Sunday, September 30, 2012

One fish, two fish...150 fish!

Yesterday we woke our girls early for an adventure. They weren't super impressed at being woken on a Saturday, but we were going somewhere that would close early because of the grand final. So we hurried them along and set off.

Our morning excursion was all about tiny little, fingerling fish. And we were excited.

We were excited because we would be stopping at the interesting looking building and grounds we have driven past and wondered about so many times over the years. We were excited about visiting and exploring and supporting a part of local Ballarat history, The Ballarat Trout Hatchery. We were excited to chat with some of the volunteers who work there.

And most importantly, we were excited about taking home 50 brown trout and100 rainbow trout with us.

And while the hatchery proved to be a dark, modest little set-up, it also felt quite magical and filled to the brim with history. And we spent our time there walking up and down the fish ponds, admiring all the fishery relics, trying to take photos on the lowest aperture I could hand hold, admiring all the fishies and chatting and asking questions of the lovely, volunteers working there and running the joint.

Yesterday afternoon we brought two big bags of fingerling trout home with us to Daylesford Organics. We left them them in their plastic bags in the house dam to acclimatise. And then after a while we opened those bags and let them swim free. And as they did we wished them safety, growth and told them we hoped we would see them soon.

Adding 150 trout to our house dam is about introducing a species who will eat all the tiny insects, larvae, plankton, yabbies and other dam life that clog the irrigation filters. It is about creating another level in our dam's food chain. It is about adding to the bio-diversity of the house dam. And it was about  spending time together, learning about another species and having fun.

And of course it was about adding to our self sufficiency.

Give a family a fish and they'll eat for a day - fill their dam with fish and they'll eat for ages.

If everything goes to plan, this time next year you'll find us in the boat on the dam with a fishing rod.


Some parts of farming really make me quite emotional. The responsibility, the life cycle stuff, the lessons we learn along the way, the working in partnership with mother nature and the way our girls are growing up surrounded by all this stuff. Yesterday was one of these emotional times. It just felt really big and exciting.

Welcome to our place little guys.

So how about you?
Are you a fan of the fishy?
To catch or to eat?
Have you explored behind any new-to-you doors lately?
Is it as freezing there as it is here?

Happy Sunday y'all.
Farewell fishies. x

PS. Blogger, you and your layout issues are killing me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Making::a poncho.

I've been making a poncho.

And while I've been making my poncho I've been thinking a lot about how great it is to have the skills to make things yourself. When you know how to make something, you can make it exactly the way you want it and when you want it.

All winter long I've been wearing my Mara shawl. I love my Mara. Its possibly the most successful, in terms of amount of wears, thing I've ever knit. Its charcoal grey and goes with everything. It's snugly. Its knit from local Bendigo Woollen Mills wool. Its a gorgeous pattern. And people are always asking me about it.

But when you are a crazy busy mama/farmer-girl, shawls aren't really the most practical accessory. I am forever tucking Mara's ends back around me, or tying them up all over again.

So about a month ago it occurred to me that I needed a poncho.

A poncho would do the same snugly job as Mara, but wouldn't ever come undone.

So I did a search of ponchos/capelets/cowls on google images. I looked at heaps of them until I came up with what I wanted for myself. I decided it had to be about elbow length, not too tight around the neck and definitely no skivvy bit, light grey for trans-seasonal wearing and cables and ribs for interesting knitting.

Then I did a ravelry search, found a pattern that ticked all my boxes, found some wool in my stash and cast on.

I'm not a great or very patient shopper and I know that had I chosen to pound the pavement searching for the poncho of my dreams, I would have come home empty handed and irritated.

Instead, after a week or so of enjoyable, meditative knitting, I'll have a cute poncho to wear. It'll be made to my personal specifications and I wont have to wait until the fashion gods decide that its on trend and in shops.

And I know that making your own doesn't always equal a bargain, but in this case the end result will cost me twenty three dollars which I think is pretty reasonable indeed.

Making really excites me. I love it!

Growing and cooking do for the same reasons too.
Right now I'm heading to the kitchen to heat up some soup we made from vegies we grew.

What are you making at the moment?
Do you wanna make a poncho too?
My pattern details are here. Let's start a poncho trend. How fun!
Are you obsessed with the make like I am?

Happy weekending. xx

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The other Kate. x

I have this gorgeous friend called Kate.
She is the mama of two cute girls and guess what?
One of her girls is called Pepper.
Fancy that!! Two Kates and two Peppers.

Anyway, Kate has this business where she goes into people's houses and hangs out with them and takes photos and captures them in their real life. You might have seen the pics of when she visited Pip's house recently. Her photos are really amazing. Really clear and very, very inspiring.

So Kate came to our house to shoot us today. And her two girls and Ro and his two girls came too. And in the end including our girls there were seven girls and it was fun and it was wild. And we baked fancy four stranded challah, we made and ate a big meal with the farmer boys, we took the alpacas for a walk and played with the baby chicks. And the girlies took their clothes off and put them back on again  several times, swung on the inside swing, did nail polish and ate lots of eggs.

We adore those guys and loved spending the day with them.

And in the end we had a bit too much fun and had to make a plan for Kate to come over again soon to take more photos with less little girl distractions. We'll wait til after the school holidays I think. I'm just happy to have an excuse to have her over again soon. Yay!

Pic 1 - The kitchen pile of stuff.
Pic 2 - Me and Jazzy.
Pic 3 - Our bedroom wall.
Pic 4 - The Esse stripey pipes.
Pics 5 and 6 -  Braiding the challah.

More of Kate's gorgeous pics and her business details are here on her blog, go and say hello.

I hope you are having a wonderful week.
I hope you've had a chance to spend time with gorgeous friends.
And I hope you know how much your encouraging comments on my last post meant to us.
Thank you! I'll keep you posted.

I'm off to knit a few rows of my poncho.
What are you doing right now?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Some day...

Some day in the future my parents will live on the block of land opposite ours where we picked these flowers.

Some day we will will ride our bikes down our driveway for cups of tea with them.

Some day they will live in a gorgeous passive and active solar house, with their own Esse stove for cooking.

Some day they will keep some goats and sheep in their paddocks and their Maremma Petey-boy will bark to protect them from the foxs.

Some day my girls will sleep over at their house and me and my farmer boy will have date nights.

Some day we'll drive past and wave at them and they'll wave back.

Some day I'll call them and ask them if they need anything from town.

Some day my girls will run away to their house when they are angry with me.

Some day I will call my Mum when I am too tired to cook. We'll collect a basket of vegies and flowers along the way to their house. We'll sit in their kitchen while they make dinner and we'll tell stories and make plans.

Some day they'll be just down the hill.

Some day they will be here with us for all the birthdays and special occasions.

Some day my Mum will make me a rainbow layer cake and do all the dishes herself.

Some day my Dad will correct the apostrophes in my blog in person rather than by email.

Some day my Mum will pick these flowers for her own kitchen.

Some day, someone from somewhere will buy my parents' house and property so they can move over the strait and accross the road from us.

We can hardly wait!!

Have you got something you are looking forward to some day?
Are you planning and imagining?
I hope it happens sometime soon.
For you and for us. xx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My dream.

Over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about when we first moved here. About who we were then, who we wanted to become, what we saw in this place and what we wanted to create. I'm not sure if its springtime, if its the renewed perspective after the caravan trip, or if its the fact that I can see our vision coming to fruition, but its on my mind all the time.

Twelve-ish years ago, we made a decision to stop fighting and protesting against all the things in the world we disagreed with, and to create something beautiful instead. To make something we could be proud of, to grow amazing, organic fruit and veg, to improve our piece of the world and to bring up some great kids and have a wonderful family life together.

This morning on our egg round I couldn't get the last two out of my head.

Back then when we were making plans to move our lives from the Melbourne suburbs to the country, I dreamed it would include a life lived WITH my farmer boy. I didn't want him to ride off on his bike to work anymore. I wanted him here with me. I wanted to live our lives together. To make plans together and make them happen together.

I wanted to bring up children who understood where their food came from and to play an active role in growing it. I wanted them to understand the role of the seasons, the weather and the insects and animals.

I wanted them to breathe lots of fresh air, to be able to get dirty, to have lots of room to run and climb and dance and no neighbours so they could scream as loud as they needed to.

I wanted them to love and honour and respect and care.

And I wanted to bring up children who could run free. Who would have wild imaginations. Who weren't frightened to take risks.

This morning on the egg run I thought about that Kate of 12 years ago and I whispered to her. I told her that although she was making a tough decision to move away from her family and friends and the life she had always known, that it was the right decision. That it was the only decision. That she could have all this and more. That it is possible.

Have a gorgeous Sunday
Keep dreaming.
I am.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I think I might almost be too tired for words tonight. Almost.

Farming seems to suit me like that.

In my farmer's wife life, I am filled with words. They chat and call out and sing and worry me all day long. And then they noisily keep me up at night. Round and round in my head they go; organising and stressing and wondering and replaying.

But as farmer Kate, life is more practical, physical. The words seem fewer, calmer, more direct. Farming words are for planning and problem solving and organising. Farming words make sense. And farming nights are for sleeping soundly.

We are almost a month into springtime now. Our days are spent preparing for when the warmer, drier weather arrives. We are slowly bringing the chooks down from the forest onto the grassy creek flats where the market gardens will be. We are organising the where to plant and what to plant and how much to plant. And after what seems like forever, we are discussing where to sell.

Missing last growing season while we were on the caravan adventure we are more excited than ever to get growing and harvesting again. I get butterflies in my tummy when I think about the baskets of rainbow carrots and braids of garlic and fields of sunflowers.

Farming in springtime is nice.

And little babies are nice. These two freshly knit Milos are off interstate to some spring babies. I wish I could snuggle both those babies in person, I really do. But for now I'll be waiting and checking the instagram for details and photos. And I'll be cluck, cluck, clucking a bit. It is springtime after all.

That's tired ol' me.
How are you?
Have you had more of a wordy or do-ey kind of day today?
When was the last time you washed your hair?

Ok, better go and get my smalls to bed.
Last day of term tomorrow. Yippeeeeeee
Have a wonderful Friday friends.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What we do.

We've been farming like crazy, us three.
Farmers Pierre and Liam are away for two weeks at tree felling school.
So its just us three and Jo-Jo the champion chook catcher.

We've been collecting and moving and feeding out and sorting and packing.

Yesterday my farmer boy took me on a tractor ride to get some bales of hay.

We rolled out those big, round hay bales, fenced them off and brought some chooks in.
Those chooks are working super hard preparing our garden beds for planting. They're kicking the hay about, fertilising it and scratching it all up and turning it into compost.

It's been fun having a tiny flock of house chooks again. Miss Pepper has been naming them and cuddling them at every opportunity. Farmer Bren has been calling me a permy (permaculture). I just like having them here.

This morning we used baskets to collect the eggs as an experiment and it felt old fashioned and fun.

Miss Pepper has been wearing her Griffin vest and Bren's Farmer boy beanie a lot and I've been wearing my old Lee overalls.

We've been singing and laughing and telling stories and silly jokes like;
Q. What do you call a cross between a kangaroo and an alpaca?
A. A woolly jumper!!

I'm so tired.

I'm glad I froze big tubs of soup a few weeks back for dinners.

And I'm happy.

I love what we do.

What do you do?
Where are you?
What's going on this week?

Ciao chookens. xx

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