To increase accessibility to local, nutritious dairy in the Castlemaine region, practising regenerative agriculture with the utmost respect for the animals involved.
What: A micro dairy; milking 10 cows using regenerative farming practices, which is processed on site into fresh milk, with yogurt, cream and butter coming soon. Sold within the local Castlemaine community through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and the Castlemaine Farmers Market Weekly.
Where: We are very lucky to be a part of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op (HOFC), an exciting new collaborative way of farming. Based at Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, this property of Katie and Hugh Finlay’s is a second generation organic orchard, boasting 150 varieties of fruit. 2015 saw the addition of Mel and Sas from Gung Hoe Growers; market garden extraordinaire. In mid 2016 I approached Katie about the possibility of joining the group to run a micro dairy. The Co-op has since grown, recruiting Ant to take over the running of the orchard in 2018 and the future looks bright for additional plug-in farming enterprises.
Who: Growing up on a farm in Victoria’s north east, Tessa Sellar has long been passionate and heavily involved in promoting, farming and developing sustainable food systems to reconnect people with their food, farmers and landscapes. Her partner, Oliver Holmgren, grew up in central Victoria immersed in a Permaculture way of life. Bringing a host of practical building and engineering skills, he is building much of the infrastructure.
We are building up our herd of milkers to 10, refining all our systems as we grow. Because of this, the first year of production we will be starting out with fresh milk, with milk production increasing as cow’s join the milking herd, adding yogurt during the year and butter in year 2. Thanks for your patience and support while we got up and going, refining our systems to work for everyone involved; from the soil biology, to the cows, to farmers, to the eaters!