Fiona Buchanan - ADSUM FARMHOUSE
Edward and I met in our 30s and realised pretty quickly we wanted the same things in life. We were both living and working in Melbourne with the intent of living on the land. Edward had been working in organics for ten years for Spiral Foods, and I worked in event management.
We decided to make our intent a reality when our eldest daughter Sierra was two and a half and I was pregnant with our second child, Mila.
We had always loved the Daylesford region so it just felt natural to move into the shire. We rented for a year, searching out the area not exactly sure what we were looking for. Then we found Adsum Farmhouse and our vision for a small-scale market garden began.
We started with a blank canvas which meant it took us two years to get the land ready for planting, and have now done two years of harvesting. There are constant challenges with the weather, bugs and animals! And we have had to jump many hurdles and learn to adapt.
Our customers receive a weekly email about produce, which we will pick and pack to order. We also supply many restaurants in the shire, including Horvats, Blue Bean, Passing Clouds Winery, Red Beard Bakery, The Lake House, The Surly Goat and The Glenlyon General Store. The region is very supportive of local produce and we are very grateful for that.
We are not certified organic, however we follow organic farming practices and our motto is ‘grow local, buy local, eat local.’
We would not have made it so far as quickly as we have without www.helpx.net a site which allows people to exchange work for food and board. We have found this to be a very enriching experience. We usually have people stay for ten days at a time, and so far they have enjoyed the farm and the region.
We are looking at ways to extend the life of the farm, as harvest only lasts for six months of the year, so pickling and preserving will become another part of the business. We are in the process of having our home kitchen registered commercially.
We rent our spare room out through Airbnb and are about to launch more private, self-contained accommodation on the farm.
One of the highlights so far was hosting our own wedding. Our menu was designed around available produce so it was a real farm-to-plate experience. It would be wonderful to have more events here in the future.
For anyone else wanting to make the tree change; don't give it a second thought!