They wanted to create a special place for themselves and all their animals, with beautiful gardens, fruits and vegetables, fresh laid rainbow eggs, home grown honey and a path that wandered around the gardens to take you on a magical journey, so VizArche farm was created.
The name “VIzArche” came from Alison and her husband Charlie’s sir names combined (Vizy and Archbold). Loosely based on Versace, a bit of a tongue in cheek, Aussie bogan version.
Purchased in 2006, the farm had been cleared and only had 4 mature gum trees and 10 bushes on the 23 acres, so they immediately set to work planting, and haven’t stopped since.
It has been an unimaginal amount of hard work over the years establishing the property fighting against the droughts, the floods, cicada invasions, the burning hot summer winds, the tree snapping Kangaroos and plant annihilating rabbits plus the threat of Australian bushfires. Sometimes plants have to be replaced 4 or 5 times, but Alison and Charlie have built and created everything themselves by hand. Most of the time from recyled materials.
Everything from the tennis court, the stone paths and walls to the espaliered fruit trees in the vege room, have all been done from recyled & re claimed materials and built by hand by Alison and Charlie.
There are rare golden face violet budgies that Alison has bred the past 43 years, and they also raise a few varieties of chickens which include Araucana’s, a smaller chicken with a tufted head, known for its beautiful pale blue eggs, and French Marans chickens, which are known for having the darkest brown eggs in the world. Alison crosses these varieties and has managed to produce a rainbow of egg colours from pale blue, aqua, green, deep olive, and deep brown.
A flock of Black headed Dorper sheep also call the farm home, as do 3 Suri Alpacas. These are pets and are used as grass eaters and to make fertilizer for the compost.
When the last of their very much loved Cocker Spaniels and Spoodles passed away in 2021, Alison was without a dog for the first time in her life. Unable to cope without her dogs, they rescued 2 Staffy puppies (sisters), that had been dumped at the local pound. Jolly and Jarrah became dogs number 21 and 22, and are now enjoying life on the farm too.
Bees were added a few years ago, to help with pollination, but also because they wanted to enjoy fresh honey. Currently there are 3 hives in operation, which is fantastic and enough for the friends and family.
A stumpery was created in the forest area a couple of years ago from some huge tree stumps removed when a highway went in a few kilometres away. Alison & Charlie managed to get 7 massive tree stumps delivered in return for a couple of cases of beer (this is the way we work in Australia). The stumpery is now starting to come to life with fairies, toadstools and creatures hidden throughout. The forest has been underplanted with Rhodedendrons and Azaleas. Many suprises await you in the forest and stumpery.
There are still lots of areas being created around the gardens, and this will be a lifelong labour of love no doubt. The giant chess set (also a great find on Gumtree), will one day have an "Alison's Wonderland" style mural too. Its all in Alison's head, waiting to come out!
An ever evolving work in progress, the farm is now a feast for the stomach, and eyes!