The two stars of Farm Boys – Heath Joske and Addy Jones – were both in town from their respective remote corners of the country… Heath down in the Bight and Addy down in Bass Strait. The pair are lifelong surfers who these days spend their time between surfs mastering life in the dirt. Heath has turned a dry and sandy property into a working garden, while Addy is a guru of earth repair and composting.
They’re both serious gardeners, and as a result don’t take life itself all that seriously.
Grow It Local’s Darryl Nichols and Andrew Valder sharing a beer with Heath Joske and Sean Doherty. Photo Matt Viesis
Billed as ‘the world’s only hardcore surf and gardening show’, Farm Boys is a six-part series shot and directed by filmmaker Harry Triglone. You might know Harry from his lo-fi cult surf channel, Fun Boys, but Harry also works in bush regeneration. He’s had the idea for Farm Boys kicking around in his head for a while.
Surf talk corner featuring Heath Joske, Glen Casey and Derek Hynd. Photo Matt Viesis
Farm Boys up in lights, Byron Community Centre. Photo Matt Viesis
The sold-out premiere at the Byron Community Centre brought together a surf crowd, but there were plenty of bearded garden gnomes in the audience quietly nodding approval as three-foot A-frames were followed by Addy shovelling sheep shit and hosting a composting tutorial.
The pre-movie catch-up in the Byron Community Centre beer garden. Photo Matt Viesis
The night opened with Charlie McGee on his ukulele. Charlie fronts the band Formidable Vegetable, possibly the world’s only permaculture-themed folk band. His tune, Grow Do It is the theme song for the series, and Charlie warmed up the crowd with a singalong to their classic, My Dad’s Dunny Doesn’t Flush, an ode to composting toilets.
Arakwal-Bundjalung woman Rikkara McGuinness delivered a brilliant Welcome to Country, explaining how the fundamental idea behind Farm Boys – a generational respect and care for land and Country – is shared with the way her people have lived in this area for tens of thousands of years. Photo Matt Viesis
The night opened with Charlie McGee on his ukulele. Charlie fronts the band Formidable Vegetable, possibly the world’s only permaculture-themed folk band. Photo Matt Viesis
Screenings of Farm Boys eps followed, and the night was rounded out with Heath and Addy holding court to a full house, sharing insights into their lives on the farm. While the pair are deep down the rabbit hole with their gardens – it’s taken over their lives in many ways – their message was simple.
Filmmaker Harry Triglone, explaining the transition from Fun Boys to Farm Boys. Photo Matt Viesis
Addy Jones and a moment of quiet contemplation during the first episode of Farm Boys. Photo Matt Viesis
Catching up with surfer and shaper, Ellis Ericson on the way out the door later, he summed up the message Heath and Addy were trying to get across. “It’s just a seed, man. Just a seed of an idea that will grow.”
Watch the first episode of Farm Boys here.
An engaged crowd hung around afterward for a Q&A session where they learned, amongst other things, how to turn a barren yard into a productive garden and the undercelebrated nutritional value of roadkill. Photo Matt Viesis
Opening image: To a full house, Heath Joske tells the story of his transformation from pro surfer to bearded, Bight living, earth lovin’ Farm Boy. Photo Matt Viesis