Wednesday, September 14, 2011

from here to where?

I've spoken before about how although this road trip looks like a holiday from the outside, that it is in fact about lots of other things too. Things like slowing down, being together as a family uninterrupted, making a game plan for the next phase of parenting, the celebration and acknowledgment of two big milestone birthdays and the discussion of the where to from here for Daylesford Organics.

Those who have been reading along for a while now will know that Daylesford Organics is our family farm and business. It is a certified organic mixed farm. Our passion is diversity and so we grow so many different things, the more the better-forty varieties of apples, hazelnuts, plums, raspberries, hundreds of different colours and flavours of vegetables and 1,500 chookies for eggs.

We moved to our farm 10 years and one week before we drove down the driveway towing our caravan a few months ago.

In the past ten years, while we were growing our family, we also built up a really great business. We have won some amazing national awards and supplied some of the best cafes and restaurants in Australia. Of course we have set up and sold at hundreds of farmer's markets too. We came in as they were just starting up in Victoria and we really believe that a lot of our business's success has been because of them.

We have had amazing and plentiful crops over the past years but we've also had disaster seasons. Killer droughts, humidity, a bushfire, locusts, hail, and in the last season we had three floods.

To be honest, we felt a bit burnt out. We'd lost the enthusiasm. Where once a stroll through the rows in the orchards and paddocks filled us with excitement and inspiration, this last season made us feel sad, disappointed, tired.

We believe strongly in Daylesford Organics. Good clean food grown with integrity and responsibility to Mother Nature is what we strive for. But something needs to change.

Perhaps we have to grow something new? Perhaps we have to shift our thinking and grow in a new way? Perhaps we have to expand or contract? Perhaps we have to find a new focus? A new method? A new model? A new concept?

Who knows? I do know though that we had to get distance from it to see it afresh and in perspective. I also know that it took about two months and 10,000 kms distance until we were ready to start thinking and talking about it. I also know that there will be a lot of talking about it for the next four months and 10,000 kms.

I am starting to get excited about the possibilities though.

So while it may look like we are spending our days strolling along some of the world's most magnificent beaches really we are in a very important - and long - business meeting.

Oh and did you know that after Maggie Beer had spent 10 years running a restaurant at her Pheasant Farms she closed it down for a year to reassess her future direction? Looks like we might be in good company with our six months of reflection.

See ya!

46 comments:

  1. Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "a long business lunch" :P

    Sounds like it is what you all needed. In your case, a holiday is as good as a change.

    Oh, those photos!

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  2. Definitely the healthy thing to do, we all need to reassess, re-think, and find the joy and point of what we are doing - whatever it is. Bless you my love xxxx

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  3. And what a beautiful place have a business meeting!

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  4. I find myself doing that even on holidays that are meant to be holidays ... reassessing, from a distant 'where I am/we are now' and asking 'what next?'. The best advice I was ever given - that guides me always when I'm contemplating change but am not sure if I'm brave enough to follow my heart - is 'leap and the net will appear'. Good luck in whatever direction you decide to jump :D

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  5. sometimes things look so straight forward from far away. You have such a wealth of knowledge from the farm, maybe you could make money explaining how to grow wonderful produce.

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  6. I had to go back and read your words because those photos are just so breathtaking.
    My partner comes up with all her best decisions whilst on international flights - there's just something about that distance and not being distracted by daily life.
    Enjoy the process x

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  7. There's nothing like the perspective that comes with getting away from home and your usual life.

    Growing up on a farm i know all too well how wonderful the lifestyle is and also what a gamble it is. You're at the mercy of so many uncontrollable factors.

    Sounds like your meeting is going well. Great conference room!

    ox

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  8. First, these pictures are amazing. Amazing. Second, good for you guys taking the time you need to figure out your next step rather than just slogging through when the joy isn't there. I admire you.

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  9. Best not rush imprtant business meetings I say. and they always go so much better with cake and biscuits or a walk along a beautiful beach. You seem to be on target.

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  10. I think what you are doing is genius! I jsut wish I was there too (so jealous!!) :-)
    Sometimes steeping away for some perspective is just what's needed to be able to view things through a different, more positive lens.
    And those are some fantasitc photos btw!!
    xxxCate

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  11. You've done the right thing. Sometimes a change is all that's needed to bring back your passion for what you do. I have gone though all this recently myself, minus the 6 month road trip! I went to China instead and opened a new business... Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and enjoy the rest of your business trip!
    Rach x

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  12. Nothing like a bit of time away to make the right decision x

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  13. AMAZING photos and some tough and challenging thinking to do. Good Luck

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  14. Oh I know!!! Australia first certified organic cannabis farm!


    I think 10 years is the perfect time to stop and reflect.




    I AM JOKING EVERYONE!! JOKING !!!

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  15. Business meeting - must mean the trip will be tax deductable!!

    Good luck with your re-thinking and continue to enjoy the journey (both in the caravan and on the farm).

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  16. Kate this is such a beautiful reflective post .... and the photos - wow! It sounds like the path you are heading along is definitely the right way for you all. Have fun along the way won't you! cheers Wendy

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  17. I'm guessing there are few 'buisness meetings' as exciting as yours ;-)

    Well done for taking the time and space to reassess your options. It depresses me how hard our farmers have to work (and how much they have to gamble) to simply grow our food. I met a sixth generation farmer (and his young family) recently and he was saying both he and his wife will have to work outside the farm regularly simply to make ends meet?! I can see why he wants to keep the family tradition going, but perhaps they have to make some changes if thats how hard it is? Or is it up to the government to regulate food costs so that the average jo is forced to pay a fair price for food? Sorry for the waffle. All I really wanted to say is that i'm glad our farming industry has smart families like yours to ensure the future of family farms in Astralia :-)

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  18. what a wonderful post. I think it was such a smart thing to have this time to renew refresh and contemplate.
    So glad the old excitement is beginning to come back xo

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  19. I only ever get enough perspective to make decisions when I go away. I hope the next four months are productive as well as reflective.

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  20. Great post Kate. I think many of us are in similar positions where after having our families and working, whether it be in our own business or for someone else, get to a point where you start to wonder where life is taking us. I know Hubby and I are at that point where we are unsure whether to follow a dream and move to the country or to stay. If we do, obviously there is employment to consider.
    I think a trip like yours gives you time to sit back and enjoy your family, learn to appreciate each other again and decide if your life is going in the direction you want it to or not.
    I wish you the best of luck in your decisions.

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  21. The most wonderful business lunch I have heard of.

    I hope your time on the road brings everything into focus for you and your plans slowly emerge and call you home in four months time, with that excitement and inspiration once again.

    In the meantime, you are inspiring all of us. xx

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  22. Kate we are at a point in our lives where we are having to reassess everything and needing to make some life changing decisions...it's not going to be easy but I think we will get there.

    I am rather jealous of your conference room :)

    x

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  23. Can't wait to hear what the next stage will bring!!
    xx

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  24. I'm with the bearded pigeon...and joking too! Re:
    Maggie Beer ... just look at her, gorgeous person, magnificent success, is that innate that sense of moving on?
    Love the pics in this post.

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  25. Sometimes it takes a very long road trip, time with family and some stunning views to get life into perspective. Take your time deciding what you want to do. It will all come clear in the end. In the meantime enjoy your holiday and thank you for the stunning photos and inspiration of your blog and details of your trip.

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  26. That sunset...breathtaking. No better office in the world. xoxox

    Kellie.

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  27. I can just imagine the conversations for the next four months,

    What about this? But what this? But then this?

    fun, annoying, exciting all at the same time.

    Happy chatting.

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  28. Times change and over the last ten years you would have seen plenty of it! I always say that life is full of seasons and it is good to know when the seasons are changing but wisdom to prepare for the next. What was that little fable about the grasshopper and the ant?

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  29. Stunning stunning stunning. Thank you for sharing such amazing pictures. Makes me want to pack up, get a caravan and hit the road.

    Good luck with the rest of your trip and enjoy the journey you are on right now as before you know it you will be back at Daylesford with your new, revised and improved business direction.

    Enjoy the journey.

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  30. You are very wise people Kate, I applaud you.
    x Sandi

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  31. This is brilliant! 'They' say a little (or a lot) distance is always good to gain perspective, looks like it may just be very true..x

    ..stunning pictures here.

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  32. I've always wanted to see the sun setting over the ocean. Wishing you much clarity as you ponder your new direction.
    xx

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  33. What a wonderful post Kate (again!). We are at a similar crossroads with our 11 year old business which is retail and steadily being eaten away by the growth of internet shopping. People are starting to use us as a 'trying on' shop before they leave and buy things on the Net... it's been very disheartening. We're at that stage too where we need to sit down and reassess what we're doing and why we're doing it. As much as I deplore what people are doing to us and others, I also understand that it's the new way of the world now and I can't really blame them. Change is a good thing; we all need to keep moving forward. Funny about the 10 year thing with Maggie Beer and you guys and us ;) So happy that you have this time to talk and assess directions in such a lovely way. Best wishes for all these decisions yet to come too. Love love love these photos btw. The sun shots are just amazing! :) Kx

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  34. I just feel like saying 'Peace be with you', during this long meeting. x gorgeous photos.

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  35. Simply gorgeous!
    So, if it's a really long business meeting...can you write it off on your taxes?

    Oh how I miss the ocean, it's been too long.

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  36. What a great Business meeting you are all having. I hope that the weeks, months and km's away are helping all of you. Looking forward to traveling the next 10,000km's home with you.

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  37. really inspiring. we are planning something similar to enjoy and think and plan. we are at the 5 year and love maggie beers journey too.
    the quote from quentin bryce that I love is women can have it all just not at the same time. well i think it looks like you are well on your way.

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  38. Eight months ago, we packed up our lives in Melbourne, quit our jobs and set off on a journey that so closely mirrors your own. We are someway to resolving our "third life crisis" - we at least now know what we don't want. We might be someway from finalising exactly what it is we do want, but there are still a few 1000 kms of beaches between here and home to work it out :)

    www.takethelongwayhome.tumblr.com

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  39. You guys are so so SO cool Kate. I think I may have said that before, because I'm feeling like a broken record, but you just ARE. I love that you had the self awareness to do this trip and the foresight to see you needed to make change in your business, instead of letting it all get the better of you. I have absolutely no doubt that you guys will make every post a winner. Loving the photos and you keep enjoying that extra long business meeting... what better forum to do it in than this great land of ours! :o) xo

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  40. What a healthy way to assess your business and family life. You are so inspiring me to hit the road with a caravan and my wee family.
    Those photos are magical.

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  41. We are so lucky to have choices and it sounds like you are going to be making some wonderful ones.
    I mean the trip you are on is a pretty damn good decision and I have no doubt whichever direction you take with Daylesford will be the best one. How exciting!

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  42. What a beautiful setting to do so much soul searching. x

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  43. i feel certain that when the fork in the road comes you will recognise it and take the turn that is best for you all. safe travel

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  44. Whatever else happens, you both deserve the very, very best, Kate. x

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  45. I hear you on this one Kate. Taking time out and getting perspective is so important. We've been doing a similar thing with our house-minging move to the hills. Time out from the everyday, and time to discuss all of those decisions that need to be made for the future. Do we move house permanently? What school does melli start next year? What is important in our lives? What needs to built upon, or culled? etc etc. And the answers, they come in. In their own good time.
    You will come back and start a whole new phase of your lives together. Exciting stuff really.

    Just loving your road trip blogging. Thank you for sharing it with us Kate xoxo

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  46. haha - that was supposed to read "house-minding"!! But house-minging sounds interesting too...
    x

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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