Hello again from us: updates and upcoming surprises

Hello! You haven’t heard from us in quite a while, but rest assured, there’s been a lot happening behind the scenes at our end. 

While our blog and socials may have taken a back seat lately, our hands and hearts have been fully engaged on the farm and with some exciting projects. We’re eager to update you with all our progress.

All five of our HOFC enterprises (Sellar Farmhouse Dairy, Murnong Mummas, The Orchard Keepers, Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery, and Grow Great Fruit) have been busy over summer. 

Tessa’s herd at Sellar Dairy has continued to grow, and the Murnong Mummas have taken a new direction away from catering and into education.

The Orchard Keepers have had a boomer season. They trialed two new programs this year; a PYO-CSA, and an innovative volunteer exchange program that attracted more than 30 regular volunteers to the farm. 

Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery has just launched this year’s fruit tree sales and has expanded its trademark range of heritage multigraft trees. And finally, Grow Great Fruit continues to spread the ripples of organic fruit growing around Australia. 

Now that we’ve reconnected we’re planning to stay in touch, so you’ll hear from each enterprise in more detail over the coming weeks, along with updates on our current projects. 

Apart from lots of activity within each enterprise, we’ve also been working on something big together.

We were lucky enough to get a World Wildlife Fund ‘Innovate to Regenerate’ grant that has funded us to evaluate what we’ve done so far and look at where we’re going next. The team here at the coop has been spending a lot of time over the last 18 months working on ‘big picture’ things like landsharing models, whole farm planning and small farm viability. We’ll share a bit more detail about that project soon.  

It’s meaty stuff, but also very exciting. In particular, we’ve enjoyed connecting with and learning from the Djaara mob at a most excellent on-farm cultural awareness workshop recently.

As the current beneficiaries of the stolen and unceded land of the Dja Dja Wurrung where we live and farm, we value their leadership and generosity in teaching us how to care for this land.

HOFC and local community members at our cultural awareness workshop with Djaara & Dumawul

So, what are we going to do next, we hear you ask?

Well, we’re not quite ready to tell you everything, but we’re planning an exciting online “relaunch” event on Thursday June 6th 7-8pm that will include the premiere of a short film showcasing our journey (funded by our WWF grant) and our future plans. We’ll also be hosting a more focused follow-up event for potential new HOFC members on Tuesday June 11th 7-8pm. We’re still ironing out the crinkles but feel free to register if your interest is already sparked. More info coming on that very soon. 

In the meantime, we’re also about to launch our HOFC instagram where we’ll be adding updates in the next couple of months. Feel free to follow us over there if that’s your thing.

Thanks for being here, and for your continued interest in our journey. There’s plenty more to come, and we look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks!

Cheers, Katie, Hugh, Tess, Ira and the rest of the Co-op crew.