ASPIRING farmers have the chance to get a taste of the land with a new program allowing experienced farmers to share their knowledge.
Kyneton resident Melissa Connors began This Farm Needs a Farmer to give novices the chance to learn in real time, in real life.
The program pairs interested people - shadow farmers - with mentors, for a range of talks and tours.
Farmers from across the country can sign up to sell their skills and diversify their income streams.
Ms Connors said previously farming had been quite a closed community but a lot of doors were opening up. She said it was an opportunity for people who are interested in how to farm to get onto one.
"There's a whole wave of people now who are choosing agriculture and farming as their profession or as their hobby or as their lifestyle choice," Ms Connors said.
"[This Farm Needs a Farmer] is an opportunity for newcomers or people who are interested in how a farm works, or are wanting to farm, they can get onto a farm.
The majority of information about farming is in other farmers' heads. It's not on the internet.Mike Boudrie
"It also helps people become acquainted again with the cycle of our food, and how much it takes to create an end product that's sell-able."
Ms Connors has confirmed three farming mentors, but has dozens in the pipeline. She said if a farmer wanted to teach, and someone wanted to learn, she could sign them up.
Hanging Rock farmer Mike Boudrie is among these mentors.
With his wife and family Mr Boudrie made a tree-change about two and a half years ago. They have cattle, chickens and bees.
Mr Boudrie had escaped from a farming background to work in cities in his youth.
But becoming conscious of where his food came from brought him back to farming.
"The initial thought was we would just try to produce enough food for ourselves," Mr Boudrie said.
"Then that sort of grew into producing enough food for ourselves and others in a sustainable way."
Finding reliable information from which to learn was one of the challenges going into farming. It's why he thinks the concept of shadow farming is so good.
"The majority of information about farming is in other farmers' heads. It's not on the internet," Mr Boudrie said.
"Farming's very specific to your region. If there isn't people around you that are prepared to share those information it's very hard to know what to do.
"It will give people the confidence to do things as well. It stops it form being too hard and actually makes it achievable for people."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.