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FARM YARNS Winter 2012

We would like to acknowledge generous support from the following organisations:

The Collingwood Children’s Farm are proud to acknowledge the Wurundjeri of the Kulin Federation as the traditional owners of the Abbotsford Precinct Heritage Farmlands, the land we respect, care for and farm on behalf of all Victorians. The Farm thanks all Wurundjeri Elders past and present, for their guardianship of these lands.

Farm Patron - Mrs Elizabeth Chernov, Government House

2011-12 Committee of Management Cheryl Cameron (Treas.)

Mikyla Hart

Netta McArthur (Pres.)

Helen Semmler (Sec.)

Lachlan Fitch

Pip Hay

Lily O’Neill

Greg Sparks (V.Pres.)

Jane Ogilvie

Richard Ginsburg

Cr Amanda Stone

Alex Walker (Farm Manager) Farm Yarns is a quarterly publication from the Collingwood Children’s Farm (CCF). The CCF, a not-for-profit, educational small-holding city farm was established in 1979 as a “country experience for city folk”. The Farm is sited on the Abbotsford Precinct Heritage Farmlands, the oldest continually farmed land in Victoria (since 1838). The CCF is guided by a Committee of Management, elected annually. Cover photo - 2011 Winter Solstice Bonfire jumps into life (image by Josh Beale)


Farm Manager

Alex Walker

Managers Report Solstice Bonfire time is almost upon us; the

hosting Rainbow Family Day for the LGBT

cold Autumn air now has just that little bit of

community. From all reports the day was a

extra bite as we delve into Winter’s depths. So

bigger success than the organisers had antici-

if you’re planning to visit the Farm, remember

pated! At the Farm we always extend a warm

to rug up for the weather conditions and don’t

welcome to all families regardless of what size

forget the gumboots. The fire should be burn-

or shape.

ing nice and toasty in the Barn - although you may need to ask the chickens to move aside as

As part of the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine

they quite enjoy warming their feathers!

Festival we were pleased to be the site for their “Fire Master Class” in April. Hosting such a

As per last year, tickets for the Solstice Bonfire

large food-orientated event was a first for us,

are only available on

with a variety of world-class chefs demonstrat-

Event numbers are limited and no tickets will

ing their skills in meat preparation. Feedback

be available on the night. We have listened to

from attendees was very positive and the

people’s feedback from last year concerned

event may be repeated in the future.

about glowsticks impacting upon the enjoyment of the event, so we are trialling a ban on

Congratulations to our Young Farmer’s Pro-

these for this year. So please spread the word,

gram for an amazing result at the Benalla

no glowsticks allowed!

Strong Wool Show. One of our English Leicester ewes took a “Reserve Champion” ribbon,

Donkey Day in May was another big success; a

which for only our third year of showing was a

warm thanks to the Donkey Society for all

pleasing outcome. Taking our sheep to a re-

their help throughout the day and for their

gional animal show provides a great opportu-

good-natured (and patient) donkeys. They are

nity for the kids to experience “real” country

always a big hit and we look forward to next

life and develop confidence in their life skills.

year’s event (we hope the donkeys do too).

Below: Bees sipping sunflower nectar (early Autumn)

The Farm has increasingly become a popular place to host weddings; over the past few months we have seen three lovely couples celebrate their special day and have a few pictures in this edition of “Farm Yarns” for everyone to enjoy. May Family Day also saw us support and celebrate diversity in families and parenting by



And well done to two of our long-term volun-

on the world-stage. The conference will be

teers, Sam and Gary, who were both recently

held in Lübeck, Germany and more details can

recognised for their exemplary commitment to

be found at

the Farm over many year’s of volunteering. As part of its National Volunteer Week celebra-

Sometimes we have to share sad news along

tions, the City of Yarra presented certificates to

with the good, and so we acknowledge the

Sam, Gary and the Farm. This was a positive

passing of well-know Farm volunteer, garden

and enjoyable event for all who attended.

plotter and committee member, Ian Brealey. For many years we saw Ian generously sup-

This edition of “Farm Yarns” sees a focus on

port and champion the Farm alongside his

the arts with contributions from well-known

partner, Coyla (whom the front entry gate is

Melbourne cartoonist, Mandy Ord. Mandy is

dedicated to). Ian initially helped with the

best known for portraying her life (with all its

Young Farmer’s Program, then turned his

diversity) in cartoon as a one-eyed, dark-

skills to wider farm duties and eventually he

haired individual. At the Farm we have come

chose to stand for the Committee of Manage-

to know Mandy through a weekly delivery of

ment. It is a demonstration of his genuine pas-

vegetables and fruit from her generous organic

sion that at his memorial service, Ian requested

greengrocer employer. The animals just love it

donations be made to the Farm instead of

when she arrives!

flowers being sent. Our thoughts are with his sons, Steven and Darren and their families.

The Farm has engaged a professional lantern artist, Annie Edney, to create a series of lan-

Below: One of Annie’s lovely lanterns takes shape

terns and fire-sculptures for this year’s bonfire. Usually based at the Abbotsford Convent, Annie is busy working in Max’s House crafting beautiful, elegant structures that reflect this year’s Bonfire theme “Farm Produce”. You can find more about Annie and her work at http:// We are delighted to share that the Farm has been invited to speak at the European Federation of City Farms (EFCF) annual conference in September. This is both a huge honour and wonderful opportunity for the Farm to learn from other City Farms outside of Australia, as well as sharing knowledge of our unique farm



Image: Josh Beale

Collingwood Children’s Farm 2012 Winter Solstice Bonfire Saturday 24th June Tickets only available at: Gates open 4.00pm  No glowsticks permitted Public transport recommended Firetwirlers  Children’s Lantern Parade  Wandering Minstrel Story Telling  Drummers



Farm News Compost and Worm News There is a lot happening in the compost arena at the moment. As you may have noticed, a big new concrete bay has been built to house the compost piles as they cook. These have been built by the Compost Hub Project, a project that is a partnership of ourselves, City of Yarra and Cultivating Communities, whose aim it is to expand a little on the amount of green waste collected from the local community that we can compost each week.

Below: Brandy looking windswept.

Above: No, it’s not Mr Snuffleupagus - the new compost bay in (hot biological) action

Bridget Bainbridge/ Nick Karavokiros

in regards to our new tractor - complete with a bucket so we can turn the compost whenever we wish, without having to hire machinery. We went to see the Massey Fergusson tractors just this morning, and they seem to be a very rugged, practical kind of tractor with the added bonus of 4WD, (handy if you’re stuck in a bog of smelly compost ). Lanterns for Bonfire This year we have employed an artist to make the lantern installation, the lovely Annie Edney who has her studio at the Convent. Annie is bringing her skills, understanding and experience as well as passion and energy to make this year’s lanterns the best ever! Working out of Max’s House, Annie has quickly organised volunteers into teams to make the lanterns and fire pictures planned for the bonfire. Annie has planned an event for making lanterns with other convent artists and the general public on the June Family Day. Watch this space! Below: The cornucopia slowly takes shape

The bay has had its initial trial, with the first pile of compost being made in it, and it seems to work very well. It is a pleasure to build a compost pile on firm ground, where the bobcat isn’t continually getting bogged, or threatening to get bogged, and knowing that no matter what weather we get in the next month, we will be able to turn the compost! The worm farms are getting a make over too, and they will be relocated shortly in new and improved boxes designed to be easier for children to see whats happening, and on the backs of the harvesters as well. Keep your eye out for their arrival. Additionally, investigations are still underway



Plumbing Dont say the words “broken mains” too loud near some of the staff here, they are developing a tendency to get under the furniture and rock back and forth when they hear them. Over the years we have spent quite a bit of time, money and energy fixing the old crumbling water mains around the Farm. A lot of large holes have been dug, and lot of floods have been endured (and avoided), and we have had lots of good catch-up chats with our lovely plumber, Uncle John. There are many plans afoot on how to fix this ongoing problem, including the nearly completed works pumping water (courtesy Mother Nature’s excellent windmill power) from the tanks at the Workshop to the back paddock drinking troughs. Below: Just don’t say “broken mains” too loudly!

School Work Groups The Sophia Mundi Steiner School from next door have been building a shed down near the ménage. Its quite big as it needs to house a family of goats, and be big enough to stand up in to clean. Additionally the group are planting native plants and putting habitat boxes up in the trees in that area. Heatherwood are building fences within the Federation Pen chicken runs, then planting out the fenced areas so chickens can have regular access to fresh greens. It’s great to see the change in the student’s attitudes from when they start the project (when everything seems a bit alien) to the end once they have ownership of the outcomes, and are understandably proud in what they have achieved. Young Farmers - Sheep Show Showing! Five of the Young Farmers kids went to Benalla for the Strongwool Sheep and Wool Fair, and once again we had a great time. This year we had a team of kids who had never been before and also younger sheep, bred over the last two years. We did very well, winning Reserve Champion English Leicester Ewe, Third in our Fleece Category and then two of our kids winning trophies in the Junior Handling and Junior Judging competions. Well done girls!! Many thanks also to Andrew, my “co-parent” for the trip, and the Harker Family for having us all to stay on their busiest weekend of the year. Young Farmers - Sleepover They’ve been busy, these Young Farmers! The Sleepover has been and gone; we ended up camped in the Stables Paddock under canopies. It was fantastic fun! There was a monster game of Capture the Flag (which has become a bit of a sleepover classic), a lot of food, some



incredible pyjamas, ghost stories and a midnight fox who chewed the corner of Andrew’s swag. Guess you just had to be there.

back of the girls toilets - and I think actually works better than the original ramp. Other Maintenance Stuff Plenty gets done on the Famr and receives very little fanfair (apart from gasps of relief ). Recent works has included: a new tank outside the Guinea Pig Shed (the old one split and emptied overflow down the walls whenever we had heavy rain), the irrigation project for the new Pig Yards has also been completed (meaning there is a tap with pressured water running to each and every pig yard).

Above: Sheep Show ribbons and media coverage Below: Staff member Ainsley shows off her stunning pajamas at the sleepover

This means that each yard can be easily watered in Summer, allowing green feed can be easily grown for the pigs without having to drag long hoses through gates and over fences each day, then coil them up again in case the pigs chew on them (very effectively turning Below: Jackhammer on-site. Can only mean café renovations are steaming (or is that pounding) ahead!

New (and improved) wheelchair access to the toilet block Yes, we are pleased to announce that despite rebuilding a new cafe, if you are in a wheelchair you can still get to a toilet to pee. Quite a relief (on many levels) for a number in our Farm Community. The new ramp is at the



them into soaker hoses). Ahhhhhh! Many thanks to Nick, Kyung, Eddie, Roger, the Steiner School crew, Geoff, Duncan and all the others who helped make this happen.

Since then I have discovered a few more in NSW and their breeder and I are currently working out how to swap a rooster or two to bring in another bloodline.

Poultry sales We have now sold out of poultry for this year. Incubation will start again in late October.

Because these birds are so rare, Nick and I incubated quite a few eggs last summer and ended up with 3 new trios. One of these trios we have kept at the farm, one has gone home with me, and one we have given to the Rare Breeds Trust’s new farm, Hehill Farm, in the Camperdown/Cobden district. This way, the chickens are much better protected from fox attack and disease.

Scotts Grey chickens I (Bridget) was given a trio of Scotts Grey chickens last year. They are quite rare birds; in fact from my hunts around on the internet I thought they were the only ones in Australia!

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Garden Tidings Winter - a time to grow the vitamins we need If we eat seasonal local produce, not only are we reducing our food miles and ecological footprint, nature in her wisdom provides us with the nutrients we need in each season to maintain optimum health.

Toni Phillips the Asian brassicas: Bok Choy, Choy Sum, Mibuna, Mizuna, Pak Choi, Tat Soi, etc. These are tastier (I think) and more versatile than the European brassicas, producing far more food over time and space, because you can continu-

Above: Winter allows fruit-trees to recover and replenish for the next year’s season

Winter is the time that leafy greens grow the easiest, so now you can still plant endive, lettuces (Cos has the highest food value), spinach, silver beet, parsley, rocket, and raddichio. You can also plant seedlings of European brassicas (cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower) but can still grow from seed (or seedling) all

ally harvest them like non-heading lettuce. Make sure Broad Beans, Snow, Snap and Climbing Peas, onions, leeks, garlic, and root vegetables such as potatoes, radish, etc are planted as soon as possible for good harvests. Plants for animals and humans - Yarrow Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a wonderful



plant for the garden, animals and of course humans. In the garden it encourages the good health of all plants nearby, it is a valuable compost activator and the flower heads attract both pollinators and insect pest predators. For animals, Yarrow is particularly useful for those that are caged and handled by lots of visitors with different handling skills. Yarrow is particularly good as a mild sedative (like Evening Primrose oil for people), especially for Guinea Pigs and rabbits. It is also considered good against the scab in sheep and often they will eat it (as a young plant) because it contains magnesium, calcium and phosphate. Below: Work experience student Julie feeding Munchie some Yarrow after busy school holiday program cuddles

Above, below: Winter’s moods on the Farm



Farm Discovery - Your Story We are delighted that well-known Melbourne cartoonist, Mandy Ord, has not only written for us but has included our Berkshire Boar, Typhoon, on the latest edition of her selfpublished comic. We hope this new-found fame won’t go to his head! Mandy’s work has appeared in The Age, Meanjin and The Australian Rationalist magazine amongst many other publications. Working in mostly inks, she is best known for her portraying her own life as a dark-haired, single-eyed protagonist. With so much modern culture focused on the global, it’s refreshing to see Mandy reference recognisable Melbourne icons, including now the Farm! You can find out more about Mandy’s work at and purchase

her comics (including the recent Sensitive Creatures anthology) at all good independent Melbourne bookstores (such as Readings) or comic shops (such as Minotaur).

Who would have thought that photograph− ing pigs at the Collingwood Childrens Farm would become such an important part of my life? And not any old pigs (hello Ty− phoon). I dont really want to admit I have favourites but I do love the old boy. My mobile phone contains mostly pictures of dogs and pigs. Regardless of the odd looks I get, it is a testament to my unwav− ering affection for animals. I started a weekly journey to the farm years ago. My job of driving the tough work truck from the Organic green gro− cers I work at in Surrey Hills, to the farm in Collingwood is a path well worn with love. Not only do I dump stinky bins of compost onto a heap for the pigs, goats, chickens and worms to enjoy, I also get to say hello to my friend the territorial Willy Wag Tail as well as the exuberant geese and pretty peacocks. My human friends Sam, Gary and Bobby lend me a friendly helping hand and provide fantastic gossip on the latest animal antics. These weekly visit to the farm leave me with empty bins, a full heart and more of− ten than not stinky hands (yes thats you goats). Thank you Collingwood Childrens farm! What would I do without you? Mandy ord Left: Mandy’s recent anthology, Sensitive Creatures Page, right: The latest Ord Comic with Typhoon as star!





The Farm & the Environment Caring for the land, caring for nature As farmers of the Abbotsford Precinct Heritage Farmlands (the APHF), one of the things we are most proud of is how our long-term commitment to working with the native, endemic environment has seen this unique farmland rejuvenated under our 33-year care of it. When the Children’s Farm commenced its guardianship of the APHF in 1979, the riverbanks surrounding the Farm’s boundaries were heavily eroded, with little native vegetation dominated by Willow trees (great for making cricket bats, but are considered a pest species in Australian waterways). In the very early days of the Farm, staff and volunteers decided (as responsible farmers), to actively restore the natural environment so that native animals and fauna would return and play their part as the foundation of a healthy ecosystem. Today we continue to actively honour that vision, with native revegetation plantings several times a year. In 1996 the Farm was the site of the first innercity Landcare project in Australia. Many of the large shelter-belts enjoyed today by both our animals and the “locals” date from this time. It’s great to see abundant birdlife such as Rosellas, Cockatoos (both Sulphur-Crested and Yellow-Tailed Black), Grey Shrike-Thrush’s, and Blue Fairy Wrens (to mention a few) delighting in all the yummy foods they find growing amongst our native trees. And we also have a Powerful Owl lurking somewhere!

greater moisture content, the grass grows better, and the animals have yummy greenery to nibble on. Which reduces our food bill! It’s easy to see that that taking a wholistic vision of caring for farmland makes sense. Recently we’ve had the opportunity to take close-up photographs of our native residents. A passer-by handed into us what they thought was an unusual bird; it turned out to be a Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis), which is not considered endangered but its range across the Melbourne Plains is greatly reduced due to ongoing urbanisation and city sprawl. So to find this bird living around the Farm is great and further proof of a healthy environment. Other local residents are of course the Possums. And not just the noisy Brush-Tail (Trichosurus vulpecula) that we all know (and begrudgingly put up with) but the quieter and definitely more endearing Ring-tail (Pseudocheirus peregrinus). Both species have had to adapt to increasing urbanisation and loss of native habitat, sleeping in odd places as well as making nests in trees to rest in (both examples are seen in our pictures). Below: A Stubble Quail visits the Farm Next page: Ring-Tails showing city and natural living skills!

Shelter-belts help livestock by providing direct shelter against the wind (which means they have expend less energy to stay warm and therefore keep better “condition”). They also reduce water evaporation in soil by interrupting the wind at grass-height. So the soil retains





Julia Supported Volunteer Program Smallwood As we begin the Second Term our groups are settling in to their regular tasks with confidence. One teacher commented she feels guilty just sitting watching as her group gets on with their job independently. There are seventeen groups from special schools and adult agencies attending over the three days of the program, involving over a hundred volunteers. Their time at the farm varies from half an hour to up to four hours. Thirteen individual volunteers come each week, from a range of agencies, schools or TAFE programs. All are involved in activities that relate to the welfare of our animals. In Term One we also had three work experience students who attended one day a week for four weeks. Our hard-working volunteers clean chicken and duck pens, clean out animal shelters, check and clean water baths, clean guinea pig hutches, pick up poo, weed gardens and generally help to keep the farm tidy. Some volunteers help with the Farmer’s Market set up and simple construction tasks.

Below: New internal chook fences - the big picture Above: New internal chicken fencing - Chinese Silkies enjoying the small picture!

Heatherwood School works with Nick on Wednesdays and they are building the fences across the Federation Pens to enable planting of green fodder. The fences will keep the chickens out of half the area until the plants are ready to eat! Staff who come with the groups are enthusiastic and encourage their workers to develop skills and a work “ethic”, as well as a pride in their work when the task is completed. The Farm benefits from the volunteer hours the program delivers, and the participants gain valuable experience both in a work situation and through a successful, positve community involvement.



Above: Caring for the chickens is one of the many tasks our supported volunteers enjoying doing on the Farm

Greta’s favourite day Greta, our feisty sow, looks forward to Thursdays. It’s the day that yummy goodies come to the Farm. Mandy’s truck or the white Fare Share van are the signals for Greta to stand up on the fence and noisily make her presence felt. On a good day there is Paw-Paw and watermelon for her and the other pigs, other days more mundane vegetables arrive. Mandy delivers green waste from an organic grocer weekly; she has grown very fond of our pigs, especially Typhoon. Fare Share is a volunteer organisation that collects excess food from retailers and turns it into meals for the needy.

What the pigs, chickens, guinea pigs and worms don’t eat goes into the compost and the sustainability circle is complete.



Farm Discovery - Your Story This lovely article was generously submitted by Sally Ladbrook, a journalist and family pass member who enjoys regular visits to the Farm with her two children. Thanks Sally! Where to charm, educate and exercise small visitors ... We’ve been visiting the Farm for nearly two years now after being introduced to it during a holiday here in 2009 by a friend of a friend. That makes us relative newcomers compared to many families who measure their visits by generations rather than years but we are already devotees.

time they’ve ever been on a horse. “Bumpy” is how one child described it with amazement. Similarly, milking Heather the cow is fascinating for all ages. The sheer size of the cow chewing cud placidly in a headstock never fails to attract kids and even adults can be charmed. A friend agreed to meet us there for the first time since childhood over the Christmas break and, not to be outdone by a group of under 5’s, found herself squeezing udders within minutes of arriving. Not how she’d envisaged her Boxing Day morning but surprisingly enervating she said.

It’s hard to pinpoint a standout feature of the Farm given there are so many things to interest and educate but I’d hazard a guess that the relaxed, oldieworldy atmosphere is what makes visitors keep coming back. That and those cupcakes in the cafe! The setting is certainly a big draw: wandering down the wooden bridge, led by the metal sheep dogs past the allotments, you shed urban surrounds and enter an amphitheatre of greenery. While the nearby Yarra River is mostly hidden by the huge trees which fringe the banks and cliffs, it’s an intrinsic part of the area providing a peaceful haven for animals and visitors and keeping the area lush in all seasons. The guinea pigs are a great resource, particularly now kids can select one by name or fur colour and sit for as long as they like cuddling it. A surprisingly therapeutic experience since it gives children a chance to hold something smaller and more fragile than themselves. My two-year-old daughter asks to visit Munchie for a top-up snuggle about once a month and, I think, really feels she has a pet of her own. The horse-riding on Family Day is also hugely popular as the long line snaking back to the stables proves every month. For many kids, it’s the first

Above: Munchie the guinea pig - a farm favourite

My four-year-old son almost always heads straight for the garden area beyond the duck sheds to check if any of the wild Cape Gooseberry bushes have produced fruit and also to track down some of the farm cats who are adept at keeping kids a hair breadth’s out of reach. Other attractions are those huge grunting pigs, the



goats, the chickens, geese and ducks, the gravel piles lying around the farm (perfect for clambering up, sliding down and playing a messy game of “I’m the king of the castle”), the old peppercorn tree in the picnic area (a great climbing tree), the kitchen garden and orchard, the old greenhouse with its broken pots and detritus among many other things. Recently, we managed to get past all these attractions to the beehives in one of the fields near the rear gate into the convent. The bee run is designed to guide flight away from visitors on the bike path so it’s hard to point them out but, as some of the farm’s smaller residents, they play an important role in the ecosystem of the area and are well worth a visit, particularly because they overlook a glorious meadow. And of course, few can walk past the cafe (currently a coffee cart is on site due to renovations). I can vouch for the sausage rolls which were tummywarming on a recent cold weekday and those colourful cupcakes which stop small visitors in their tracks. Well worth it for the full five minutes of peace you get while they lick the icing off. Sally Ladbrook

Like to submit an article? We would welcome your contribution to Farm Yarns for the Spring edition. It could be a short story, poem or perhaps a favourite photograph you’d be happy to share?

Above: Milking Heather the cow shows children exactly where their milk comes from Above, right: The Nursery Garden’s lovely bay-tree frames the tractor outside the stables

The deadline for articles is Monday 20th August. Please send as a Microsoft Word document to with the header “Editor - Farm Yarns”.



Food Matters Save Rare Milk by Tammi Jonas Ayrshires may soon be gone from Australia. Gone because we aren’t drinking their milk. Soon we may not have the chance to drink actual milk at all, if we follow in the powdery footsteps of our European counterparts. The vast majority of milk consumption in the EU is UHT. It’s more shelf stable and transportable and the supermarkets (there) won the battle to have the most convenient foods possible on their shelves. I hear they’ve been working on packaging that allows them to stack items directly onto the shelves (including UHT milk, which needs no refrigeration until it’s opened) to reduce the need for human labour to unpack crates and boxes first. Eventually perhaps we won’t even have the ubiquitous Friesian-Holsteins [70% of the Australian dairy herd], because surely it will be easier and more consistent to create dairy-free dairy products. Then nobody will have to worry about how much and what variety of grasses the cows ate that affected their productivity and the flavour of the milk. And we won’t have to worry about drying cows off over Winter in preparation for calving again in Spring. Nobody will have to bring the cows in for milking at all.

If consumers keep choosing the most highly processed and altered forms of basic foodstuffs like milk, these facsimiles are what we’ll get in the end. Perhaps we deserve it if we can’t manage to vote with our dollars for the real thing. Tammi Jonas is a new farmer of free-range rare breed Large Black pigs in Central Victoria. She is in the final year of a PhD on the role of food in a cosmopolitan, sustainable society, and Secretary of the Rare Breeds Trust. Tammi blogs at http://tammijonas and

As Heather (the Farm’s current milking cow) is an Ayrshire we thought this was an important story to share. She would too! This abridged article was first published in the April 2012 Rare Breeds Trust’s “Paddocks & Perches”. You can contact the Trust and find out more about its important work protecting genetic diversity at

Coming soon to a farm near you ... We are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the Farm’s new milking cow, a rare breed Dairy Shorthorn. Our plan is for her to give birth on the Farm some time in August. She will give Heather a well-earned break! Dairy Shorthorns are noted for their docile and friendly natures, ease of calving and quality of their milk. Image source:







3 PHOTOS 1 Donkey Day fun 2 Our winning ewe, Clover at the Benalla Strongwool Show 3 Yummy cake to share at the Show (thanks Caitlin!) 4-5 More Winter moods on the Farm 6 Lantern artist Annie with one of her friendly creations





4 1


2 3 4

PHOTOS Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Fire Master Class arrives at the Farm Preparing the dinner tables Stunning place-settings in the twilight Open-air roasted spit lamb by the famous Ben and Elvis of Porteño Restaurant, Sydney



Is closed for renovations We look forward to welcoming everyone to the new-look Farm Cafe !

A coffee cart is operating on-site while we are closed 

DONATION TO THE COLLINGWOOD CHILDREN’S FARM Purchase a hay-bale for the animals!

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Farm welcomes donations to meet our running costs. And our animals eat a lot! Please support the Farm by directly purchasing food for the animals (donations over $2 are tax deductable*).

Yes, I would like to support the Farm by purchasing: Qty


x Lucerne Hay Bale


Name: Address:

(@$14 p/bale)

P/Code:  Please charge my Visa or Mastercard

or x Lucerne Hay Chaff $ (@$21 p/bag)


Card No.:  Cheque enclosed

 I would like a tax receipt please (note: cheques should be made payable to Collingwood Children’s Farm, PO Box 80, Abbotsford, 3067) * - a receipt is required by the Australian Tax Office for donation claims





Guinea Pigs on the Move!

Julia Smallwood

For the past six weeks on a Friday afternoon a group of our guinea pigs have gone to visit the residents of the Good Shepherd Nursing Home. Our connection with the Good Shepherd Sisters is a deep one, given they farmed the Abbotsford Precinct Heritage Farmlands (the farmland that we care for today) for over 112 years. So once a week, Deb (a farm volunteer who lives at the home), Julia and Jenny venture down St Helier’s Street with a cage full of furry therapists. We do get some odd looks from passers-by! There is some initial scientific and stronger anecdotal evidence confirming the health benefits for residents in care (and their carers as well) to spend time with animals. Some noted

Above: One of the residents enjoying a cuddle with Cinnamon the furry therapist (we mean guinea pig)

benefits are lower blood pressure, improved memory and an increased feeling of wellbeing. Often when an elderly person enters residential accommodation they must sadly give up their much-loved pets. Many nursing homes now actively seek to rebuild this connection and have chosen to have a resident cat or dog that provides company and a positive sense of caring for something outside of yourself. Over the weeks the number of residents waiting for us in the lounge has grown. They look forward to the visits and we can see what a calming effect stroking a guinea pig has, not to mention their pleasure in having a chat with the human visitors as well. The staff at the Home are very supportive … and often sneak in for a cuddle themselves!


Collingwood Children’s Farm PO Box 80 Abbotsford 3067


Farm phone: 9417 5806 Email: Website:

Family Fun Days First Sunday of the month (no Family Fun Day in January)

Also enjoy hay rides and pony rides (when available), and other farm activities all for price of standard entry.

Farmer’s Market

Where to find us St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Melways Ref 44 G5

The the concept of aSaturday supported held second volunteer program is unique to ofour every month for beautifarm. Originally it was ful fresh, produce. known asquality the Disability Program, but we prefer to focus on abilities rather than the lack of them … just like the renamed RDA riding program! You may ask why the program exists and what are the benefits of it to the participants and the farm.

Open every day of the year Entry: $16 Family $8 Adult $4 Child

In the case of special school students, in class groups A VFMA both accredited market

Farm Yarns Winter 2012  

Here's the newsletter from the Collingwood Children's Farm.

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