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Everything’s coming up roses

Jun 19, 2019 | Features

A Eudlo rose farm has caught the attention of Hollywood, and it’s easy to see why!

by Rebecca Mugridge

Down a tree lined street, in the beautiful town of Eudlo, lies Caz Owens’ unique rose farm, the only chemical-free certified rose farm in Australia. When you arrive, you are immersed in the natural tranquillity, surrounded by the sounds of the birds, bees and many insects living there.

This is no ordinary farm. There are no cleared fields or mass-produced rows, it is a natural-style farm growing in harmony with nature. Set on a beautiful bush block where the integrity has been kept largely intact because of Caz’s unique approach to farming.

Helen Knight and Katrina Dankworth, Caz’s wonderful volunteers enjoy the flowers and bees

“I have a real biosphere which looks after itself, even with little finches that land and eat the insects directly off the roses. It has been a combination of organic processes, bio dynamic practices and permaculture,” she said.

The wildlife plays a massive part in the healthy ecosystem, even native frogs love the roses.

“As the frogs start breeding, they actually live in the roses. When you harvest, you will pick up a rose and be looking at it and realise there is a little baby frog inside. They sleep in here of a night time and during the day they go back into the undergrowth. It’s beautiful and that happens every autumn and spring,“ said Caz.

You can’t help but notice the number of bees here, highlighting what a healthy space this rose farm is.

“I have many different bees, I don’t know the exact, entire extent but I know I have the big teddy bear bees, a giant black one with a bright yellow bum, the blue-banded bee with the beautiful turquoise stripe and of course all the little natives, and we have little native nests all over the place,” smiled Caz.

“The native bees and the honey bees all get on together too and they don’t fight or anything, it’s really lovely.”

Bees are an essential part of a healthy farm according to Caz, “You have to have the bees and I’ve noticed over the years that they even change the colours of things,” she said.

“The cosmos has come into more yellows and a lovely orange. When they pollinate, they do influence what a flower is like. It is really, quite interesting. There are other little beneficial insects that pollinate too, but the bees are the main guys, so we need to look after them.”

Caz’s unique style to farming has drawn plenty of attention to her farm, including a brush with Hollywood fame.

Roses – the red Aquaman rose

When producers of Aquaman decided to have a scene with roses, which included actress Amber Heard eating a rose, they went looking for organic, spray-free roses, and they found Caz, with her Sunshine Coast farm.

Now you can see her beautiful roses in the Hollywood blockbuster. The ‘Aquaman roses’ are a striking, stand-out, gorgeous vibrant red, growing amongst Chinese lanterns and edible flowers.

So how did Caz come to create this fragrant, beautiful farm? After a successful corporate career that ended with a frightening health scare, Caz made the life-changing decision to move to Eudlo and pursue her great love, growing flowers.

“I began growing roses organically and it was very successful and I now have over 1500 roses on the property.” These are interspersed with an array of spray-free edible flowers and organic herbs that Caz also sells.

“Many are used as dried edible flowers by restaurants and for weddings and are extremely popular.”

Mixed edible flowers

As you drive through the farm on Caz’s buggy you are framed on either side by these edible flowers including cosmos, chrysanthemum, dianthus, verbenas, geraniums, all growing amongst the roses and natural bush and intermingled with fragrant herbs like basil, lavender and rosemary. It is strikingly picturesque and heady on the senses.

A highlight in her farm’s journey was having the Chemical Free Farmers Association approval.
“They came out and tested my soil everywhere. It was exciting!”

In 2020 Caz will be a guest speaker at the NSW Rose Society, Rose Championships and Annual Conference. “I am speaking from an environmental perspective and I am thrilled. The recognition is really lovely. And an absolute highlight for me is also that I am going to be meeting some of Australia’s best rose breeders, I am really excited.”

The organic roses are exquisite, and they have amazing heady fragrances like a rose should.

“Their fragrances even change with the seasons, with the winter and the spring. They smell stronger in the summer,” Caz shared.

“The real English roses think our winter here is their summer, hence we end up with these beautiful, vibrant colours – and it keeps the bees very happy!”

Happy bees and a healthy ecosystem – let’s hope Caz’s style of farming is an inspiration for others.

 

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