Hercules (the first of his name). The sun rises…the birds stir…and Herc, well, he’s still sleeping. Not much of a morning crower and we respected that about him. Perhaps it stemmed from his unconventional upbringing – hatched in a temperature controlled electronic device in the laboratory of Rochester Primary’s Grade 3 classroom.
Void of a natural birth, Hercules’ early years were fraught with trouble. He became wild, delinquent, and frankly, confused. Instead of thanking young Anna Lowe for bringing his food and cleaning his room he used her as a punching bag for his unbridled, hormonal outbursts. The very girl who had brought him into this world – the audacity!
The Lowes knew it was time for this teenager to get a job, pair up or just plain move out! Anna was a nervous wreck, eggs were rotting in the chook house as few dared to enter. A firm hand was sought.
It was here, at the Lowe’s that we first saw Hercules. He was glistening in the sunshine, standing proud, mesmerising. Before we finished articulating how pretty he was, he was offered and we began wondering how we could get him home. Strangely, Stu produced a fish net quickly and the girls ran to get a box. He was ours…and we were his.
Brian and I loved watching Herc rule the place (we have a Miniature Bull Terrier, but still, Herc was King). He jostled his ladies and kept a proprietorial eye over them. Watching him attack Brian as he entered the chook house was a guilty pleasure. He never scared me though.
We had an understanding. I’d say the fact that I kept a fish net in the chook house and often eye-balled him while I pointed at it helped. If he got a little ‘kicky’ I would net him and trim his spurs to bring him down a notch – a grounding of sorts. Eventually we gained a mutual respect and things went on quietly.
There were seasons, new loves, and Mrs. B gave rise to many little Hercs – one hatched on Christmas day so we named the little fella Hezeus. As with life and birth, there is loss. New generations replace the old. Some before their time. Hercules fell – as a warrior – protecting his posse.
In everything we have done it has been self-driven. We had no land, equipment, or savings but we started the brand anyway. We spent years in the industry working out what we were going to create wine-wise and how we would do it. Designing our packaging was no different. In fact, a short budget required it.
We would have it no other way as we looked at designers but found no one could really represent us better than ourselves. So, we set about the name, the look, the art that would be totally us. We are, in very basic terms, a Farmer and a Scientist and Hercules was our Muse.
A clear choice for our artwork. In the summer of 2013 we commissioned an artist by the name of Sarah Hardy at Popcorn Blue to sketch him – in a lab coat of course. And there he stands today, immortalised, looking to the sun and wondering ‘What the hell is that thing I’m meant to do again?’
Written by Jess Dwyer
Chicken wrangler and Wine Producer at Farmer & The Scientist.