Lost News February 2019
WRAP UP OF NEWS AND HAPPENINGS IN OUR REGION
BY EDITOR IN CHIEF, SARAH LANG
Welcome to February! We are hitting the streets a little late this month but thanks to the efforts of the incredible CFA superheroes, a timeline hiccup was the only outcome of the Hepburn Springs fires for us here at Lost Headquarters. Our office is in Hepburn Springs and backs onto the gully where the fires were so we were a little tense over the weekend whilst some of the dramatic photos being posted on social media made it look like an inferno. But thankfully that wasn't the case. The absolute marvellous and fascinating thing about our native eucalypts is that they seem to love fire. Because these trees do not just resist fire, they actively encourage it. Their leaves and bark don’t decompose, and the oils are highly flammable so a fast-moving grassfire will swirl up and into the tree canopy making it appear the trees are exploding. But nothing could be further from the truth. In the days following, I walked to the back of my house which bordered the gully where the fire was, expecting to see devastation. But instead, I found an eerily beautiful scene. The forest floor is blackened but beautifully clean and devoid of undergrowth and the tree canopy appears unscathed. It was as if the trees released all of their oils and gases to create a fast flame that would burn out quickly and not damage the tree itself. And with recent heavy rain, it will only be a matter of days before seeds, released from inside their small, hard capsules by the fire will burst into bright green seedlings in the newly fertilised ground. Mother Nature is so clever. We now feel very safe in the knowledge that this beautiful gully is now cleared and will act as a natural fire break.
But of course, it could have been a very different story had the emergency services crews not acted so incredibly swiftly. It is during times such as these that one is reminded how wonderful our fellow men and women are. While the CFA and volunteers expertly prevented the fire from destroying any houses or buildings, the local community pulled together and offered evacuated residents places to stay, things to eat as well as helping us all look after our 4-legged friends. A special mention must go out to the Farmers Arms Hotel who offered all of their rooms at no charge to anyone in need and The Houses Daylesford who generously offered large beautiful houses for us to live in.
Most businesses in this region rely on visitors and tourists to survive. So this is a heartfelt request for those who may be reconsidering travel plans to our region. Please still come. And support all the wonderful small businesses that make up our community. Not just in Hepburn Springs and Daylesford but our entire region – we really are blessed to live in such a caring community.
In other news – the Daylesford Sunday Farmers Market has had to leave its site at the Woodshed but hasn’t gone far. Sadly the property owners wouldn’t renew the lease but the Daylesford Sunday Market across the road at the Daylesford Railway Station has created a wonderful space on the mid-level for the entire Farmers Market to move into. The Woodshed cafe and art space will still be open and trading as normal - just without the adjacent farmers market.
One of the most iconic buildings on historic Piper Street in Kyneton is the Royal George Hotel. The building has been owned for many years by gastro-pub pioneers, Frank Moylan and Melissa Macfarlane (The Farmers Arms in Daylesford, The Crimean in North Melbourne to name a few) but until recently had tenants running the business. But Central Victoria can now celebrate with Frank and Melissa stepping back into the building to give it a bit of a face-lift and a whole lotta love in the kitchen. Opening every night for dinner and lunches from Thursday through Sunday, you can expect a menu with lots of small, tasty plates - a nod to Eastern Europe, The Levant and heading back through Italy and Spain. Frank is a well known wine aficionado so expect great things across the bar as well.
Won’t be long now before March is upon us and that it is the busiest time of year for the region. ChillOut Festival in Daylesford, The Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton and Castlemaine State Festival are just a few of the regular yearly events with the new kid on the block being Daylesford Polo. Melburnians will descend on Daylesford on Saturday 23 March for the inaugural Daylesford Polo being held at Mingela Polo Club in Drummond to raise funds to TLC for Kids. For more details head to daylesfordpolo.com.au
In this edition, Richard Cornish explores the beautifully refurbished Palais-Hepburn, he sits down with extraordinarily talented chef, David Willcocks from Surly Goat, drinks a celebratory frothy with Paul Holgate from Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend, stops to smell the roses with Sandy Roy from Acre of Roses in Trentham and reminisces with Jason and Amber Dooley as they prepare to say farewell to the Old Hepburn Hotel.
Until next time, enjoy life to the fullest.
Publisher and Editor-In-Chief