(From Slice of Wednesday, our newsletter, Wed 17 Jan 2024)
Hi! It’s a bit rude to publish an infrequent newsletter, write a bit of a woe-is-me-everything-is-broken edition and then go radio silent. It’s the same as a kid calling from camp when they’re tired and homesick for five minutes before they’re totally fine again and you’re left looking at the phone with a static sense of doom. So, to begin, when you’re going downhill things speed up, right? We skidded right out of 2023 with a few swear words, I won’t lie. On Christmas Eve our primary coolroom broke down. Notwithstanding competent and immediate response from our coolroom guys, it was busted until they came back to work on the 27th December. Bit tricky. On Christmas Day (we were hosting and feeding extended family for days) the house oven blew up. Like, I literally watched the element burst into flames and fail. I switched over to the commercial kitchen to do all the prep and then burnt the traditional Christmas-morning cinnamon scrolls. To a crisp. I was still pretty calm at this point because you REALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP, until one beloved sister visiting from Hong Kong who was by this time shadowing me, put out both arms as I almost slipped on oil on the kitchen floor and said WATCH YOUR STEP PLEASE! and from that point, I did. I didn’t worry about the scrolls. I made the lunch that day and the next and next for all my beloved people, in the commercial kitchen. My brother in law(s) and sisters washed up, Adam ran dishes and poured wine, and the busy kitchen was a happy place, because at moments like these no one remembers what they ate, they probably don’t remember what gifts they got, but everyone remembers the vibe. And ours was fun.
In this vein, 2024 is a year of watching our step. Instead of flogging ourselves we are simplifying and specialising. We’re going to build up our beloved cooking school. If you’re already booked in, we can’t wait to see you. If you’re thinking of booking in, don’t hang around, we’re pretty full up to May! There’s already some fun new classes in the works, and new classes listing next week.
We’ve already started the upscale of our beloved water kefir. If you’re local or have visited in the last few months you may have noticed new labels and new flavours. We’re working with distributors to get our kefir to you whereever you are in Australia, which is so exciting and something we’ve been dreaming of for years.
We’re going to have a break from dairying and cheesemaking.
I know, it’s a big call.
We’re also ceasing all the other products that we make. Like I said – simplifying. This year we’ll be making water kefir and hosting classes, and having a break from all the other things that have kept us running running running these last few years. This means we won’t be doing farm tours, we won’t be at the farmers markets after February, and we’re dispersing our beloved herd of goats (apart from a few favourites) so if you’re in the market for a milker, let me know.
Some of you have been with us from the beginning and have watched us morph from biscuit business to cooking school to egg producers, meat chicken farmers, free range pork producers, market gardeners, long table lunch hosts, flower farmers, beekeepers, coffee and olive growers, goat herds and cheesemakers. It’s pretty fast paced and doesn’t leave any room for rest, and so this year we are managing the vibe, resting, and having some fun.
Thanks for staying with us.
We hope you like water kefir.
Lots of love,
Fi & Ad