It is no secret that I have a penchant for baby animals. I mean they are cute and cuddly and sweet and well, what’s not to like? It’s not that I needed and excuse really, but I managed to find one, as a reason to visit Maleny Dairies. I have been here once or twice before (ok, so, I have been here more than that), but each time is like the first time when it comes to feeding the kids (as in baby goats) and calves.
I grew up on a farm, and every lambing season we would end up with a few orphans for whatever reason, and as a child I took great joy in feeding them and watching them at play. We also raised a number of potty calves, Maxy being the most memorable – he was a gawky dairy calf that no matter how much he ate, he always looked malnourished, I think he was born premature and clung onto life in those early weeks and never really regained the health that most calves would have at birth. It was lucky for him really. Being a boy calf, normally he would have ended up at the markets, if not for prime rib steak (which he was never destined to be), I am sure he would have made fantastic soup bones, however, he was our Maxy, and while pretty much useless (no milk, no meat – he just ate – not a sought after commodity on a farm), he lived a long life on the farm because he was our gawky gangly Maxy.
So going to Maleny Dairies was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. While they were kids, rather than lambs, they don’t look dissimilar and the calves looked exactly like Maxy, but less gawky. I noticed only one had a name tag (Penny), the other just had a number and I wondered silently what that meant???
Maleny Dairies have tours of the dairy daily (Mon-Sat) at 10:30am and 2:30pm, and part of that tour is feeding the baby animals. I felt compelled to grab one of the bottles and hog the little cuties all to myself, but I managed to restrain myself and let the real children have a go – I remember all too well my own excitement at that age, and with the dozens of babies that we reared, I never tired of it – it was one daily chore that I didn’t need to be asked twice to do – cleaning my room was an entirely different matter.
One other thing that I enjoyed watching was the milking of the cow; Divina, I think her name was. Everyone gathered around, and she quietly put up with the chaos of curious kids and adults. Our host offered everyone a taste of fresh milk straight from the cow. It was kind of amusing as some people jumped at the chance to try the milk (and loved it), while others stood back and almost looked a bit squeamish, and I wondered whether they felt that same way when they drank from the carton from the fridge.
After the feeding I just stood back and watched the playfulness of the kids as they bucked their little frames in their excitement. It was quite cute the interaction between the calves and the kids as well. The kids seemed to look at the calves as some sort of mentor, mimicking them. One of the kids appeared to take the mentoring quite seriously, feeling the need to try and eat the exact blade of grass that the calf was, working away, their noses together. I was waiting for the calf to tire of it and stand his ground, but he seemed to handle it in a way in which was quite endearing. He was even more patient when one of the cheeky kids decided to use him as a mount and climb on his back to get a better vantage point.
Well, I had fun. I had my kiddie and calf fix, and I couldn’t think of a better place to give the kids (as in real children) a chance to connect with the source of their food and have a real life farm experience.
Thank you Maleny Dairies, what a great experience for all.
For more information about tour times and fees, visit:
Local Producer Amo Gelato Wins Gold at 2010 National Dairy Awards
Boyd and Stacie from Amo Gelato sent this to share with you guys:
“Gelato lovers from near and far tell us we make the best, and we now have a gold medal to prove it.
This is our first entry of any award, and while it’s a major win for us, it’s also a win for the region. Using local ingredients is important to us, and we think our Mary Valley jersey milk makes fantastic gelato, and the best judges in Australia from the DIAA agree too.
It’s great that a family business from Noosaville can stand with the best and biggest in the industry. Logistics for us is getting our little girl to school, so it helps that we produce a very local 2kms from our Gympie Terrace shop.
Our customers are helping us develop our flavours too. I’ve been making a chilli chocolate recently and I’ve come to realise that people who like the hot stuff are hard core, so we gave them more! Feedback is invaluable, the judges “tasting notes” from the awards will be put to good use too.
This is big for us. We believe in our product, our amazing regional produce, and take great joy in being part of the Noosa River experience.”
by Local owners Boyd and Stacie, and daughter Camille.
Noosa River Gelato Caffé
2/201 Gympie Tce (corner Thomas St on the old Davos site)
Ph. 5455 5088
Amo Gelato Production House
5/12 Project Ave
Ph. 0418 719 671
Dairy Industry Association of Australia Competition Results – 2010
Category: Gelati 3-6% Fat (commercial ice cream can have as much as 30% fat)
GOLD MEDAL – Gelato
Amo Gelato Belgian Chocolate
SILVER MEDAL – Gelato
Amo Gelato Fig & Mascarpone
Amo Gelato Licorice
Amo Gelato Burnt Caramel
Well done guys!!!
Posted by Petra Frieser – Local Harvest
To find out more about the Sunshine Coast’s regional growers and producers visit: