Home-Away-From-Home – Swan Bay Farm …
For the first time, we recently opened our farm gates and welcomed the public to our home-away-from-home, Swan Bay Farm. As a result of a recent introduction to ‘The Slow School of Business’, we invited Carolyn Tate, the founder of Slow School to come invite her team and colleagues down to Swan Bay Farm.
The Slow School is an unconventional business school, dedicated to building purpose-driven and prosperous businesses that make the world a better place. It seemed like the perfect collaboration – and it was.
The planning was extensive on our part – a good chance to give Swan Bay Farm a bit of a makeover. As a result of many hours digging, building, mulching, designing, creating and planting, we now have an incredible space that will see more food grow than ever (and grow organically), as well as new additions to the farm, such as pigs and meat chickens.
We decided to invite our visitors first to Scarvelli Café, our paddock to plate café situated in Balwyn, Melbourne to experience the ‘plate’ of our offerings. The weather was perfect, with a hint of invigorating crisp in the Autumn air. The coffee was perfect, the food just right.
We then headed down the highway, through Geelong towards the Bellarine Peninsula to our sleepy hollow known as ‘Swan Bay’. One of my favourite moments when we head down to the farm is to arrive at our front gate to a magnificent native Sugar Gum driveway. We planted these 250+ gums when I was 6 months pregnant with my first son. As he grows, so do these trees.
As soon as I see the gate, the trees, the animals, my mind checks out, the muscles relax and my heart skips a small beat.
Our visitors enjoyed every minute of their time at Swan Bay Farm. We brought food, shared stories and I had an audience, as willing to listen to my message, as I was to share it. We talked about the simple things – real food, growing food and how simple it actually is. We also shared some of our methods and systems to improve our sustainability and ensure that we run the farm as efficiently and effectively as possible.
To see the outcome of this day and the impact it had on so many pleasantly surprised me. I know my message is right – I know it’s important. It’s crucial for me to ensure it is clear, that it is shared and that others want to make change, as a result of seeing our efforts, and to find inspiration to grow just something.