Those who have been reading along for a while now will know that Daylesford Organics is our family farm and business. It is a certified organic mixed farm. Our passion is diversity and so we grow so many different things, the more the better-forty varieties of apples, hazelnuts, plums, raspberries, hundreds of different colours and flavours of vegetables and 1,500 chookies for eggs.
We moved to our farm 10 years and one week before we drove down the driveway towing our caravan a few months ago.
In the past ten years, while we were growing our family, we also built up a really great business. We have won some amazing national awards and supplied some of the best cafes and restaurants in Australia. Of course we have set up and sold at hundreds of farmer's markets too. We came in as they were just starting up in Victoria and we really believe that a lot of our business's success has been because of them.
We have had amazing and plentiful crops over the past years but we've also had disaster seasons. Killer droughts, humidity, a bushfire, locusts, hail, and in the last season we had three floods.
To be honest, we felt a bit burnt out. We'd lost the enthusiasm. Where once a stroll through the rows in the orchards and paddocks filled us with excitement and inspiration, this last season made us feel sad, disappointed, tired.
We believe strongly in Daylesford Organics. Good clean food grown with integrity and responsibility to Mother Nature is what we strive for. But something needs to change.
Perhaps we have to grow something new? Perhaps we have to shift our thinking and grow in a new way? Perhaps we have to expand or contract? Perhaps we have to find a new focus? A new method? A new model? A new concept?
Who knows? I do know though that we had to get distance from it to see it afresh and in perspective. I also know that it took about two months and 10,000 kms distance until we were ready to start thinking and talking about it. I also know that there will be a lot of talking about it for the next four months and 10,000 kms.
I am starting to get excited about the possibilities though.
So while it may look like we are spending our days strolling along some of the world's most magnificent beaches really we are in a very important - and long - business meeting.
Oh and did you know that after Maggie Beer had spent 10 years running a restaurant at her Pheasant Farms she closed it down for a year to reassess her future direction? Looks like we might be in good company with our six months of reflection.