A HOP, SKIP & A JUMP
It just happened that my trip to the mid-north coast coincided with the school holidays, and it was an absolute pleasure to take my two boys, Oliver (11) & Sebastien (9) along with me for a quick overnight trip that took us to Port Macquarie, Black Creek, Wauchope & back again.
The mid-north coast
One of our very talented bakers that use our butter in their pastries hails from Port Macquarie. The Hasting Valley Dairy in Wauchope is where we buy around 3,000L of cream from weekly, and one of the farms that supply the co-op milk is the Baker Farm in Black Creek.
As usual I was accompanied by my good mate and our social media guru Rob Locke from @foodwinedine for this trip. And a special treat to both of us having my two boys tag along
Photos for intro:
QantasLink Sydney to Port Macquarie (and back)
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Come on, this dairy factory will be fun…
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Rail bridge across the Hastings River in Wauchope
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The delights of Urban Grain Bakery, Port Macquarie
We arrived in Port Macquarie on the afternoon QantasLink flight, and met with Tim and Catherine, the owners of Urban Grain Bakery, for dinner at the historic Whalebone Wharf Restaurant in Port Macquarie. Fish was on the menu, beautiful setting right on the Hastings River, and an awesome atmosphere.
The next morning we headed to the bakery bright and early to try an array of Tim & Catherine’s baked creations and their award winning sourdough bread…with at least three cups of coffee, each. All of it mind blowing!
Shop 17 Peachtree Walk Arcade, Hay St, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
0423 545 258
Photos for Urban Grain section
Tim Dunn with Pepe Saya, and a huge loaf of bread he made for me
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Tim & Catherine, owners of Urban Grain Bakery
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Croissants made with Pepe Saya butter
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Selection of danishes made with Pepe Saya butter
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A beautiful display
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These guys work so hard to deliver the highest quality they can
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The Baker Farm, Black Creek
The Baker Farm is in Black Creek near Kendall, a 40min drive directly south from Wauchope NSW. We had organised to visit the Baker Farm as they are the biggest supplier of milk to the Hastings Valley Dairy.
They run a mixed herd of friesians, every 5th cow being a jersey, and some friesian x jerseys. The farm is set on a hillside, with Black Creek running through the 400 acres, and 270 milkers (cows) roaming their lush green grass.
It is run by brothers Colin & Bob, and Sandra, Bob’s wife. One thing that struck me on the farm was that they treated their cows like beloved pets, so the cows were really approachable and not at all scared of us, like on most dairy farms. All had been named by the family. As you can see by the pictures my kids were right up patting the cows and playing with the calves. We were at the farm for the feeding of the calves and the afternoon milking.
Black Creek Road, Black Creek
Sebastien (9) with Tiny T-Bone (6)
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Sandra with her prized friesian
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Strolling home for milking
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The boys loved Sandra
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Oliver (11) learning the trade
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Sandra and the boys
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Life from Tiny T-bone’s point of view
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We loved Sandra, a credit to the dairy industry
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The Hastings Valley Dairy, Wauchope
For the last 5 years we have been buying some of our cream from Hastings Valley Dairy based in Wauchope. This year we entered into a supply agreement with them and we get approximately 3,000L of premium pure cream from them on a weekly basis.
Part of our charter at Pepe Saya Butter Co is that we like to visit the source of our cream, in this case Hastings Valley Dairy, and also visit the farms that supply them milk to see how their animals are treated and what they are fed. I can tell you now Hastings Valley Dairy ticked all my boxes. They showed true country hospitality- we were given a tour of the factory and their very transparent operations, and watched some of their cheese being made- ricotta, pecorino & fetta that day.
2 Randall Street, Wauchope NSW
Photos with Hastings Valley section-
Pepe smelling the cheese
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The milk truck unloading at Hastings Valley Dairy
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Fetta being made
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The milk tank
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Blue steel Sebastien
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The cream tank after pasteurisation
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Cream being pumped into 1000L bladders to be delivered to Pepe Saya
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It was absolutely fantastic travelling with my kids, who usually live through the photos of my experiences visiting our suppliers & customers. Sharing this experience with them was incredible, with (I hope) many more trips with them to come.
I can’t thank the people of Hastings Valley Dairy enough for being so welcoming and the time they spent with us. Big thanks to Ben Williamson & Mark Livermore of Hastings Valley Dairy for organising such a great trip.
***Add a map similar to France, but just of NSW-
Sydney > Port Maq (Urban Grain Bakery) > Baker Farm (-31.592155, 152.668395 in google maps) > Hastings Valley Dairy(2 Randall Street, Wauchope NSW) > Port Maq > Sydney by plane