Of course this time of year engenders reflection, and we've hardly stopped to get this post written, carrying on with the year's theme. It's been a phenomenal year for us, with a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and yet more lifestyle changes - we welcomed Hamish into the world in early August, and started milking the Toggenburg goats in December.
The dairy design, project management, build and fit-out has been an all-consuming mission this year, putting ourselves under pressure to complete as soon as possible to allow us to milk the ladies after kidding. While it took a little longer than we expected, as is inevitable in such mammoth projects, we were able to get our dairy license and cups on in December, with the milk flowing since. We have been keeping a small amount of our milk and been making fresh cheese for personal consumption, and the reviews from friends and family have been great! Which of course makes us happy, but also relieved.
The "Direct from the Farm" meat sales have been going from strength to strength. In September, This Girl visited the farm to see where her meat comes from, and the post on her blog site Living Loving Hobart announced that "goat is the new black". Apparently Bream Creek and our Hobart customers agree!
We have also been selling our beef that is pasture fed and chemical free, both as individual cuts through the market and as sides of beef. Early in the year we performed a very public experiment: comparing the supermarket meat (priced the same or more than our beef) to our equivalent cut. We had a chef cook the products exactly the same way, in front of the audience, and a blind taste test was then carried out by the audience. The results were conclusive - the meat was vastly preferred in taste and texture, and less expensive.
We certainly couldn't have had the success that we've experienced this year without the help of our wonderful families and also our friends and volunteers. A big 'Thank you' to our community, and the businesses within our community that support us - The Dunalley Waterfront Cafe, Vines & Designs (at the Copping museum), Andrew at Sorell Fine Meats, and, of course, the Bream Creek Farmers Market.
The biggest "Thank You" goes to the customers who continue to buy our meat. We are just so pleased that you enjoy our produce, and we hope that you continue to in 2015.
We're not quite sure what the next 12 months are going to bring, but hope that we will be able to consolidate on our progress this year, erect of few more fences, and work on the cheese factory construction.