“Everybody should have one big punt in life, whether it comes off or not.”
michael I didn’t have an agricultural background, but soon after finishing university in Sydney and getting into the workplace, I met Cressida and we slowly came to the view that we wanted to pursue agriculture. Not just for its own sake, but also because we wanted to get out of the city and I wanted to get out of corporate life. To buy the farm was a punt, but I’m of the opinion that everybody should have one big punt in life, whether it comes off or not. I don’t think you should die wondering. We released out first cheese in 2011, the Bloomy White. We really wanted to create a cheese that looked amazing and showed off the quality of the sheep milk.we only make a few cheeses and yoghurt, all in the European style. The carrying capacity of the property is about 150 sheep. Cressida and I want to work with what we’ve got and are comfortable with a micro-dairy and putting our energy into that, rather than trying to be overly entrepreneurial. We make a really good team and we’re both committed to keeping everything lean and efficient.we try and keep things pretty simple — we milk only once a day, and we leave the lambs with their mothers at night so that they can suckle, which means we might not get as much milk as otherwise. It’s just the two of us and we do all the work between us.we wear that as a badge of honour. Cressida’s knowledge of the animals is something I just don’t have. I would need a spreadsheet for the things that Cress knows about those sheep. She recognises each one — from front or behind! — and knows how they’re related. I think it’s important we each take our own areas of specialisation, rather than be jacks-of-all trade. We’re lucky in that Cressida grew up in the Southern Highlands and her parents still live here, so we had family connections when we arrived. Having children at school also gives you a pipeline into the community. And then there’s the collaboration with local chefs, such as James Viles at Biota in Bowral, and John Evans at South On Albany in Berry. They’re relationships that we cherish because these chefs help us tell our story.
FROM LEFT Cressida and Darcy; sheep graze beneath a brown barrel eucalypt, with rainforest sassafras and lilly pilly in the background.