Now that the milk is flowing, we’ve been busy trying to get the creamery up and running. Then we can get licensed to start selling and sharing this beautiful milk!
We started off with a bare bit of land next to the existing packing shed. The main issue with the site being the large granite bolder. However, this is not a problem for us as we want the factory raised so we can access all the plumbing! Thanks to Phil and his trusty plumbers excavator, we got the site cleared up and ready for the container to be delivered. We learnt that all granite is not created equal!
After a day trekking through container yards in Melbourne we found our perfect factory. Refrigerated containers; Reefers, are not so easy to come by these days, particularly ones which aren’t being decommissioned because of the extensive damage by forklifts, so when we found this one it was an easy decision. Easy was not the word I’d use for getting it delivered and in place though. I think the truck drivers words went something like ‘it can’t be done, where else can I put it’, but we persisted.
We then had a big blue box, which very quickly become home to all the tools and equipment we needed up at Harcourt. We had Morgan connect the power and then there was light!
With the skilled and daring team of Dave, Christian, Jacques and Rowan, Oli set to constructing the roof over the container. While we currently dread the idea of it, the design of the factory is to be portable. If for one reason or another we are to move the business to another property, the whole thing can be disassembled and come with us. Avoiding being locked into costly, permanent infrastructure and the need to buy land is at the core of this business model.
We purchased second hand trusses which had come off industrial greenhouses which took a special kind of engineering to erect.
However getting the pre-rolled 8.5m long sheets of tin on was testing on minds and bodies.
Building an airplane hanger? you say. No, this is our stylish shed. Providing protection for our equipment and container as well as a large amounts of storage space.
At last Rowan and Oli installed the windows and cleared the deck ready to lay the floor. No longer a daunting big box. It already feels like a factory with a view.
As I will say time and time again, none of this would be possible without all overwhelming hours of work and support which people have given us. My partner Oli in particular has had his life hijacked by this project. He is the building/engineer extraordinaire. At least there’s good food, good views, good people and spectacular cows to keep him coming to work!
And of course, my lovely ladies! We’ve had nervous times experimenting with them grazing in the orchard. Olive took a trip to the bull (what a way to spend a Sunday afternoon). Daisy, who was meant to be pregnant told us loud and clear that she’s not. The calves get bigger by the day and the worry about feed security in the current and future season is a constant on the mind.