ONCE AN EXTENSIVE LANDHOLDING
The Stephenson family moved from Kersbrook SA in 1956 to purchase the 1200 acre sheep grazing/fat lamb property at Third Reedy Lake, from the Mitchell brothers. It was known as Willowview. Margaret Stephenson married David Hogg and they returned to the property joining her parents in 1964, along with their two children Lindsay and Jeffery.
Further land was purchased at Lake Charm in 1981 bringing the holding to 1878 acres with a further 400 acres of lease country around Stevenson swamp. Lindsay and his parents worked in partnership, self-replacing, Hazeldene Merinos were introduced in 1984 . The farm thrived even though times were tough through floods and droughts.
The family started with 100 acres of irrigated lucerne which increased to 300 acres of fine, grade Lucerne, sold primarily to the horse industry, zoos and produce stores in NSW and Victoria.
In 1994 Lindsay and Gaby purchased the family farm and in that same year Amber was born, followed by a second daughter Jordan in 1997. In 1999 they were successful in receiving a young farmer grant through Loddon Mallee 2000+ and they redeveloped the whole farm, improving water efficiency through new irrigation infrastructure. They also continued to plant trees in belts across the farm, being proud of approximately 7000 native species being established.
A new business plan was introduced and the farm was developed to its’ full potential. Gaby and Lindsay were very active in land and water management groups as well as Mid Murray Lucerne, a local growers collaborative. They ran about 2000 fine, wool merino sheep as well. Hard times hit again in 2007 with another drought and in 2008 the farm was sub-divided and part sold to VicSuper.
CHARM LODGE BECOMES
Lindsay and Gaby moved ahead with their succession plan on the smaller holding of 160 acres. Charm Lodge became in 2009 on a bare, open paddock overlooking Lake Charm. The house was the official last build by Gaby’s parents K & E Anton Builders.
After extensively travelling with the family the Hogg’s decided to share their bit of paradise. The thinking was if you can’t travel around the world to others invite others from across the world to you. The two -storey lodge was architecturally designed with the main brief to take in the lake views whilst being resource efficient. Seventy loads of soil were trucked in and the expansive lawns and tiered native gardens were established over several years. Charm Lodge became a guest house and bnb in 2014.
An extensive program of improvements has continued to occur and there are many plans in the making for the near future.
The aim is to provide an enhanced farm experience for all visitors with unique accommodation options, activities and events.
From collecting freshly-laid eggs, helping with the sheep and alpaca work, watching shearing demonstrations by Lindsay, helping with the annual olive harvest, to walks across the paddocks and marsh lands. This picturesque escape lets guests experience life on a farm — in a glamorous setting.
Both Lindsay and Gaby and family are passionate about the role Farm Lodge has in the local, national and international community.
Guests may choose to stay around the lodge, take a dip in the salt -water pool, relax with a book under the new pool pergola, cook a b.b.q, toast marsh-mellows around the pit fire or lay back and watch the stars, under expansive skies.
Others may choose to bike or walk around the lake, go for a paddle of swim from the beach, take a few photographs of our birdlife or unbelievable sunsets or just layback with a little picnic and relax.
In the future options of various experiences such as wellness, writers, cooking, photography and environmental retreats are planned. Also expanding accommodation options including self-contained farm stays, glamping and unique accommodation options and long luncheons amongst the olive trees, intimate picnics by the lake or small gatherings are also options.
The Hogg family look forward to sharing their home with you and creating a getaway that is a unique, memorable experience.