Seeing the light

For a long time I have been dreaming about all the ins and outs of how this ‘future dairy’ is going to operate, when things are a long way off it’s easy to think big picture. Then we started building and milking, since then we mainly think about what needs doing today and this week. We’ve been heads down getting this business off the ground but this last week I’ve started thinking of the big picture again. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the year begun Oli decided that on his Birthday in May he want’s to sit back with the factory licensed, all systems go. The idea of telling the world so he’s accountable is starting to make him a little nervous as time progresses, but I think he’ll make it.

So this blog I’m going to give a photo update on how we’ve progressed. I know many people are ready and waiting for the milk to flow, soon, I promise!

The Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op received RDV Victorian Government funding which is supporting our shared infrastructure project and paid for the shinny, new, 110,000l water tank. Currently the farm all runs off irrigation water so having access to clean tank water is a necessity for the dairy factory.

Brendan installing the lean-to roof with the tank in the background

We were very grateful to have Brendan working with us at a crucial time after Oli’s accident to keep things moving along; putting up a wall on the shed for weather protection and the back lean-to for protection for all the process water systems.

Now we can protect at least some of our tools from the westerly storms.

We had Phil back on his excavator to finish off the greywater system and offer much needed help with the factory plumbing!

Before, during and completed greywater system

Jacques helped Oli installed the solar thermal panels on the cooler days. In a previous post Oli outlines the reasons behind using mainly second hand materials and some of the obstacles they pose.

When Oli cut and fitted all the dirty insulation(coolroom) panels, the inside of the processing factory became real. We both could finally feel what it will be like to stand in the room bottling milk! However using second hand insulation panels proved a nightmare, we are now experts in sanding and why certain specialist food grade paints are not appropriate for air spraying and why you should just hire an airless sprayer from the beginning.

Oli fitting the panels and testing equipment in the space.

Marty spent hours sanding the panels back to remove rust and marks. This panel was out of the shipping container wall where we installed the windows, Marty had to remove the many thick layers of paint from the external wall.

I’m not sure Marty’s smile really depicts his enjoyment of this job?

We then removed all the walls for painting. Then reinstalled them, being very careful not to scratch all the work we’d just done. Oli has now been installing all the coving, it’s feeling closer and closer now!

Rowan has been crafting the front entrance, with a team sanding back the doors from the tip to create our beautiful entrance!

I’ve been busy on the farm; fencing and learning just how hot the star picket rammer gets when left in the sun.

And my growing herd have been excitedly hoeing into the 4ths from Gung Hoe Growers and Tellurian Fruit Gardens. Farming in a diverse co-op is blooming marvelous!

Kale and silverbeet are very popular

Thank you to all these people and more who have been such an integral part of getting this business up and running. We’re getting so close now I can smell it! Thank you all for waiting patiently.

One thought on “Seeing the light”

  1. So excited to see you coming along so quickly (might not feel like it for you – but thinking about doing something similar here means we know just how much there is to get your head around & do!)
    Absolutely inspirational! 🙂

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