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.


  1. wow!This is interesting and amazing,too!! Good luck with your new inhabitants!!!
    Happy weekend, xxx Alessandra

  2. I love fish. And I love to fish! What a perfect addition to your house dam!

  3. Oh, my husband would be in heaven. He is a trout fisherman from a long line of trout fishermen.

  4. HOw exciting!!! Sounds like we both had wonderful days yesterday.

  5. Is it possible to crochet fly-fishing line??
    Love reading about your place - makes me green with envy!

    1. Ohmygoodness, I SO want to crochet a fly fishing lure now.

  6. Kate, how awesome. I must admit a fair degree of jealousy though. The dam looks beautiful, peaceful and a perfect spot for spending an afternoon catching a fish for tea :)

  7. I love your enthusiasm for your farming life Kate. I love the fact your are so involved in it all, that you care so much & it makes you so happy. Thanks for sharing your joy xx

  8. We often fish at surrounding lakes in and around Ballarat, and we have caught some real beauties-both trout and redfin. I can highly recommend both. Chef has a smoker.....and I tell you, the taste of your own freshly caught trout, smoked by yourself and then thoroughly enjoyed with some cheese and cider is one of the best things. I reckon it would taste even better caught from your own dam too. :) How exciting for your guys!

    1. I love the sound of all of that Tash.
      Farmer Bren was talking about building a chimney smoker yesterday afternoon.
      We might call on you guys for advice this time next year.

  9. What great news Kate for your farm. I wish all the little fish safety as they grow up and do their job in the environment too!

  10. Oh My Goodness! Your PS to blogger at the end of your post made me giggle and made my day! I have been JUST sitting here thinking the same thing and fighting with it trying to make it do what I want it to! Suffice to say it continues to bullishly do what it wants to...

    1. Ladies, I thought it was just me with layout issues (gumby that I am ;-). Maybe the Blogger dudes will see this and solve our headaches!!

  11. How big is your dam? We don't have access to fresh fish (easily) so I love this idea. Hmmm

    1. The house dam is 200 metres circumference.
      How much does that word take you back to school days.
      How big is your dam Alli? x

    2. LOL. Like diameter and radius. Ours is probably similar size and quite deep in the middle. Also very full. Some thinking to do. There's a hatching pond in Buxton I think. Food for thought. Literally.

  12. What an interesting place to visit.
    I hope your new fishies serve you well.
    It's a great idea to put your dam to use and the fish are doing you a service too. I like how you're working with nature instead of doing something man made.
    We love smoked trout and often put it in a lemon & pea risotto, fritattas and salads. I'd love to have a dam big enough to have our own. Then I could just send the boys out to catch dinner (and give me some peace).
    Have a lovely week. x

  13. i am super impressed! i need a farm and i need a dam with rainbow trout! this is one of my dreams. hope it all works for you and you enjoy many many lovely meals of beautiful home grown fish.

  14. Son and Hubby went fishing locally for trout today (season opens this weekend) and though sighted some, ended up with an eel! That is tomorrows "treat" Not sure how I feel about it, though I know it is popular. Will let you know!

  15. Isn't it just a wonderful adventure going to those 'new door' places, my own town opened its views recently ... which gave you access to areas you had only wondered about before ... it was all very exciting!!

    Looking forward to more fishy tales, and may they grow strong!!


  16. Oh all wonderful photos Kate! How exciting to have your own fish to eat! And you'll be able to smoke them in Ro's smokehouse!


  17. we ar beyond jealous. Can't wait to taste them!

  18. Wonderful post. I enjoyed reading every word of it. Wish you the very best! Gaia.

  19. What a great activity to do as a family. Looking forward to what next year brings for you and hoping that many of the litle trout grow to be big trout to feed your family.

    I am not a fishergirl. I will happily wait while you fish but would prefer to walk along the waters edge and run my feet through the sand. I do not have the patience to hold the rood. I will however eat it:)

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