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A Sydney-based creative couple's unexpected journey into ranching & climate activism in New Zealand

Writer, Musician, Climate Activists and Ranchers
Sydney, Australia to Taupō area of Aotearoa New Zealand

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I’m excited to invite you to my conversation with Nicola Harvey and Pat Ledden. In 2017, Pat and Nicola relocated from Sydney, Australia to take over her father’s land lease, north of Taupo in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was here that they built Slow Stream Farm. Their primary goal at Slow Stream Farm is to create a sustainable and regenerative agriculture operation - raising cattle on rotationally grazed pasture. Rich soil, clean waterways and healthy animals – all of the elements of the land and the farm living harmony with one another.

Before starting Slow Stream Farm, Nicola worked as a journalist. Her career had her working for various media companies and production houses in London, Melbourne and Sydney. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and landed the sought after Managing Editor position at Buzzfeed Australia. Pat worked as a property valuer and played guitar in bands.

In 2019, I interviewed and featured Nicola and Pat for Urban Exodus. They were just starting their journey and it is absolutely incredible how far they’ve come since we last spoke - what they’ve learned, the hardships they’ve faced, and the incredible ways their lifestyles and perspectives have shifted since leaving city life in Sydney.

Since our last interview, Nicola and Pat had a baby, they pivoted their farm and work processes to weather Covid. They experimented with more unconventional ways of raising animals and regenerating the soil, and Nicola published a book on her farming journey, Farm: The Making of a Climate Activist, documenting her farming journey and struggle with effective industry-wide climate action.

This is a story about stepping outside of your comfort zone, coloring outside the lines to find better ways of doing things, and standing up for the planet (even when it isn’t popular).



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