28 August 2009

Designing a logo.

We are working with a graphic designer on our branding and logo.

It is such an interesting process to try to get across to a third party who we are and what we represent, as well as who we want to appeal to.

When we first created Daylesford Organics it was an apple farm. We called ourselves apple farmers and I appliqued us apple T-shirts to wear to market.

Due to draught conditions it soon became obvious that we would have to diversify. Mixed farming (biodiversity) soon became an important part of our ideology.

A biodynamic egg farm up the road was closing down and we saw the gap in the market and overnight went from being backyard chook keepers to having a flock of up to one thousand.

At that stage the majority of our income came from the eggs.

And then over time the vegies started to take the spotlight.

How will we ever be able to get all this across in a picture and a few words?

We've chosen a wonderful designer, gone into great detail with her about us, our farm, our vision and our likes and dislikes. We've discussed the personalities of different fonts and different colours and now we have to walk away and leave her to it.

I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with.

I hope you have a great weekend.

24 August 2009

Maremmas, Chooks and TODAY.

What do you do when you have 3 flocks of chooks but only 2 Maremma guard dogs to protect them?

You merge 2 of them without really merging them of course.

The chicks are in the silver brooder and their pool fence enclosed yard and the twenty two week old chooks are in their own house with the whole area surrounded by solar electric mesh fencing.

Banjo the Maremma is protecting the little chickies without having ever seen them.

Many of the older chooks are staying close to the chickies. They can probably hear them and smell them.

And for those of you interested in the Daylesford Organics media branch, Channel Nine's TODAY show will be filming its weather segments every half an hour from 6am tomorrow (Tuesday) from Daylesford.

You can also watch it online by clicking the link on the TODAY website.

They will film Alla Wolf-Taska cooking breakfast from the kitchen at the Lake House. She will be using and talking about local ingredients including Daylesford Organics' eggs.

21 August 2009

Chooks On Film.

This is a link to a segment on 9am with david and kim that was shown on TV last week. It is a lovely discussion between Bren and Alla Wolf-Taska and has some great footage of our chooks.

You might have to wait a minute for it to load.

Enjoy the video and have a great weekend.

18 August 2009

Daylesford Commercial.

The Daylesford Tourism ad is now being shown in every state in Australia except for Victoria. Apparently Victorians already know about and visit Daylesford.

It is a strange feeling to watch our town in this beautiful video.

It is so familiar but so foreign at the same time.
Last night I picked Indi and Jazzy up from that property she walks past with the gorgeous gates and later the lamps down the driveway, I had coffee a few days ago with the berry picking girl and walked around the lake last week. But I admit I have never been to the new spa center.

We delivered some carrots for the table laden with food but I can't find them in there.

I've watched it over and over this morning trying to find familiar faces and places but I can't separate from it to judge if it would make me want to visit Daylesford. What do you think? Do you like it? Would it make you want to visit us?

14 August 2009


Yesterday Liam was working in the shed when he heard the cheep-cheeping of a strange sounding bird. He hunted around a bit and came across one of the new chicks. It seems they have been flying up to perch on the edge of their fence and jumping over. The shed is about 20 meters from their chick house.

While we are all for free range chooks here at Daylesford Organics, we believe at 5 and a half weeks old these chicks are a bit too young to fend for themselves.

Until they are big enough not to fit through the holes of the solar electric netting fences we have covered their yard with bird netting. This will also stop any hungry birds of prey from getting to them.

Miss Pepper, who has taken to dragging that green thing around everywhere with her, can't quite work out why the chicks are hiding.

And look what I got when I got home from the school run.
It seems we have a microclimate across the road at Bren's parents' block. Our daffs are barely out of the ground let alone flowering.

I hope you have a great weekend.

11 August 2009

Chicks, Compost Tea & Eggs.

Those baby chicks are 5 weeks old today.
They are feathery, long legged, independently eating and drinking and starting to do some crazy stunts like flying up to perch on the side of their fence.

At night they go into their house by themselves and all we have to do is close the door. Liam fitted their perches into their house today so they can start to roost while they sleep.

Bren and Liam are playing around with this old cheese making vat today. It has been sitting around at our neighbour's house until recently when Bren asked if he could have it.

He has plans to make it into a compost tea brewer as we have outgrown our old, badly designed one. The fact that this one is open will make it easier to clean and therefore grow the good bacteria and exclude the bad.

They filled it up with water and it leaks so now they using food dye to try and find the leak.

While they are playing around I'm collecting the eggs.

We have roll away egg boxes fitted to all our chook houses. This means that as soon as a hen gets up to leave the nest after laying her egg, the egg rolls down out of her reach. This makes it easier for us when collecting the eggs and keeps the eggs cleaner because the chooks can't peck at them or poo on them.

07 August 2009

Apple Cider.

This week we've been making apple cider.

In our new orchard we have planted 2 rows of specific heritage cider variety apples. These trees will be 5 years old and ready to fruit next autumn.

In the meantime, every winter we make apple cider from the ugly, unsellable fruit.

We are not really set up with all the equipment for cider making so each year when the time comes around, we try and invent new ways to better last year's experience.

This year we have been using the garden mulcher to pulp the apples.

I wasn't there when they first filled it up and turned it on but I saw the aftermath of apple dripping from the roof and in beards and eyelashes.

Once pulped, the fruit is then poured into this old wine press, a lever is wound, the fruit is pressed and the juice pours out the bottom.

The pulp is finer this year than other years which means we are getting more juice but also that it is coming out the sides of the press.

Next year we'll line the barrel with shade cloth before we pour in the fruit.

Yeast was added to the juice to start the fermentation process and now these drums will gurgle and hang out inside our warm house for the next month or so.

We could really have used the final product to warm our insides today when it is 4 degrees at 1pm.

In other news: we had a film crew from Channel Ten's 9am with david & kim's program here last Tuesday. Some of the footage they took will be shown on next Monday's program.

I'll post the link to the video once it is up.

For those who can't wait until then: here's another video that was shown on that program a few months ago, before I started this blog. Wait for that wiggly thing on the right to stop turning and it'll play.

I hope you have a great weekend and stay warm wherever you are.

05 August 2009

Matt & Bridie.

Matt Wilkinson, head chef at Circa, The Prince, and his breakfast chef Bridie have been staying with us for the past few days.

This is the face of the man voted equal second sexiest chef participating in the second annual Taste event taking place later this month.

The article is here, scroll down to the end of the second page.

While they were here they fed the chooks and collected their eggs, planted some onion seeds in the hothouse, made some apple cider, discussed seeds, plants and recipes, made lots of plans for the coming growing season and even ate my cooking!!?

We had a lovely time but I think they'll notice the change of pace when they come back for another trip in mid January.

04 August 2009

Taking Chicks Out.

The day has arrived.
The chicks are 4 weeks old today and it's time for them to go outside for the first time.

Tentatively they come to the door to have a look at what is going on.

Come on chickens.

Slowly they take their first steps into the big wide world.

Down the ramp.

When we first moved here Bren found an old above ground swimming pool shell that he knew someday we'd find a use for.

That old shell now gets used once a season as the first fence for the chicks.
Later on they will have solar electric netting fencing but at the moment they are too small and can fit through the holes.

If you guys don't come out I'm going to have to come up and get you.

After a while we gave up waiting for them to come outside their warm house and went inside to have morning tea.

And look what we found when we came back.

What a big day for these chickens.
They get to express all their true chicken behavior for the first time, scratching, pecking, digging and exploring.

Spare a thought for those poor birds that never get to see the sky or scratch at a grub in the ground.