Changing face of family farming

The story behind Riverside Farm and Dairy begins just outside the Barossa Valley town of Lyndoch, where brother-sister duo Richard and Ellen Chatterton make up the sixth generation to work the farm, with Richard’s partner Kane working alongside.

For the last 170 years, the mixed farming property has been dedicated to the production of prime lamb, wool, cereal crops and vines. However, more recently its focus has changed to reflect Richard and Ellen’s interests and passion.

Both Richard and Ellen spent their early years away from the family farm studying and pursuing careers in various industries, eventually returning to the farm they grew up on to pursue new opportunities. 

Working alongside their father, Ellen has been able to bring her two passions together, sheep and quality produce. After a few years of research and building up her flock of Awassi and East Friesian sheep, which are lauded for their superior milk producing qualities, she now operates a small dairy.

From this she produces high quality yoghurt, labneh, haloumi and ricotta as well as smaller runs of manchego and ice cream. The yoghurt was recently nominated for a 2019 Delicious Award.

Richard’s passion for all things plants has translated into an organically grown garlic patch on the property. In addition to this and along with Kane, the first flock of hens was introduced to the property in January 2018, keeping it in line with regenerative and rotational style farming practices.

Riverside now has several flocks of hens roaming free within the pasture rotation system. The hens are able to forage in the paddocks and surrounding flora, providing a multitude of benefits to the soil and pasture through manure and soil agitation.

Each year a small crop of garlic is planted with the work done by hand to ensure only the best garlic makes it to customers. Recently, Richard has been looking into growing native bush foods on the property to further diversify farm production.

Prime lamb, wool, vines and crops remain Riverside’s mainstay, however, the future of the family farm looks exciting. The diversification that comes with the new generation of farmers allows them to meet the ever-changing agricultural landscape as well as consumer preferences.

We love what we do as well as being a part of the Barossa food community, and you can find us most weeks at the Barossa Farmer’s Market as well as seasonally at the Adelaide Farmer’s Market.

If you would like to get a closer look, we also have farm stay accommodation available for rent. Check out our Facebook for more details.

The next generation: Riverside farmers Ellen Chatterton, Richard Chatterton and Kane van Diermen. Photo: Stuart Taverner

The next generation: Riverside farmers Ellen Chatterton, Richard Chatterton and Kane van Diermen. Photo: Stuart Taverner

FRESH PRODUCE: A sample of some of the farming trio's products, including fresh eggs and Riverside Dairy's natural yoghurt.

FRESH PRODUCE: A sample of some of the farming trio's products, including fresh eggs and Riverside Dairy's natural yoghurt.