An award winning month
May 2014 was a good month for us!
Firstly we won the highest scoring semi-hard cheese award with “Heytesbury Harvest Plain”, our Havarti cheese, at the Australian Dairy Industry Awards in Melbourne. This is the third major award we have one in four years, with different cheeses.
Then at the Great South West Dairy Awards held in Warrnambool we were fortunate to receive the inaugural “Innovative Farm Performance Recognition” award from The Premier, the Right Honourable Denis Napthine, which was quite humbling to be honest.
And we also feature in Dairy Australia’s “Lengendairy” campaign, which aims to educate people about the dairy industry.
New Geelong District Distributor
We have taken on a new distributor, who covers the Geelong area and ventures into Melbourne and Ballarat areas as well. His name is Des Ryan and trades as Great Ocean Road Distributors. He’s added a number of outlets to our list in the Geelong & Werribee areas. Email address for those who may wish to contact him is dezeee[at]bigpond[dot]net[dot]au.
Our cows enjoying a lovely shaded paddock on a very hot day. It saves their energy by staying cool – temperatures can up to 10 degrees less.
Autumn calving has commenced – good for the kids – and will go through until the end of April.
Building expansion complete
A lot has happened over the past year with the doubling of the size of our factory, which was completed just prior to Christmas 2013.
We now have the capacity to generate a lot more cheese with the introduction of a High Temperature Short Time Pasteuriser, which replaces the old Batch Pasteuriser. We can now pasteurise up to 3000 litres per day, when the need arises, and make cheese at any time as we now have a separate room to work in.
The shop area has also been doubled and will allow large groups to have their own space in which to enjoy our cheese. Also, with extra toilets, we hope to encourage some of the bus lines that venture to the Twelve Apostles to be able to add some extra value for their clientele.
On the farming side it has been a very good year with an excellent pasture growth, especially over the summer period.
We are preparing to calve cows in mid February to start the cycle all over again!
Bolte's Bonanza wins big
Our blue vein cheese – Bolte’s Bonanza – has won state & national highest-scoring awards at the Dairy Industry Association of Australia awards this year.
We competed against big name brands, such as King Island & Jindi, so it’s fantastic to get that kind of recognition.
A big apology to all our devoted clients and visitors as we are running down on stocks after being unable to manufacture for the past two months – due to the reconstruction work.
We are nearly there now as far as making again and we will be back ASAP with a bigger shop area, and we’ll be spreading our wings.
The farm like everywhere else has struggled over the summer, but now after four inches of rain things will turn around quickly, with better prices on the horizon for all us dairy farmers.
We look forward to catching up with our wholesalers in June.
Expansion at Apostle Whey
Construction is under way for our expansion plans, which will make the shop area twice as big with extra toilets to accommodate large groups.
Hopefully these extensions will be completed and production will resume in about mid April, after a 5 week break due to the transition stage. We hope our customers will bear with us during this time as our products may become short in supply.
Calving has commenced for the autumn, so visitors can once again get up close and personal when it comes to petting the newborns.
Exciting Spring News
Our Miniature Donkeys, are now only just 12 months of age. The woolier of the two is Giuseppe, who is a year old in October, and Joofa turned one on the 6th of September.
At present we have no calves for visitors to view as we just finished calving for this winter but I’m sure everyone will be more than happy to view our new miniature residents! The donkeys will grow to no more than three feet high and are the most docile of any animals I’ve known. Visitors are more than welcome to check them out and may even get to pat them should they come up to the gate.
The season has been kind to us and the cows are milking well at present, not much has changed of late and like many other farmers we are watching our cash flow carefully! As we come into spring we are looking at a good harvest of silage to feed our milkers come summer.
The cheese operation is going along smoothly as we brace ourselves for the coming school holidays and beyond, as our season begins in earnest.
Due to popular demand, we have been experimenting with a new cheese – a cheddar. It was made in April and because of its long maturing time won’t be ready until at least April next year. We can’t wait!
And finally, to accommodate for more visitors we are about to expand our shop and factory to twice the size.
Grampians Grape Escape Food and Wine Festival
We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Grampians Grape Escape Food and Wine Festival at Halls Gap in the spectacular Grampians on the weekend of May 5th and 6th.
We’re open 10am – 5pm
7 days a week
(closed Christmas day)