Chicory is a perennial crop that has been farmed widely on Phillip Island.  The Island’s cool, frost free climate is ideal for chicory farming.  Many farms included a few acres of chicory to supplement the main activity of the farm whether it was dairy, sheep or cattle production.  Chicory was farmed for its root which was dug up, washed, chopped, dried, bagged and sold as a coffee substitute.  Chicory is one of the main ingredients in Nestle Caro drink.

The Kiln on the Kil’n Time property was built by Bert Grayden in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s and operated until the 1970’s.  The kiln was used by many of the farmers around this area of the Island to dry their chicory crops for market.

The trough at the front of Kil’n Time (now our fishtank) was used to wash the chicory before it was chopped and moved up a conveyor to the upper level of the kiln.  The chicory was spread out over an open grill above a moderate fire in the lower level.  The chicory was regularly turned until is was evenly dried, then bagged and sent to market.  Turning the chicory in a hot kiln was a pretty tough job that wouldn’t satisfy today’s health and safety regulations.

There are still many kilns on the Island, mostly derelict and used for farm storage, and the characteristic shape appears in many other of the Island’s buildings in tribute to that part of the Island’s heritage. 

Around 1990 our Kiln was converted into the main residence.

The Conversion