Photographed by Nick Surette
What has one hump and makes some of the richest milk in the world? Your newest source for non-bovine dairy, that’s what. Summer Land Camels of southeast Queensland has been rescuing wild camels from the Australian interior for over a decade. Co-founders and experienced biodynamic farmers Jeff Flood and Paul Martin hit pay dirt when they discovered the surprising health benefits of camel’s milk, both as sustenance and a topical treatment.
They’ve studied best practices for keeping and raising camels, giving their rescues the best post-Outback lives possible. Summer Land’s roughly 550 camels graze on chemical-free pastures nourished by fertile volcanic soil and eight natural springs, which means their milk is snow-white and clean-tasting. Wild camels are considered a nuisance in central Australia, where they were first introduced as part of exploration and construction efforts in the mid-1800s. Turned loose after the rise of the automobile, the camel population flourished, and continues to feast on native vegetation, damage culturally significant sites, and wreak havoc on the infrastructure in Aboriginal communities in their constant search for water. Summer Land Camels’ mission is to give a home and purpose to these animals.