The Hobart

Kate Field

by Lily Whiting
Kate Field

A specialist at the Royal Hobart Hospital, a goat farmer and a Mum, Kate Field now adds skin care to her list!

Where are you from and where do you live now? I grew up in inner Melbourne, but moved to Hobart for University in 1997. I met my partner Iain in my final year of medical school, and 20 years later, via three years in Darwin and Sydney each, we came home in 2012. We live 50km east of Hobart at Copping.

Tell us a little about your work? I work as an Emergency Medicine Specialist at the Royal Hobart Hospital, as well as working and living on our farm, Leap Farm. Occasionally I help Iain in the cheese factory (Tongola Cheese). I also hand make Leapful skin care products.

How did you get into skin care? We are seasonal milkers, so we only produce cheese for about nine months of the year. In the “off season” we tend to do a lot of farm projects. Even when you wear gloves, jobs like fencing trash your hands. In the spring we’d go back to making cheese, and the skin on our hands would heal and recover quickly. We realised that it’s the wonderful properties in the whey that are so restorative. So two years ago I started researching and developing a skin care product using the whey, which is otherwise fed to the neighbour’s pigs or spray onto our paddocks. We firmly believe in minimising any waste from our enterprises, and this is taking a waste product that’s full of really valuable nutrients, and creating a functional and luxurious product, that’s also environmen­tally responsible.

Environmental practices have been integral in your approach on the farm. What goes on behind the scenes to keep Leap Farm carbon positive? This has been our greatest achievement so far. We sequester enough carbon in our soil to offset the emissions that 60 average Aussie households emit each year – after we’ve offset our own emissions! We have increased our organic soil carbon to a whopping 9.5% by farming with nature rather than against it. We are dung beetle-friendly, encourage diversity in our pasture so that there is always something growing and feeding the soil microbes and we’ve fenced off remnant forest to protect it from our livestock for native species to flourish. We minimise energy use wherever possible, such as immedi­ately pasteurising the warm milk rather than cooling it first. We get all our energy in the sunny months from solar and PV units, and export to the grid. Excitingly we just ordered a new Polaris EV for the farm, to replace our petrol one.

Congratulations on being a finalist for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for Tasmania. I’m so honoured to be a finalist in the AgriFutures RWA. Women are often the silent, hardest workers on the farm, who are just getting on with what needs to be done. Without women, there wouldn’t be rural communities. We’re owners, employees, board members, directors, marketing managers, distribu­tors, scientists, mothers, volunteers and so much more. Without rural women, there wouldn’t be the productivity from rural industries that our nation relies on economically.

Favourite podcast or tv show? I don’t have much time for TV, but I do tend to make sure I get to Gardening Australia, Grand Designs and Gruen (clearly I’m an ABC tragic). My favourite podcast is Matt Bevan’s podcast. And can I plug my own podcast here, The Curious Farmer?

Secret vice? Admiring velvety muzzles (goat kids, and my dog’s in particular).

What gets your goat (pardon the pun)? Climate change sceptics and deniers.

What was your first job? Check-out chick at Food Plus (the local grocery store that was attached to BP in the olden days) – I was 13 and 9 months!

Your favourite place for…

Breakfast: Machine Laundry Cafe, favourite coffee near work is at Two Folk (where I read this magazine!).

Lunch: Park Cafe in Dodges Ferry.

Dinner: Too many to name, but I love Sonny and Peppina!

How do you name your herd? We pick a theme, and go with that. Themes we’ve had over the years include Heroines (“Amelia” after Amelia Earhart, “Wanda” after Wonder woman), Local Ladies (from our district, Hi Meg Bignell!), the colour red (eg “Rouge”), Herbs and Spices (“Arnica”, “Salt”, “Nutmeg”), children’s story book characters (“Big Ears”), Islands (“Tassie” of course, “Macca”), native Tassie flora “Globi” for Eucalyptus globulus, the Tassie Blue Gum), Shakespeare Characters (“Flute”, “Gertie”) and this year, our theme is Fruit (“Apple”, “Strawb”, “Jack” and of course, you can’t have all these fruit without “Jam”).

Do you have a favourite personality or two? Always! We all have our own favourites. Phryngo (named after Phryne Fischer) is definitely one, and I rather like Snug (and her kid I’ve nicknamed Snuglet). Bertha and I definitely don’t get on very well, I call her “Batshit Bertha”, however no-one else seems to have a problem with her!

Parting words? I’ve met a lot of people on their death-beds, and none of them has ever said “I wish I could live long enough to watch the end of that TV show.”

Love this


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exploring Tassie These Winter School Holidays
We know that staying indoors with the family isn’t always fun. And while it’s obviously cold outside, you’re only a puffer jacket and beanie away from being comfortable and ready to explore. There’s lots of family fun to be had in all sorts of weird and wonderful places across the state these school holidays.
Sand Surfing on the Peninsula
The half-day walk to Crescent Beach in the Tasman National Park offers so much- including epic sand dunes for surfing and incredible views.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
August 2022

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!