29 June 2009

Put Victoria On Your Table (part two)

Last Thursday Bren attended the official launch of Put Victoria On Your Table (PVOYT).  I have previously written about our role in the campaign.

It was a lunch held in inner city Melbourne at Chapter House and the invitation told you to be there at 12 sharp.

The table centers were described as nests of regional Victorian produce.
Included in these nests were our heirloom carrots and our heirloom beetroot.

Also included were Daylesford Organics friends Daylesford Hepburn Mineral Springs Co and Holy Goat Cheese.

I love the look of the long white tables and all that earthy, untouched produce.

Before lunch was served there were some speeches, the launch of the logo and then the movie was screened. The movie was the story of Matt Wilkinson travelling around regional Victoria, picking up the produce to make the lunch about to be served.

And then for the lunch.

In case you can't read the menu above, Alla Wolf Taska from the Lake House in Daylesford made; medallions of smoked Skipton eel, Istra pancetta, remoulade of Daylesford Organics beetroot and fresh horseradish.


27 June 2009

Introducing Foxs Lane

I'd like to let readers of the Daylesford Organics blog know that I have started up a second blog; 

Foxslane will be a blog that documents the things I make, bake and create.

Go on over, have a look and let me know what you think.

26 June 2009

Mulching the garlic

This year we planted the garlic in between the rows of some of our younger apple trees.

The garlic shoots are about six weeks old.

They are shooting out of the ground now so it's time to mulch them.

The reason we mulch them is to stop the weeds from coming up and competing for water, nutrients and space.

We mulch them by covering the surrounding soil with a thick layer of certified organic oaten straw.

Oaten straw is the stalks left behind after the oats are removed.

That's Liam in his squirrel hunting hat.
He tells us it's warm.
That's how he gets it past the style police anyway!

I love how freshly mulched garlic looks, all snug and warm.

Now that tiny plant has to grow a long green stalk, some leaves, a flower and then the magical cloved bulb.

I can hardly wait til November.

23 June 2009

The Gorse Munchers

This morning after I dropped the girls off at school I sat in my car for a while and watched a Mother and her three year old son watching some council workers digging a hole in the road.

As they stood there and watched oblivious to the cold and the wind I couldn't help but think about how different my life is as the mother of three girls.

It was only a few minutes later when I got home that I realised that perhaps some of the stuff that goes on here at Daylesford Organics is wasted on little girls. That little boy would have loved to come home and spend the day with these two machines.

The one above is a excavator with a mulching head and the one below is a skid steer also with a mulching head attached.

These two monstrous machines are here for the next few days to get rid of as much gorse as they can mulch through.

Gorse was introduced to Australia as on ornamental plant or hedge.
It is classified as a weed because it is very difficult to eradicate and because of its aggressive seed dispersal.

As organic farmers the way we try to get rid of this spiky plant that has totally invaded some areas of our farm is to cut it and burn the small areas and then have these big machines mulch the larger areas.

A property near here poisons their gorse but it seems to have little effect at all.

So the beasts will be here for the next few days beeping and eating away at the gorse and my girls won't pay them any attention. Perhaps if they were pink and covered with sparkles it would be a different story.

21 June 2009

Chooks go bush

During the warmer months our flock of chooks follow behind the vegetable harvest. After the vegetables are pulled up, the chooks go in and enjoy the leftovers, scratch up and fertilise the ground.

Now it's Winter and it's time for them to come up onto higher ground which for us means into the bush.

But first we have to make a few modifications to fit their houses in.

Cutting a few trees down to make way for their houses means firewood for next year,

some bush poles for building our tractor shed,

and some sawdust.

Every year we are surprised by how much the chooks look at home in the bush and then we remember that they were originally jungle fowl.

I love this one of Mr Rooster mid crow.

Collecting the eggs.

This Mrs chicken stayed home....

Doesn't this look like the definition of free range?

Hello Banjo, we are friends.

Enjoying a dust bath.

We try to offer them pasture as well as bush but given the choice they much prefer the shelter of the trees and scratching amongst the leaf litter.

18 June 2009

Market Break

We have come to the end of our Farmer's Market season.

We have a long, cold Winter in these parts where the growing and egg laying slows right down.

We have had a wonderful season, our longest yet (by a month) and we picked up an extra market (Castlemaine) bringing us to four a month.

We have shared the dramas of bushfire and drought with our fellow stall holders.

We have grown, preserved and baked a huge variety of produce each week.

We have enjoyed meeting new customers and loved the interactions we have had with our loyal regulars.

We have had brilliant helpers who turned up in hail and pouring rain as well as sweltering heat.

Thanks Viv and John.

We have shared recipes, ideas, dreams and gossip.

We have been thrilled and disappointed.

So thanks for all your support, keep reading the blog for updates on what we are doing on the farm and we'll see you again at a Farmer's Market near you when the weather turns warmer and the days are longer.