Tuesday, February 24, 2015

our farm gate stall!

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Our farm gate stall is one week old!

Sitting at the very front of our farm, built by our friend Jobbo - @thebuilderrecycles - made entirely from timber and tin found around our property, it is exactly what we had hoped for.

I can't tell you how much it pleases me to know that the apples we've been picking are going straight into the shopping bags of our lovely customers. There are no trucks, no cold-stores, no middle-men, no retail markups - just fruit and vegetables and flowers grown here, picked by us, certified organic and DELICIOUS!!!!!

I feel so very grateful for the support we have been shown so far. I love that Miss Pepper's BPOD (best part of day) each day is collecting the money from the tin. And I feel like this little farm stall is something we have spoken of and wondered about for so many years and now she's here - and isn't she gorgeous!!

If you are local, if you are passing by or if you've been dreaming of a day-trip to our lovely area - please pop by. We are Daylesford Organics - 19 Foxs Lane Musvale.

(That's not our postal address though.)

But speaking of postal addresses Reannon and Nell please email me yours so I can make and send you your cupcake motifs, yay!!

And to everyone else - I hope you find kindness and generosity when you share your dreams with the world.

Love ya's!

xx

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hooked - a blog hop


This is pretty cute!!

It's a new book celebrating the crochet motif in the most gorgeous way. Hooked! by Michelle, Cecile and Sylvie Delprat is filled to the brim with all kinds of sweet motifs, there are hearts and flowers and cupcakes and mushrooms and apples and birds and skulls and so many more. Seriously, I want to make them all. And my girls want me to make them all for them too. They've already started designing brooches, decorations for their school books and patches to sew on their jeans.



I think it's a really great book; the styling, the patterns, the photos and the ideas are all beautiful.

But where to start??

Miss Indi has been begging me to make her some love heart bunting for her bedroom for ages, so I pulled out the cottons and started hooking.

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And then just because they were too cute not to, I made an apple, a mushroom and a strawberry. I really want to make the cupcake next too.

If you are into cute and quirky and crochet, then this book is for you.

If you want to follow along on the blog hop - then this link is for you.

If you'd like to win a copy of Hooked!, six balls of yarn, and a crochet hook - then this link is for you.

And if you feel like it, just for fun, tell me which motif you like the best, or what you'd like to do with them, and I'll choose one or two from the comments and make them up and send them to you.

See ya later crochet potata!

xx



Monday, February 9, 2015

All the little bits

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Hello and happy new week honey bunches!!

Although it's only just begun, my week got off to a pretty shaky start this morning when I lost and then found my car keys in the garden where they'd been hiding overnight and are now soaked through so the clicker won't let me in and the car won't start. Then I couldn't to work out what Indi with braces could eat for her school lunch, couldn't find socks for Pepper and then I turned up to school to find that I'd totally missed the grade six parents' meeting. Oh well, onwards and upwards eh.

So although I'm still feeling a bit rattled by the morning and by the wind, I'm sticking to my appointment with my blog before I head off to my appointment with my beautiful Chinese doctor, the housework can wait.

Why don't we have a little catch up on what's going on around here.

Lately we've been;

Picking/Preserving/Eating/Marketing - APPLES!! Hooray for apple season. So far we've picked our Jersey Macs, Gravensteins, an unknown variety we call Daylesford Delicious and some Blenheim Oranges. All year we imagine the time when we can walk through the farm plucking apples off trees and taking big crunchy bites of them, I can't tell you how great it is to be here, now. I couldn't possibly count the number of apples I ate over the past weekend either, yum!

As well as eating them fresh we are also making dried apple rings, apple leather, apple pie, toffee apples and apple crumble...so far.

And this year we've decided that instead of sending all our apples off the farm to shops and markets, we're going to try to sell them from here. Right now, as I type this, our friend Jobbo who built our cubby-house is building us a cute little farm-stall at the front of our property. Hopefully in the weeks and months and years to come people will pop in and buy their apples here. Hopefully we'll be the local apple farm and rather than buying apples that have travelled in trucks and been stored for goodness knows how long, people will choose apples grown bio-dynamically, sun ripened, picked here by our hands, and stored no longer than a few days at most.

If it works well we might even sell other fruit and veg we've grown here too.

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Picking - As well as apples, we've been picking and eating plums, lettuce, peas, beans, broccoli, beetroot, basil, cucumbers, potatoes, parsley, onions, carrots, tomatoes and shallots. I love summer!

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Watching/admiring/photographing/writing - about wooden spoons. These salad servers were made from both sides of a branch off a pine tree. We've been using them in our kitchen for the past few days but I still love this photo with one finished and one cut but not yet sanded.

I am so inspired and enamoured with my farmer boy's passion and his design and his direction, using the spoons in our kitchen is the icing on the cake.

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Reading - a book about grief has been tricky because I have found myself totally immersed in it and finding myself grieving along with Joan for things past and imagined. I'm loving this book but finding it emotionally exhausting, terrifying and intriguing all at the same time. I think this is one of those books that will hang around and haunt me for the rest of my life.

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Missing - my school girls.

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Winding and knitting - a pair of socks in the most gorgeous golden sunshine colour. These will most likely be the slowest pair of socks I will ever knit  - in purl with all these twisty cables - but they are a challenge and I love them already.

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Feeling grateful - every single time I step outside.

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I need to go now and walk down the hill to my parents' house where my girls have been making yogurt with their grandparents, auntie and cousins. I need to remember to change my shoes because clogs are no good for gravel or hills. We're having beans and cous-cous for dinner. I hope Indi can eat it too. Hopefully I'll get a chance to walk around the big block tonight. And then maybe I'll do a bit of the cute crochet project I've been making for a book review blog later this week. Phew!

So how about you, what are you reading, growing, loving, writing about, obsessing over right now?

I hope you're wearing the right shoes for the job.

I'll be seeing ya!


Love Kate xx



Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to make dried apple rings

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Make hay while the sun shines.

It's possibly a bit silly to write up a recipe for something so straight forward as dried apple rings, but this afternoon as I was making up a batch they looked so pretty that I couldn't resist snapping a few photos and then I thought - why not.

So here we go - this is how we make dried apple rings at our place.

Gather -

  • a basket of apples
  • half a lemon
  • water
  • a knife
  • an apple peeler/corer thing - if you don't have one never-mind, you can do it the old fashioned way with a peeler and a knife.
  • a colander
  • a dehydrator 
  • air tight storage jars

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Gather your apples. Just like there are different potatoes for different meals, there probably is a an apple variety that is more suited for dehydrating, but our Jersey Macs were first off the trees this week so we used them.

Peel, core and cut your apples into rings. Actually, only peel if you feel like it.

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Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to four cups of water and mix well.

Dunk all the apple rings in the lemon mix and leave to soak for a few minutes.

In theory the lemon is supposed to stop the apples from browning, but we just do it because we like the taste.

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Drain the apples in a colander, give the colander a shake and then lay the rings on a clean tea-towel to dry.

I usually press another tea-towel over the top to get all the excess water off.

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Then load your apple rings onto the dehydrator trays making sure there is space between them for the air to circulate.

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After a couple of hours in the dehydrator, test the apples to see how they're going. Ours generally take between four and six hours.

When your apples are leathery or crunchy, just the way you like them, take the trays out and leave them at room temperature for ten minutes or so.

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Then load them into a glass air-tight container and store them out of direct sunlight.

I dare you not to gobble them all up at once.

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Now if only I could work out a way to crochet the peel....


Wishing you a word in edgewise.

LoveLoveLove

xoxo

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thirty first

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Happy last day of the first month of the new year!

Happy thirty first blog post of the new year!

Last year, in 2014, I posted 74 blog posts and here I am in 2015 with 31 up my sleeve already, I'm pretty happy about that.

In truth taking on the blog-a-day project over the summer holidays has had its pros and its cons. The pros being that the girls have been around making my photos prettier, we've done a lot more fun activities to blog about, and the routine has been more relaxed allowing for more time for photography and writing. The cons are that my blog ate up a chunk of time every night often making bed-time very late indeed and the fact that the girls are always flitting around me during the days chatting and distracting me meant that the only time I could ever put aside to focus on my blog was after they were in bed, which was never any earlier than 10.30. And while I am a night person, I don't think I am necessarily an articulate at night person. So often the great and wordy blog posts I had planned during the days, would end up simplified and shortened. I'm hoping that I'll be able to carve out a chunk of time a few days a week when the girls go back to school to write during the day and I hope to see the difference.

I think the fact that the blog-a-day made me take photos every day has been a great thing for my photography. There were some days that I panicked at dinner-time that I hadn't shot anything yet that day and made the girls come out walking with me, but most days I captured what was going on in real time and that makes me happy. It also makes me happy that I didn't break my own personal - no Instagram photos on the blog - rule.

Late last year when I did make the commitment to balance my life better by writing a blog a day in January, I also made a commitment to try and start an online Lightroom course. I did the first class the day I made that statement and haven't had a chance yet to get any further than that since. Hopefully that will change when the girls go back to school too.

I guess there were only about three days that I really struggled and almost didn't follow through but now that it's done I'm really am thrilled that I persevered and I'm pretty pleased that I have the record of this chunk of time too.

I'm grateful that you guys came along with me, encouraging me, joining in with the conversation and never letting on that you found my posts tedious or annoying. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, your kindness means the world.

So what happens to my blogging from here? I guess only time will tell. I just told farmer Bren that I have a few photos that I haven't used in this post that could easily be a blog tomorrow and he just raised his eyebrows. I'd like to post a blog two or three times a week from here on in, but we'll just have to see where this year takes us to see how that goes.

So, see ya soon, and thank you, and love.
My first new year's resolution - tick!

xxxx


Friday, January 30, 2015

Thirtieth

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Friday night at our place looks a lot like this. It smells of the open fire and of freshly mown grass. Friday night sounds like farmer Bren chopping away at a piece of Blackwood, like Indi practising the guitar, like the kookaburras laughing at us from high up in the tree-tops and like the girls giggling at me rushing around taking photos before we lose the light. Friday night at ours tastes like spelt spaghetti with freshly made pesto and it feels a bit chilly since the sun has disappeared. Friday night tonight is a bit of a relief, a bit of an exhale, the second last late night before school really starts.

Friday night here is lovely, I hope yours is too.

xxxx

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Twenty ninth

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On the twenty ninth day of our year Miss Indi went back to school, the wind blew an absolute gale, I got an email from a blog friend that made me cry, in a good way, and we built the smalls a cubby-house on the back deck where they spent most of the day.

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On the twenty ninth day of the year we did jobs in the garden, we built a small fire in the garden and we made and enjoyed morning tea with my parents - in the garden.

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On the twenty ninth day of the year we started making plans for the rest of the year. We spoke of our priorities, about how to separate money from happiness in our definition of success and of where each of our girls are and what they might need from us as time goes by.

On the twenty ninth day of the year the smalls made a giant chatterbox and laughed hysterically as they read us the messages under the flaps, Miss Indi came home smiling from school and although we probably didn't achieve all that much, I blame the wind, we had a really happy day together.

When we came in to make dinner, this little arrangement was waiting upon the kitchen table - just like that.


So how about you, what did you get up to today and how's the wind at your place?



I hope you get the message you've been hoping for.


Love Kate xx


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