Svetlana Mitin at Mitin Grove, The Caves. Picture: Meg Bolton
Svetlana Mitin at Mitin Grove, The Caves. Picture: Meg Bolton

Farmers visited for first time since COVID-19 lockdown

NESTLED away on a quaint dairy goat farm north of Rockhampton, surrounded by peaceful olive branches, Svetlana and Sergii Mitin have had their first visitors in about four months.

The Russian couple has been in self-isolation ever since COVID-19 restrictions were announced in mid-March.

In late July, the couple decided it would be okay to allow visitors to come and have a magical farm experience on their property, Mitin Grove, at The Caves.

Svetlana Mitin said CentacareCQ and some of their clients visited their farm for a big picnic in the olive grove.

“We sat under the trees and enjoyed each other’s company,” Mrs Mitin said.

“We talked about their experiences, a lot of them grew up on a farm and told us how they did it back then. I could see the memories coming back to them.”

Mitchell Malcolm with Sergii and Svetlana Mitin at Mitin Grove, where the couple also run goat yoga sessions. Picture: Meg Bolton
Mitchell Malcolm with Sergii and Svetlana Mitin at Mitin Grove, where the couple also run goat yoga sessions. Picture: Meg Bolton

She said most of the clients were elderly, in their 80s and 90s, and the others had various disabilities.

She said the visit was arranged last year, before the COVID-19 lockdown, and had to be postponed.

She said to see the joy and smiles on their faces brought tears to her eyes.

“It was lovely for them to just sit in such a peaceful environment and have their morning tea,” she said.

“We had a couple of baby goats run around for them to be entertained, they absolutely loved it, it brought smiles to their faces and they had a good laugh. The staff and carers had a lovely morning as well.

“There are not many places like this where people can visit and see farm animals, because these are not your everyday cats and dogs.

One of the many goats that can be seen at Mitin Grove. Picture: Facebook
One of the many goats that can be seen at Mitin Grove. Picture: Facebook

“We are just so lucky we were able to provide this special experience to them and share our stories and lifestyle, even if just for a couple of hours.”

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Svetlana and Sergii Mitin moved to Central Queensland from Russia in the mid-1990s and worked in various job fields but in 2017 decided to start a new business that was not common in the region – dairy goats.

The couple is still in the process of establishing their dairy goat business and building the milking herd.

In the meantime, they would like to provide special services to the local community with their young goats and farm animals.

Already offering goat yoga, Mrs Mitin said she was now offering people the chance to have a farming experience and relax in the olive grove, while also getting to interact with the farm animals.

She said this was a unique experience for people living in Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast and urged residents to take advantage of the opportunity.

The olive branch at Mitin Grove. Picture: Facebook
The olive branch at Mitin Grove. Picture: Facebook

“There are not many opportunities in the region to actually visit a farm and have that experience,” she said.

“People will be able to sit, talk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere under the olive trees, listen to the birds sing and interact with the goats running through the olive grove. It’s something you would never have in town.

“There is something really special about the olive grove – it’s a really peaceful, good place to relax, laugh and take your mind off things for an hour and just allow yourself to get in with nature, the farming lifestyle and environment. It is a great change from city to country.”

She said they were open to group bookings for smaller farm style events, and bookings had to be made in advance.

To book a session in the olive grove, call 0427 028 704 or email mitingrove@gmail.com.

For more information, see the Mitin Grove Facebook page.