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 out 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 is 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 of 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 have 2 new adorable pets in residence – Joofa and Giuseppe. They are miniature donkey foals, who are just 6 and 7 months old. At present they are still getting to know us and their new surrounds, but they can be viewed by visitors.
Looking forward to a good spring
We are back into full swing as far as calving goes, and like a lot of others enduring another wet winter but all should auger well for a good Spring. We are looking forward to some interesting adventures in the next few months and will keep everyone posted as to the outcomes.
Winners at the DIAA Awards
Two of our cheeses have just won medals at the DIAA Product Awards.
Southern Briez won a gold medal in the Brie section and then went on to win Champion Cheese of the competition. Our Garlic Havarti style semi-hard cheese won a silver medal.
We got through a very wet winter and spring by managing to the conditions – the making of silage was delayed to protect paddocks from too much pugging damage from cows hooves. The quality was down but there was plenty of it and with the good summer rains we are only now starting to feed it to our autumn calving cows, normally we would have been using it from mid December, so it has been a good money saver.
The autumn calvers are in very good condition and milking well. With international milk prices on the way up things are looking reasonable for the coming season.
Now is the time (through to about the end of April) for those young families wanting to see calves or even to pet one or two!
On the cheesemaking side, our long time head cheesemaker Melanie Pollock has resigned to take up a new career as a chocolatier – having bought out GORGE Chocolates. Melanie has been an integral part of our operation from the start and we would not be as advanced as we are without her input and great knowledge. We wish Melanie all the very best in her new career, knowing that with her talents she will be hugely successful.
I will be a full time cheesemaker now and, together with Marie Thomas our other cheesemaker, will devote all our energy into it and we look forward to the challenges ahead.
The farm is running very smoothly under Luke’s management and we look forward to what could be, weather wise, another very challenging year.
We’re open 10am – 5pm
7 days a week
(closed Christmas day)