“We have a great deal of love and re­spect for our beau­ti­ful girls.”

Country Style - - OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY -

cres­sida I was orig­i­nally in sales in the wine in­dus­try, as was Michael.that’s where we met.we moved out of Syd­ney be­cause we re­ally wanted a dif­fer­ent life for our lit­tle one-year-old, Hugo, who’s now 11. When we bought our tiny hobby farm at Pic­ton we were re­ally keen to have a go at small-scale farm­ing, so we had chooks, ducks, goats, ev­ery­thing.we had a ball and re­ally learned a lot. It was a use­ful time be­cause it gave us a greater un­der­stand­ing of what we were do­ing, learn­ing about pumps, trac­tors and an­i­mals. So when we found this prop­erty, we were well-equipped to get right into it and scale up. When we moved here in 2008, Michael con­tin­ued to work in the city while I worked on the farm. I milked the sheep and froze the milk so that we could make cheese on the week­ends. Ba­si­cally, it was a hands-on learn­ing process. Not hav­ing any pre­vi­ous farm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has been quite good in some ways.we farm in­ten­sively on a small piece of land and milk pure East Friesians. The breed is like the race­horse of the sheep dairy in­dus­try in that they need to be man­aged care­fully. We feel strongly that you need a fab­u­lous raw prod­uct to be able to make a world-class cheese, so we have a great deal of love and re­spect for our beau­ti­ful girls. The fo­cus is on their health and we do that through the health of the soil and pas­ture, and that’s re­flected in the sweet, creamy milk they pro­duce. It took us about seven years to learn to make cheese. Michael has more science knowl­edge than I do, so he calls the shots with the cheese. I’m more in­volved with the sheep, lambs and pas­ture, so I call the shots with the an­i­mals. Hav­ing said that, it re­quires both of us to pro­duce what we do, and we feed off each other and dis­cuss things in or­der to come up with the right an­swer. Michael has a won­der­ful abil­ity to look at the big pic­ture, the long term, and to see op­por­tu­ni­ties. He never thinks that things are too hard.with farm­ing there are al­ways ups and downs, and things that go wrong.when things do go wrong, he’s al­ways very calm and looks at the prob­lem in a ra­tio­nal way and finds an an­swer. >

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