We raise dairy goats and tend the pasture our herd grazes on. We have a cheeseroom on site where all the Holy Goat cheeses are made.
|Farm||Holy Goat/ Sutton Grange Organic Farm|
|Owners||Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda|
|Telephone||03 5474 8289|
|Produce||Various styles of chèvre made from certified organic goat milk January – December|
|Certification||VFMA accredited; Level A NASAA|
|Awards||Champion Cheese and President’s Medal, Royal Agricultural Show NSW 2010; delicious Produce Awards Hall of Fame 2011; Producer of the Year, Vogue Produce Awards 2009|
|Other markets||Veg Out (St Kilda); Gasworks; Collingwood Childrens’ Farm; Bendigo Community; Fairfield|
When we met, we realised we shared a desire to farm. In 1993 we travelled around Europe by bicycle working on various farms in exchange for food and board, and gradually formed plans for a property of our own. We continued to gather knowledge, particularly about organic farming and care of goat herds in a similar way for a further three years on our return to Australia, while considering if we could indeed undertake a farming enterprise of our own.
Respect and care for our goats and the natural environment underline our approach to farming. Wellbeing of the goat herd and integrated holistic farm management take priority, ensuring the animals and their pastures are maintained at a level of optimum health. The cheese is a by-product and it’s only as good as the animals.
The farm (and onsite cheesery) is east of Castlemaine on 200 acres of rolling granite plains. The goatherd has free range access to a rich variety of native grasses, herbs and shrubs; plenty of space allows for rotational use of the land; wet winters and hot dry summers prevent a worm burden in the goats; lots of understorey, tall standing grasses and remnant bush provide habitat for the kangaroo, bird and small creature populations that also belong here; and the beauty of the land sustains us.
Farmers’ markets are a core part of our business. They provide an opportunity for us to get off the farm and engage with those who are like-minded – we often meet incredibly talented people at the markets. They help make the business viable and we look forward to having direct contact with the people who eat our cheese (not just those who sell it) and their direct feedback, especially for new products.