Who are we?
Warinyan Farm and Bottled Culture is a partnership between Zoe Laing and Shmu Karni. They met in their early 20s and both have a passion for regenerative agriculture, good food, sustainable living, self sufficiency, art, music, and working with our hands. Zoe’s parents bought a property in Upper Lansdowne and they jumped at the opportunity to start a farm and business there.
Zoe has always been around gardening as her horticulturist parents (Julian and Pieta) had a landscape design business in Sydney and Pieta presented on Gardneing Australia, before moving to Kangaroo Valley where they had a property with animals and veggie gardens. Zoe grew up working in hospitality and has travelled widely whilst also studying fine arts, environmental sciences, permaculture, and holistic management. She spent time volunteering on organic farms in India – where she first tasted kombucha – and lived, learnt and taught permaculture in northern Thailand at The Panya Project. On return to Australia Zoe completed a Cert IV in permaculture at the Permaculture College Australia and a Holistic Management course with Inside Outside Management. She worked on several commercial orchards, picking and packing fruit, being a farm hand and nursery worker, gaining insights into the world of commercial farming before moving to Upper Lansdowne to start a project with Shmu. Zoe is passionate about building a sustainable local food community, living self sufficiently in tune with nature, and regenerating the land.
Shmu grew up on an off grid community in the northern rivers where his family grew much of their own food including meat, and worked cattle and the land with his father. Making pickles and preserving food were a big part of his childhood stemming from his father’s Middle Eastern background. He left the countryside to study aircraft maintenance and mechanics with QANTAS in Sydney before entering other trades including print media and sign writing. Shmu studied graphic design in Melbourne before embarking on a journey around Australia and New Zealand, working on many commercial orchards doing picking, packing, pruning, farm hand and chemical application. This instilled in him the desire to grow organically. He also studied Holistic Management with Zoe. Shmu loves working with metal, designing and engineering tools and equipment for the farm, as well as growing, cooking, and eating good, clean food.
We were fortunate to have Rebecca and Hugh from The Artisan Farmer come and film our story….