15-year-old Paddy’s love of farming blooms this spring
AS Paddy McBryde brushes the soil from his hands and cracks open a ginger beer while still wearing his school uniform, his leather shoes covered in dirt - it's obvious his love for farming is strong.
At only 15, the St Brendan's student has been growing and selling his own organic crop of watermelons and rockmelons since he was a bub, alongside his mum Angie and late father Mark.
Since his dad's passing last year, Paddy has successfully completed his first crop all on his own, this time adding zucchinis to the mix.
Living on a property at Bondoola, where kangaroos roam and horses graze in paddocks, Angie said farming was in Paddy's blood.
"He said to us one day, 'I know there's not much money in it, but I've just gotta be a farmer'," Angie laughed.
"I'm seriously proud. He's so motivated and he knows everything there is to know about organic farming. Even after missing out on last year's season, he still remembers how to start from scratch."
But Paddy said it was his love of just growing up on the land that has steered him in the direction of agriculture.
"I'm hoping to get my certificate three and four in agriculture, and have a cattle and crop farm," he said.
The teen's clear determination is even more apparent when mum Angie said he bought a $15,000 Argo ATV at just 12, after saving up for it since he was eight. "His next goal is to buy a Land Cruiser," she said. "He sells all of his produce at the local markets most weekends and does well. I think people like the fact that he's a young kid having a go."