Meet Jodi Flockhart

While some of you may recognise Jodi  from Neighbours, our relationship with Jodi started over flowers – of course. We had planned to shoot our Enchanted collection at Jodi’s incredible lavender fields in Daylesford, Victoria. However, COVID restrictions saw us change our plans and shoot closer to home, having to say goodbye to those amazing purple flowers that stretched way beyond the horizon.

We continued to chat with Jodi and realised that we shared many similar passions. So, we thought it time introduce you to our inspiring friend. Below we discuss motherhood, balancing work and life, the joy of creating your dream business, garden to kitchen food, and our shared passion – flowers!
Jodi Flockhart talks to Arnhem on the blog about sustainability and flowers
Jodi, please introduce yourself…
Hi I am Jodi Flockhart. Mum to Max Martin and Lilly Rose, wife to Damien Aylward, who is also my business partner for the past 15 years at our restaurant Sault in Daylesford. And when the opportunity pops up, actor on set and content creator.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Early to rise I make sure I see the sunrise and take at least 5 deep breaths of fresh country air in our back garden - mindfulness keeps me centred. Often there are kangaroos on our lawn or a family of ducks, so I am not alone... lol. Then it’s time to make kids lunchboxes, brekkie and out the door.

Work at Sault involves a mix of event work, kitchen garden meetings with our head gardener, Adrian Deakin - chats of new flower fields are always exciting. I also curate all our social media and collaborations: Loganberry farm flowers are a fave of mine and local ceramic artist Bridget Bodenham makes our bespoke ceramics, so most days I am busy posting stories of our latest dishes and upcoming events.
Healthy food is really important to me so I will generally grab a kim chi salad and vegan treat for myself and Damien on the way to work from the Daylesford Health food store. Our chefs also make beautiful healthy meals for us when we work a double shift, yum.

Afternoons it’s time to pick up the kids and head to cross fit for all of us - healthy body healthy mind - then its home for dinner and story time or back to work the dinner shift at Sault.
Jodi Flockhart talks to Arnhem about family and work life, sustainability and farm to table

How has motherhood changed your perspective on life?
Motherhood is the most selfless and rewarding role of my life. It is an ever fluid and huge learning experience; it has taught me patience and has me in awe on a daily basis.

I have never truly known how much my heart could be uplifted one moment and then aching the next, my children amaze me each day with their creativity and kindness. I love how when being with them, I am truly in the moment, whether it’s on a bush walk or making Lego the focus is pure and peaceful.

You are known for the roles you undertook in Neighbours; how did your acting career prepare you for where you are today?
My time on Neighbours was an amazing training ground for really good work ethic, the hours are long - 5am starts and long days, but so rewarding.

I trained for 3 years at The National Theatre Company in St Kilda and this course changed my life, the training was incredible, and I learned so much about myself. It allowed me to gain confidence and also vulnerably - a very raw and brave time for all the actors. This theatre has had some amazing graduates: Kat Stewart ONE OF MY FAVES. I was lucky enough to work with Kat on her amazing show 5 Bedrooms, she is an incredible Aussie actor.

Acting is creating a character and offering entertainment to the viewer no matter how you feel, and as the individual you must convey this role at all times. Hospitality is performing too; each shift we work, regardless of the day you have had, you must shed this and become the host. I relish my time doing this and offering each guest the best dining experience by sharing stories about the dishes, the history behind Sault, stories about our local growers and producers.

You purchased your wedding venue, Sault, together with your husband: what have been some of the milestones on this journey?
This is still a moment I will never forget, we really took a leap of faith, neither of us had ever done anything like this before, but we were newly married, in love and felt we could take on anything….. a seize the day moment.

Milestones for us have been building our wedding barn overlooking the lake, which has in turn become a very iconic spot for guests to take a snap in our lavender fields. And also creating the expansive kitchen garden that has allowed us to grow so much of our own fresh produce for our seasonal menus. We are so proud of this and it brings our guests so much joy seeing chefs making a dash to the garden during service to harvest fresh produce for their dishes. I would also have to say creating the sunflower fields has been a beautiful flower milestone and again brings people so much joy, the happiest flower!

Another milestone would have to be our period in lockdown when on a weekly basis we worked with our team to create a produce store with fresh baked goods and veggies from the garden, delivery and takeaway. We created Sault at Home and delivered our a la carte menu as far as Melbourne, which was an amazing experience. During COVID we spent days in the kitchen garden and flower fields working with our family and team to maintain the property and enhance the land so it would be at its most beautiful when our guests were able to return: this was a truly humbling experience and we worked harder than we have ever worked.

Jodi Flockhart talks to Arnhem about the flower field at Sault in Daylesford
We love your passion for getting your hands dirty in the kitchen garden at Sault: tell us about the seasonal delights that will featuring on your menu this Autumn.
Oh, I adore our kitchen garden, the joy of pulling out a fresh carrot or eating beautiful sun kissed strawberries straight from the bus.

At the moment I love the beautiful Amaranth field we have, it’s full of bright red flowers. It’s a gorgeous superfood and is being heroed on a dish with fresh tomatoes from the garden, tomato jam and cheese custard - we use the leaf and puffed seed, yum! Another fave are our scallops with cod roe, potato cake and alliums from the garden. For dessert it would have to be the Plum and almond cake with coconut kaffir sorbet and sunflower seeds - yes, from our field.

Being in Daylesford you are surrounded by some of the most amazing produce and wine: what have you been indulging in lately?
I am quite smitten with The Fermentary, they produce amazing ferments (brilliant for gut health) as well as their yummy Kefir and Kombucha, I adore the rose kefir made with roses from my favourite Rose Farm Acre of Roses.
Jodi Flockhart wears the Arnhem Sundress in RubyJodi Flockhart wears the Arnhem Sundress in Ruby at Sault in DaylesfordJodi Flockhart wears the Arnhem Sundress in Ruby in the flower fields at Sault on Dalesford

The Sault Estate has the most incredible flower fields: tell us about the joy they bring you.
We were lucky the lavender fields were here when we brought Sault, we have just re-planted half of the fields with baby lavender so next season will be even more beautiful than the last.

New for us are the Sunflowers and these truly bring me so much joy and also our guests. I had a dream one night I was walking in a field of them, the next day we chatted with our amazing head gardener and so the dream was realised. It takes an enormous amount of work to create these fields, but they bring so much joy and we can also use them on the menu, together with in seed packs our kids Max and Lilly gift to the children who dine at Sault - their own seed project. The next fields will be in Spring. We have just bought 1,000 Jonquils and 500 Lotus flowers for the lake in pink, yellow and white.

I learned the true value of flower healing as child as my mother Jill Flockhart works with Bach Flower Remedies and colour therapy, so flowers for me are a healing way of life.

When it comes to wellbeing, I won’t compromise on…
Health and kindness. To live a healthy life with kindness extended to yourself and others the ripple effect will constantly surprise you: good energy attracts good.

This year I’m manifesting…
A year of balance, where we continue to look at healing the planet and being kinder to each other. We remain aware of what we missed the most in lockdowns: family is so important and staying connected to our loved ones.

Jodi Flockhart wears the Arnhem First Kiss Blouse and Amberley Midi Skirt in Emerald
For a daily dose of lifestyle inspiration follow Sault & Jodi on Instagram @sault_daylesford, @flockhartjodi
Love Jodi's looks? Shop them here