“Every­body should have one big punt in life, whether it comes off or not.”

Country Style - - OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY -

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.

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