31 May 2010

Joel Salatin @ Daylesford Organics

So as we come to the end of autumn we also come to the end of The Harvest Festival.

We had a fantastic week running and attending activities, but of course the highlight was the self proclaimed lunatic farmer himself Joel Salatin.

Thanks so much to DMP and to The Lake House who brought Joel out from America. The Daylesford Organics team attended every seminar he gave, but the best part of all came last Friday when Joel came to our farm to walk around and talk to us.

Nine years ago when we started farming organically and were on the steepest learning curve imaginable, it was Joel's books that advised us on many of the particulars like movable chook houses and electric netting fencing and indeed gave us permission to believe we could do it.

When not many other farmer's wanted to share their knowledge with us, Joel's books did.

Nine years ago, many of Bren's sentences started with 'Joel says...' and this renegade farmer gave us permission to do things in an unconventional way and to make our farming dream a reality.

Nine years later on a wild and wet afternoon, Joel came to our farm and spent the best part of an hour walking around, looking at our systems and discussing our plans with us. Of course he recognised a lot of his own systems and ideas but he was also very complimentary and interested in our methods too.

It was one of those fantastic full circle life events. Here we were with the master showing him what we had learnt but also how we had developed our own farming systems.

We spent the last part of Joel's visit discussing future directions Daylesford Organics could take and let me tell you, watch this space because we are pretty excited to put some of his suggestions in place.

As Joel was leaving our farm Bren asked him to sign one of his books. The book is called You Can Farm and in it Joel wrote 'Oh yes you can - and yes you are.' How cool is that!

Saturday brought with it the publication of one of my photos in the A2 section of The Age newspaper. There was a 'top 5 farm gates' and they listed us as number one.

When I opened the newspaper up in the car park of the local service station I screamed. Loudly. I was thrilled they had made us number one and that my photo was enormous.

I guess we do owe an apology though to those who read the bit in the paper and then came to visit us yesterday only to find we were closed. Unfortunately, while we knew the piece in the paper was coming, we had no idea which date it would be published and it was bad timing that it coincided with an all day seminar by Joel. The seminar was called 'How to scale up without losing your soul' and was attended by our whole team leaving no one to man the stall.

We do feel terrible if you made the journey and we weren't here and hope that you found other ways to busy yourselves in the area.

Have a great week out there.

25 May 2010

Weather @ Daylesford Organics

Do you want to know what's going on with the weather at Daylesford Organics at the moment?

If you click on weather at the top of this page, it will take you to a page full of information including the outside temperature, the amount of rain we've had (this will be updated soon), the bottom row (soil temp 1) is the temperature inside the cool room and you can even see the temperature inside our house.

You should definitely check the weather site before coming on the Walking the Talk tour this Saturday, so you know whether to wear your gumboots or your sunhat.

We had such a great time on the first tour last Saturday.

I just got this email from two of the girls who came along:

Dear Brendan and Kate,
Just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful tour on Saturday. So enjoyed seeing your beautiful farm and all that you have achieved there in 9 years - truly inspiring!!! Left feeling so grateful there are people like you, so passionate about what they do and willing to share it with others. My little one loved the chooks!!!! And eggs are delicious!!!
Kind regards,
Bryony and Maeve

Here are the details again;
Date: Saturday 29th May.
Time: 2 - 4pm.
Place: Daylesford Organics. 19 Foxs Lane Muskvale.
Cost: $20per person, 15yrs and under free.
Booking: Email
Hopefully: See you then.

19 May 2010

Garlic @ six weeks.

Our garlic has been in the ground for six weeks.

This year we've planted most of it in between the new apple trees.

Better look busy, the supervisors are on their way.

Farmer Bren is checking how much the roots have grown in six weeks.

Pretty impressive huh?

Once you remove last year's garlic clove,

you are left with the start of this year's bulb.

He likes to taste things to see how they are going, but can't understand why I wouldn't kiss him for the rest of the afternoon.

The other Brendan is using the wheel hoe to weed in between the garlic plants.

Liam is hoeing between the little garlics,

and playing funny buggers.

Its looking like a wonderful crop so far.

Want to see it for yourself?
There's still a few places for the Walking The Talk farm tours.

Date: Saturday 22 and Saturday 29th May.
Time: 2 - 4pm.
Place: Daylesford Organics. 19 Foxs Lane Muskvale.
Cost: $20per person, 15yrs and under free.
Booking: Email
Hopefully: See you then.

15 May 2010

Walking The Talk.

Are you interested to hear and see what goes on behind the scenes on an award winning organic farm?

Would you like to hear Daylesford Organics' Farmer Bren talk about his beloved chooks, heirloom vegies, organics, fruit trees, compost, soil and more?

As part of the Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Week, we will be holding two farm tours.

Date: Saturday 22 and Saturday 29th May.
Time: 2 - 4pm.
Place: Daylesford Organics. 19 Foxs Lane Muskvale.
Cost: $20per person, 15yrs and under free.
Booking: Email
Hopefully: See you then.

11 May 2010

Scarlet runner beans.

We finished picking and selling the scarlet runner beans a few months ago. Over the season when we sold them to eat fresh we probably sold over a hundred kilograms.

Since then, we have left them on the vines to dry.

Today Liam picked the last of them off the vines.

Don't they look cute peeking out of their pod like that?

I think they are the most gorgeous looking bean.

Over the next few days we'll pod the beans, put our planting stock aside and then divide what's left into beans to sell and beans to use ourselves over winter.

The beans themselves can be used the same way you use any tinned or dried beans, in soups, stews, casseroles, pies...basically any winter dish you cook.

I've just eaten some for dinner fried up with some onion and garlic, a bit of tomato and some spices on toast. YUM!!