Friday, February 8, 2013

at the root of everything

Late yesterday afternoon, after such a hot and dusty day, I suggested to the family that we go and pick some beetroot to bring home and preserve. Late yesterday afternoon everyone was hot and tired and bothered and not for one second did I expect anyone to agree. But they did. And four out of the five of us headed down the hill to the short creek paddock. One in the ute, one on the back of the ute, and two walking.

And straight away, as if by magic, everything felt lighter and easier. A little bit of family farming at the end of the day fixes everything, or at least puts things in perspective.

This afternoon Indi left all her new high school issues up at the house. She didn't think too much about homework or on-demand testing or swimming trials. Pepper stopped being the new school girl and went back to being our odd boot wearing farmer girl. And me and my farmer boy were just present with them. Laughing and joking and feeling right in the moment. All the business stuff we had been talking about all day was left back up at the house.

We picked beetroot, we taste tested fennel, we told stories, took photos and we laughed.

In the end we stayed too long in the market garden picking beetroot and enjoying one another. By the time we came back up to the house it was almost dark and we were hungry. I whipped up a batch of french toast as my girls sat up at the bench with me and chatted. It was a cheaty quick dinner, but it was also a bit of a reward because I was so happy that they had come.

And I watched them and thought about how different they seemed after our beetroot adventure. How much nicer and happier and more patient they were with one another. And I realised that farming is what's going to get us through this school year and this pre-teen time. It's unrealistic to think that they'll come with me everyday, but I'd be happy with a few times a week. We'll all be happier I think.

We've been talking a lot lately about our farm, where we've been and where to go from here. Farming is hard work and often not very well paid. Yesterday evening though, I felt very well paid. I felt rich. I felt like the luckiest.

Happy Friday peeps!
May yours be filled with love and good food and adventure.



  1. I didn't grow up on a farm but we went on family walks in the evening down to the beach and I always felt (even as an angry teenager) that walking and talking and silence together makes most of the worries wash away. I feel like I have taken that on in my own life, enjoying long walks and just taking time to process thoughts.

  2. sounds devine, and as usual really so simple. Why do we complicate things so much? Why can't I let go of the routine and forget the chores for once and just be....?

    cheers Kate

  3. Very rich indeed! Little things like an afternoon together is best, really. Its not much, but can certainly work wonders. xoxo, Jess

  4. You nailed it! That's what it's about! Beautiful! Your girls are so lucky to have these wonderful lessons of nature!

  5. This is beautiful and the photos are lovely. I hope this year flows with ease- maybe like a little creek, not so much like a busy river! I think you're right on the money about time together, how lucky you are to have the space and natural environment to wander away for a little bit :) Thanks for sharing your family x

  6. I think that mother nature has intended for us all to be calmed in her presence, whether it be at a beach, walking in a park, gardening or just spending time outdoors with each other. So nice that you and your family are able to do this. At times I feel like packing up my suburban life and doing what you and your family do. Maybe one day.

    We too are having new school changes with my daughter - so far so good.

    Have a fabulous weekend with your family

  7. Dear Kate,
    Absolutely loving your sharing of your amazing life with us. Makes me really appreciate the hard work that small scale organic farmers put into their produce, and that a mum puts into her family!! I spoke to Brendon yesterday hoping your farm door was open but alas, not yet! I hope that we soon get to meet, as we've just moved to the area, and we're really into what you guys do. As for your travel plans.. how exciting! We've just gotten back from 5 years of overseas travel and living.. and everyone, especially those with kids deserve that experience!

    Peace Love and Light

  8. I can't stand beetroot but just love your photos, especially the last one. May i copy it and post on my Facebook page, please?

  9. beautiful post Kate - I have experienced that awesome delight when the family say yes to something impromptu - it's so empowering as a mum isn't it! Makes me feel like I can do anything. Wishing you a lovely weekend :-)

  10. Often life can feel like a treadmill, moving constantly. Sometimes it good to step off, even for a few hours and enjoy the people around you. My treadmill goes quite slowly, school, job, homework, spellings, housework, etc (nothing glamorous!!) but still, stepping off is great. Loving the beetroot photos, yum. Sarah

  11. Hi Kate, this post had me smiling and agreeing from start to finish. Farming is not always easy and mid summer in the heat and dust is the hardest time of the year I think. But, it is also very 'real' and carrying out farm tasks with the kids certainly does put things in perspective. We often wonder...will our kids want to be farmers and should we encourage them down that path or not? Big questions for a Friday night! Happy weekend to you too. Oh and french toast for dinner, yum! PS thanks for tips on the apple ripening :)

    1. Yes! We are off the land now... breaking with four generations of working the land. As our 92 yr old poppy said, times have changed and farming with it... but there needs to be a way to take and make the best bits work for us and our kids! I want the life, but not the burden it can pass on to children who feel there is no choice... so tuff.

  12. Do you ever think it's just too much work to be a farmer and that you'd like to try something else?

  13. oh Kate - your posts are such a celebration of family and farming - they leave me happier

  14. Yes it is funny what nature and the outdoors does to us. I take the boys downstairs and almost always calm follows. Spotting an opened sunflower, inspecting the worms or even just picking a few marigolds takes them (and me) to a different place.

  15. I too love how nature refreshes us. I find your parenting journey is inspiring.
    BTW, just want to add that you have also inspired me to start my own blog on the little things that make me happy - including the garden, crochet, home, etc! (
    Can't wait for your book!

  16. how lovely everything fell into place. I love that last picture, it's like a beetroot heart! Heather x

  17. Wonderful essay! I don't think I've ever commented on your blog yet, but I've read all of them. How selfish of me to root through your archives and never have given you any feedback!
    I love your blog, farm, chickens and family!

    Amazing the healing balm that dirt can be,isn't it? I've always envisioned heaven as the place where I can play in the dirt to my heart's content.

    Greetings, from Oklahoma, USA!

  18. Yes to rich Kate. Rich hearts, minds & lives. x

  19. Rich indeed. Beautiful photos by the way!

  20. Happy Weekend to you, Kate, and your lovely family. Thank you for sharing this evening interlude with us.

  21. I have big vegie garden envy now!! I can't wait till we get ours in - we moved recently so have had to start all over again. Those beetroots look divine - a friend gave us a recipe for fresh roasted beetroots that is so yummy!

  22. What beautiful beats! And a really lovely post Kate :-)
    Have a lovely Sunday!
    Sarah xo

  23. See now this is just beautiufl. Simple, sweet and grounding. Nothing is a worry when we reconnect and remember what really matters. You are beautiful and I just love what you do...xx

  24. Following your adventures is so wonderful Kate, I feel very lucky that you share them with all of us. They make me dream of my parents allotment and helping out there, especially in the summer when everything is growing, and at harvest time. I still love helping my parents with their allotment and I'm 23, so have heart that you may just get the same with your girls <3

  25. Bless. So nice to hear a moment in time when it falls into place!
    I grew up on a dairy and wheat farm, it was remote, hard, and as a teenager it was too much. I do and did love farm life either side of those years...
    But as a teen..
    I felt shackled, ironic as I know how much freedom I had but as a teen... it was the opposite. It felt smothering, not dreamy or grounding like it does now.

    Hold on tight, we all come around...takes time and a dose of stinky smog to appreciate it sometimes!

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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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