handbook.
Current Projects: A renovated house is never truly finished, there are a few projects to complete, including painting one of the verandas and installing solar panels. The new garden and food forest was only started in April 2019, so there is plenty more to do to get this system fully established. They also have an aquaponics system to set up. On 258 acres, the pasture is so poor they can only keep 10 cattle, so a big focus is improving the pasture through regenerative agriculture techniques. There is always more to learn about soap and Liz is currently working on a sequel to her eBook Make Your Own Natural Soap, with more advanced techniques.
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