Life on the Land
Life on the Land
Sep 12, 2021
Goterra CEO Olympia Yarger on grief and growing
Play • 1 hr
This episode deals with the experience of losing a child, which may be triggering. If you need to speak to someone, please call Lifeline, on 13 11 14

There aren’t many interviews in which our host Emily Herbert has both cried and laughed until a little bit of wee came out. But there isn't many people like Olympia Yarger, today’s podcast guest.

Olympia is a maggot farmer. Yes, you heard that right. She is the founder and CEO of Goterra, a rapidly growing organisation based in Canberra. Aussies throw away 20 per cent of the food they buy. Isn’t that crazy? And that waste has a huge effect on our environment.

Olympia has developed waste infrastructure to solve our food waste crisis. She’s developed a system where she takes food waste, feeds it to black soldier fly larvae who munch it all up, which then excrete the goodness to create an amazing fertiliser. The maggots themselves are then made into protein rich pig, chook and fish feed. It’s a perfectly circular economy.

Not only this, she and her team have decentralised the system – creating robots full of maggots which can be parked at supermarkets, hospitals, bakeries, and anywhere where there’s a lot of waste.

Olympia’s journey to building this start-up – and raising more than $10-million of venture capitalist funding along the way – is extraordinary. She is darkly hilarious, intelligent and amazingly articulate. Behind this, her life’s experiences broke my heart. She has known terrible tragedy and grief, and has somehow gleaned how to move through and with it; a catalyst of meaningful change that I can only describe as remarkable and quite singular.

We start our chat with her beginnings in Canberra and how her innate love of farming was unexpectedly formed when attending boarding school in Yass.

This episode of Life on The Land is bought to you by a small (but big in personality!) bush-based café, fashion & gift retail store, located in the far NW NSW town of Walgett. Stone's Throw, is jam-packed full of unique gifts, homewares and more recently, a fashion line. With everything in store also online, it is an easy place to shop from the comfort of your home, offering dispatch within 24hours.

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Until the 13th of October, Stone’s Throw is offering a 10% discount to listeners – just enter LIFEONTHELAND at checkout.
Head to for all your online retail experiences or contact Katie on 02 6828 3359 for corporate orders.

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