Three months ago, Mornington Peninsula couple Jacqui Lanarus and Gab Banay lost a sparkle in their lives when their 20-year-old daughter, Lily Phillips, was killed in a 4WD accident in Torrumbarry, Victoria. After seeing more than 750 people attend the former Padua student’s ‘celebration of life’ at Jetty Road Brewery, ‘the mums’ were prompted to pursue Lily’s hopes and dreams.
“She was gorgeous and had a clear picture in her mind about her ideals,” said step-mother Gab. “She wanted to have a bush block, free-range egg farm and a beauty salon. Phase 1 is Yolky Dokey Eggs.”
Gab, Jacqui, their family and friends opened Lil’s Farm in Somerville on Sunday, May 13, on what would have been Lily’s 21st birthday. The venture has two arms: Yolky Dokey free-range eggs, and a camping space for her friends on the property. Lily’s friends have been helping build an outdoor kitchen where they’ll hold weekly dinners for Lily, and next on the agenda is construction of a composting toilet and shower.
“She always wanted to have chickens,” Gab said. “She loved the outdoors, 4WD and camping with her friends. It’s such a good plan. We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t do it with Lily. It’s been a cathartic process that keeps us busy. It’s been an outlet for her wide circle of friends and family to create something for her and to think of her while they do it. It’s a grieving process.”
Lil’s Farm includes six paddocks with six chicken caravans which enable the chooks to roam free during the day, and automated doors will close at night as the LED lights guide the chickens inside to roost. As a second line of defence, alpacas and maremma dogs have been bought as livestock guardians to protect the brood.
Gab and Jacqui have witnessed a profound response to Lily’s death as the farm has become a team project for those whose lives were touched by her. A family friend, Jack Miers, has created a logo for Yolky Dokey and her friends turn up in utes full of equipment and give a helping hand regularly. Gab admits that she and Jacqui wouldn’t have been able to complete the project without everyone’s support.
If you’re interested in placing an egg order for delivery, call Gab on 0458 130 597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to watch this farm grow on Instagram at @yolkydokey. Donations are welcome until Wednesday, June 13 via pozible.com/project/support-lil-s-yolky-dokey-egg-dream.