Stallholder

My great, great-grandfather purchased the farm in the 1870s and our family has farmed it ever since that time. I grew up here, left in my youth and returned to the farm a few years back. The farm is in Wandin North, Yarra Valley, an area known for a climate and soil that is conducive to growing fruit and nuts. We concentrate on taste and quality above all else – if it’s not good eating, there’s no point. (more…)

We discovered the farm for sale in 2005 when on an Easter holiday in the Grampians. We’d been looking for a rural property that would suit our family with two young children since returning from working in South Africa for the previous five years. We thought perhaps a bed & breakfast might suit us – but ended up on a 300 acre olive grove instead! (more…)

In 1999 we decided to turn a small (80 acre) farm into a self sustaining enterprise, so had to select an industry that presented the opportunity on a restricted operational area. Milawa Free Range is a compromise between respect for the natural instincts of the chicken, the need for protection from natural predators, the local environmental seasons and conditions, and our own commercial viability. We produce chickens like they used to taste! (more…)

We purchased the farm in 1976, inspired to do something on the land by Louis Bromfield’s book Malabar Farm. I was introduced to blueberry farming at a public meeting in Warragul hosted by the Department of Agriculture where the findings of an overseas research trip into the fruit’s potential in Australia were presented. In 1979 we obtained 600 of the first plants to be released to growers to Australia. (more…)

We have an 80 hectare olive grove that was planted in the ’40s and ’50s. We started farming in the early nineties, a strong contrast to our previous lives in Melbourne working in health (Jane) and the public sector (Neil). We were struck by the beauty of the area and keen to farm biodynamically. (more…)

We’ve always kept a garden at home for ourselves – in fact we moved from Essendon to Keilor in order to have more space for chickens and a larger garden. We started growing things that we missed from Italy when we first came to Australia, but now we like to try growing everything, to see whether it will produce for us. Growing food is natural for us; our families in Italy did it and we can really taste the difference between the food we grow and what you can buy. (more…)