About

The orchard paddock with chestnut tree in the foreground, December 2008

The orchard paddock with chestnut tree in the foreground, December 2008

This site is a collection of ramblings about a small farm  set on a steep block in West Gippsland, about two hours east of Melbourne. Temperatures here are usually around 5 degrees cooler than in Melbourne, and it’s much wetter too – our best guestimate is that the annual average rainfall is about 1200 mm – that’s double what Melbourne gets.

Parts of the block were once a pine forest, and since buying the property in 2004,  we’ve reclaimed about 2 hectares of paddocks from blackberry infestation and planted around 80 chestnut trees, and a range of fruit trees including quince, green gage, apple, pear, perry (for pear cider), plum, apricot, mulberry, peach, nectarine, pomegranate, and cherry. We’re also trying our luck with almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and kiwifruit. And we’ve had some success with cool climate soft fruits, especially jostaberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries. We’re also doing our best to maintain a largish veggie garden, where artichokes, tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes vie for space with increasingly rampant parley, mint, rosemary and oregano, not to mention rampant deer, wallabies, wombats, lyre birds and bandicoots.

We’re also keen to get to know more about how blogs like these can be useful for farming of any kind. If you are interested in being part of this conversation, please leave a comment below.

3 responses to “About

  1. Hi,

    I have been looking at your site after stumbling across it whilst looking for camping areas,legal or otherwise.
    I am planning to ride my bicycle from Lilydale to Maffra where my mum lives, for christmas. I would love any info you could pass on in regards to Icy Creek and the area in general. Several times now we have driven back from Maffra and detoured from Trafalgar? upto yarra Junction and thought how beautiful and peaceful it looks. It seems kind of forgotten when you think about how lovely it seems but if that’s the case then perhaps it’s a good thing. Your site is of interest too as we are in Fitzroy Nth and have a vegie patch but not a serious one. We have some tomatoes at the moment from an elderly Croatian woman which when ready are huge almost grapefruit sized pinkish red types that are sweet and delicious. Also some chilis from a friends Macedoian inlaws which are great on the barby and the small ones are good for a tomato basil garlic etc salad.

    Cheers, Andrew

  2. Hey Andrew, thanks for getting in touch – the best camping ground in our area is at Torongo Falls, which is just to the east of Noojee. There’s details of this great spot and other West Gippsland camping places here at

    http://www.visitvictoria.com/displayobject.cfm/objectid.1E0E3C11-8044-4336-9014AF6169D2143A/

    As for cycling, I think you can take the Warburton trail down to Yarra Junction, and then follow the road that goes from Yarra Junction to Noojee via Powelltown (with a very steep ascent after Powelltown).

    In Noojee there’s a great place called The Outpost retreat which includes a bar called the Toolshed which makes a great stopover.

    To get towards Maffra from there, there’s an energetic bike ride of about 10k towards Mount Baw Baw, after which you turn right at the Willow Grove Road (just before Icy Creek) which will take you all the way to Moe.

    Please let me know when you’re taking this trip, and if I can be of any further assistance.

    Lawrie

  3. Hi Lawrie,

    It looks like you are doing some really amazing things! My husband Colin and I would love to come for a visit and trade some knowledge!

    Hope to talk soon,

    Sally Ruljancich

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