'Ipswich kids need to know where their food comes from'

IT'S a paddock-to-plate for pre-schoolers live show and it has city kids all over converting into would-be farmers.

Last year, the Queensland Times reported on fourth-generation grazier Cilla Slack's television show Blue Gum Farm TV, an independent children's series geared at educating all Australian youngsters about where their food comes from.

In this school holiday period 20 Blue Gum Farm shows were booked across Brisbane and Ipswich.

"The live show has taken over, it's been amazing," she said.

"It is still my goal to broadcast the original shows, that's really what's at the heart of it, but I have just been saying yes to everyone wanting the live show because I feel this is a good way to promote it."

The show will come to Ipswich Central Library on South St tomorrow from 10.30am-11am.

Fellow country girl, Eden Smith has joined Cilla on the stage for the last six months.

The talented 16-year-old lives on a citrus farm, Burnette View Citrus, next door to Cilla's family's cattle property.

"I hit the jackpot with her," Cilla said.

"I am super lucky because she is great with the kids, she has a good voice and she is a bushie so she gets it."

For Eden, the live shows have given her an incredible experience, as she aspires to be a performer.

"I want to follow it as a career, so having this as a part-time job is awesome," Eden said.

Both ladies admitted the younger audience could be a handful at times.

Cilla, who toured the country for many years as a theatre performer joked that kids "were up there" with the harder audiences to cater for as they weren't afraid to "heckle".

Eden agreed.

"They are just so raw," she said.

"Whatever they think they just say, so you have to learn how to improvise and think on your feet.

"I have learned a lot of skills, that's for sure."

While the live shows of Blue Gum Farm have stormed ahead, Cilla has faced some hurdles with the progression of her TV show.

The hefty costs of continuing to produce her show independently was all coming at a toll.

"It's a challenge," she said.

"I have the next series in pre-production but it's just taking it to that next step.

"I am hoping there could be a niche within the education system. To the broadcasters I am no one from nowhere. But, hey, I have to give this a try and shoot for it."

Cilla said she was thankful that her role within her family's business was flexible and that she had their support.

She now has her own small herd of cattle and admitted the juggle between looking after the show and the farm was "hectic" but she was still enjoying both roles.

Find out more about Blue Gum Farm TV by visiting www.bluegumfarmtv.com.au.



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