Through the eyes of a traveller

A regular guest of ours wrote this beautiful letter for us. We thought it only fitting to put into our blog. Thank you Liz and Karel.

I love coming to these cottages. We’ve been twice now, both times for 4 – 5 day stays. And d’you know why I love it? It’s QUIET! Upper Plenty is but 41kms from Melbourne but what you mostly hear when you’re up here is birdsong. Even the cows, sheep, alpacas and chickens are quiet – just quietly grazing away, on the enormous fields of the cottages.
And the cottages! Literally self-contained. We haven’t wanted for anything! Oh except when we arrived here for the start of our second stay and I thought Karel had brought up the bag of vegies, and he thought I had – and all we had was broccoli, which was not going to do for our stir- fry that night. So, I phoned Annie to see if she could spare even a carrot, and blow me down, if not five minutes later, Annie and Steve arrive on our cottage doorstep carrying a wooden bowl laden with leek, red capsicum, an onion, a carrot and two plump red truss tomatoes. That’s how generous our hosts are. So attentive! So wanting their guests to be totally comfortable.
I’m writing this on the penultimate day of our second stay. I’m out on the verandah, sitting at a glass topped table. The autumn sun is gently warming me, and the birdsong is beautiful.
I love coming here. Did I mention that?

Liz Lipski
Melbourne

Australian Parrots

All about Alpaca

Recently we had our alpaca shorn so we thought it a great opportunity to give you an overview of these great animals.  Even though alpaca come from South America including countries such as Peru, Argentina, Chile and the highlands of the Andes, they are suited to many climates and countries such as Australia.  Alpaca are related to llamas but are much smaller as llamas can be around twice their size. 

Alpaca are also relatively easy to manage and maintain which is one of the reasons why the popularity of owning alpacas has grown very steadily over the years in Australia.  Furthermore, the growth in Australia of alpaca farming is primarily due to breeding as well as for the fleece.  The fleece produced by alpaca is similar to cashmere in texture, silkiness and softness which makes it ideal for use in making a range of clothes, blankets and quilts.

Another interesting fact about alpaca is that they have soft pad type feet which means they don’t damage the terrain as much as other livestock which have solid hooves.  If alpaca are well looked after and cared for they will live for approximately 20 years.

Alpaca are also known for their spitting but try not to hold that against them!  They are usually calm and defenceless animals and the main reason they spit is that they are showing their displeasure.  It is their way of saying “no” and asking you to back off just a bit.

Alpaca are gentle by nature and can make good pets.  The next time you visit us come and meet our alpaca.

 

Alpaca at Annie's

Wild and woolly

 

alpaca at annie's

No, I’m shy.

alpaca at annie's

Don’t we look fabulous now?

Keeping our cows happy.

We love our animals and spend a lot of time caring for their health and happiness.

Some of our guests and children can be quite surprised at the amount of work involved in caring for farm animals, especially cows.  They think the cows look after themselves and feed from whatever they can find in the paddock.  If you are not familiar with farm animals, that is a logical conclusion.

In fact, there is not enough food in a paddock to feed cows for very long, despite the amount of grass that seems to be growing. Not all of the grasses are edible and some, like clover and bracken fern, can be quite dangerous to cows.  Some grasses are more nutritious than others, too.

That’s why farmers feed their cows every day.  We keep our cows healthy and happy by adding hay to their diets.  When you stay with us you can help us feed them.

 

Like any other animal, cattle need immunising against disease.  They have an immunisation schedule which begins in infancy, just like human babies do.

Our cows are also drenched periodically to help protect them against intestinal worms and parasites.

Lining up for drenching

The best way to tell that our cows are healthy and happy is to look at them.  You can tell if they are carrying too much or too little weight.  Changes in the texture of their coats will tell you that something is wrong so we check them regularly.  Our cows virtually tell us when they need extra help.

Cows are big, lumbering creatures with gentle faces and gorgeous big, brown, innocent eyes.  They wouldn’t hurt a fly and one of the things I love to do is to watch them with their young.  Cows have distinct “moo’s” and after a while it is clear when they are calling for their calves or telling us to bring out the hay!

When you stay with us at Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages, you will be able to help us feed the animals and get close to them.  Working with these beauties is an experience you will never forget.

What a great location we have in Upper Plenty

One of the great aspects of staying in one of Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages in Upper Plenty is that you can choose between visiting many of the surrounding attractions and events and join in with a lot of activities, or you can simply stay put.  You don’t have to leave here during your stay and  you will still enjoy your holiday.

As we are a working farm everyone can get involved with feeding the animals that include alpacas, cows, chickens and sheep.  There is nothing your kids will love more than being up close and personal with our animals.

Our location is perfect for getting the kids away from the computer and video games so they can experience the outdoors.  Make sure to bring a football, soccer ball or even a cricket set.  We have plenty of room to have your own footy grand final, a world cup for soccer or even a Twenty20 match if you are a cricket fan.  Maybe bring along your kite because  our wide and open spaces make is such fun to fly them in.

Also, don’t forget to bring along your runners or walking boots as you can go on many walks in the local bushland and surrounding areas.  In addition to all of our farm animals, there is a good chance you will see the local wild life such as kangaroos, wombats and birds.

Bring your camera along, too. as you are sure to get a spectacular photograph or if you are an artist bring your equipment and paint one of the many landscapes.

These are just some of things to enjoy while you stay in one of our cottages.  We are in such a great location that you can take it easy, enjoy the features with our location as you simply take it easy and have a well deserved break.

What is a Farm Stay?

Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottage in Upper Plenty offers a Farm Stay experience.  So what does that actually mean?

A Farm Stay is a holiday on a real, working farm.  Depending on the size and nature of the farm, that could mean guests are involved in everything from feeding the animals to shearing sheep or milking cows.    Think of it as a kind of agricultural tourism.

Staying on a working farm is fun and for many people it’s the fulfilment of a dream.  You might have grown up wondering what it’s like to live on a farm and now you have the chance to find out.

Every farm is different so a stay at one is never the same as the stay at another.  Dairy farms are vastly different form sheep or mixed farms.  The work is different and they are each influenced by seasonal changes.   Some farms rely on heavy machinery such as combine harvesters to do their work while smaller farms might only need a tractor and a good sheep dog.

Our visitors love the pace of life here at Annie’s and the fact that they can get up close and personal with our animals.  They love being part of daily farm life.  Above all, they love being part of the local community for that short while.  For many city people, our farm life is bliss.

It’s entirely up to you how involved you would like to be in the work of our farm.  We know you’d love feeding the animals, though.  Come on and see us.  Let us show you what country farms are all about.

 

 

Feeding the farm animals

Make sure you pack your gum boots when you visit us.  In addition to being an ideal place to get away from it all Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages is also a working farm.

 

Our cows always seem to be hungry and our sheep are always looking for food.  The alpacas in the picture below had just been shorn.  They are easy and fun to feed and children love to see them because they are a bit unusual.

 

While we have a number of farm animals it is not unusual for other wildlife to be watching to see what is happening.   Especially in the surrounding areas you are likely to see kangaroos, echidnas, wombats, birds as well as native flora in the bushlands that are close by

 

 

Feeding the animals is a great activity, safe and perfect for you and your kids to join in and have some fun.  They will love the noises the animals make and laugh at the way they push in to get their food.  Children love being farmers for a while.  The fresh air is good for them and they will be ready for a good night’s sleep after all the fun.

As an alternative you may just want to simply sit back, take it easy and let others feed the farm animals as you sip on your champagne.

 

Book your stay now.

We don’t think this needs any more words.  Please enjoy.