Nothing backward about these producers

The only thing backward about the winners of the delicious. Produce Awards is the video that highlights their produce as it travels from the plate, back to the land, or sea, or dairy, or …

You can take a look here at the goats ‘backing up’ as well as some great overhead shots of our farm in all it’s late winter, green, glory. A very nice perspective!

This year delicious. filmed promotional footage in Victoria, including on our farm, highlighting the Victorian winners from the awards ceremony that was held on August 7 in Melbourne.

The Awards give Australia’s smaller producers an opportunity to get their product in front of influential people and be showcased to the public, says Lucy Allon, delicious. Produce Awards Project Manager, based in Sydney.

“Smaller producers may not have the time, budget or skills to do their own marketing and the Awards help them to tell their story. I was first involved in running the Awards in 2010 when there were just a few hundred nominations. Nominations soon grew to 3000 plus, at which point the nomination process changed to be chef driven,” says Lucy.

“The Awards have evolved to showcase products that chefs are using on their menus and importantly to tell the story, the hard work and the quality behind that produce. We couldn’t have successful chefs and an exceptional industry without the producers.”

This year marks the 12th year of the Produce Awards and Holy Goat have gained accolades in some form every year.

“Holy Goat have shown they have an undying commitment to the best faming practices, year in, year out. Carla and Ann-Marie focus so much on what happens on the farm and embrace what the farm produces. This translates to amazing quality on the plate.” Lucy says.

“It takes time, focus, season, hard work and passion to produce an award winning product and this is why Holy Goat have featured every year.”

This past Award was a Gold Medal for our newest cheese, Nectar Cow/Goat. Nectar is a brine washed, semi-hard cheese made from 75% cow and 25% goats’ milk. We think this unique cheese brings the best of both breeds – and herds – to the table. Our goats and the fifth generation Mannes family dairy shorthorn cows make a perfect match, or at least cheese. The rich cow’s milk imparts a soft texture, whilst the goat’s milk adds nutty complex flavours.

We started making Nectar to offer a wider variety of cheeses over the winter months when the volume of goat milk is lower.

Link to our earlier blog about making Nectar here.

The Mannes have been certified organic with NASAA since 1993. In 1854, their great great grandfather, Franz Mannes, aged 23 (on the advice of Bendigo’s first Catholic priest) set up a farm, rather than try his luck on the goldfields. The Mannes have been selling milk to Bendigo since the 1920’s. We have an important connection with the brothers, especially Bernie who has been a great mentor. Farming organically for 24 years, he has helped us source feed and provided support in times of drought.

The family are pleased and proud we make this beautiful cheese from their milk. When he found out about winning the Gold Medal for Nectar, Bernie Mannes said “well, you’re the alchemists, we just supply the milk”.

But making exceptional cheese requires exceptional milk and the Mannes provide it. Every Monday we drive the 20 minutes to Strathfieldsaye, on Bendigo’s outskirts, in time for evening milking. We collect their milk for a Nectar make on Tuesday morning. Four months later, there’s nectar for your plate.

But back to the Awards.

Besides the accolades, we really value the opportunities that being a part of Produce Awards like delicious. give to our farm. We get to meet other high achieving, passionate and engaged producers from across the agriculture sectors. There’s a lot we can learn from other industries, beyond dairying. It’s also excellent feedback on the taste and quality of our product, because it is the chefs using our produce that are nominating us.

Awards remind us to reflect and acknowledge the results of our farm’s continued progression – not always evident when you are working away in the freezing cold dawn of a central Victorian winter.

Here’s the broader promotional video.

But it’s worth watching Paul Righetti reverse feeding the chooks and Lance Whiffen back landing the mussels, just to see how really skilful our local producers are!