Monday, April 29, 2013


This weekend's tomatoes;

All the San Marzano's were cooked, moulied and poured into Fowlers jars (132 for the year so far).

All the cherries were eaten in salads and sandwiches.

And all the baby pears were laid out on baking trays with big glugs of olive oil, plenty of fresh basil and oregano, wedges of onion and garlic, and salt and pepper.

Tray after tray sat for hours and hours in the wood cooker over the weekend. Our house smelled delicious.

A few trays of the tomatoes were put in jars and filled with olive oil (recipe here), some were eaten straight off the tray and the rest were moulied, poured into a big, heavy saucepan and cooked down for sauce and paste.

Me and my farmer boy are talking a lot about passion at the moment.
Red, fiery, excited, energising, smiley, happy, butterflies in your tummy passion.

Where does it come from and what is it exactly?

I keep coming back to the same answer. Growing food, preparing food and preserving food for our family is my passion. Living in the season and preparing for the next. Having a minimal impact on the earth. Living a creative life. Family. Home.

It's been a few years since we came to the realisation that it's a bit silly to grow gorgeous organic fruit and veg only to sell it all off at market and not have any left over for ourselves. It's been a few years since we used that realisation to set up a big kitchen garden right outside our house. And it's been a few years of feeding ourselves before the business.

But now that I have three at school, my book has gone to print and we are back from overseas, I feel like there's room in my life to go further. To do more.

There's not a lot of time. The slow life is a pretty busy life. But while I'm gathering tomatoes, or kindling, or eggs, I'm also gathering ideas. Maybe a couple of milking goats and some cheese making, maybe some sheep for shearing and wool spinning, maybe a bit of work on a way to grow citrus, maybe a paddock of wheat for bread and chook food? So many maybes.

It's a work in progress and a constant reassessment.

I feel like this is an important time for us and I'm excited. (Although I do sometimes wish that cleaning my house gave me more of a buzz.)

So tell me peeps, what is your passion?
What keeps you up at night and gets you out of bed in the morning?
What makes you happy and feeds your soul?

I hope you have such a happy week my friends.



  1. Just look at those tomatoes! Fabulous! Passion is something I've been giving a lot of thought to recently. I feel like my day job keeps me from what I'm passionate about doing (photography). It sometimes (often, unfortunately) feels like all my creative energy is zapped by teaching high school. One day I'm going to take a step back. One day!

  2. I love your passion for the simple life. Hard work it may be, but what a life it is! Your tomatoes look delicious, We've been so busy with the day to day, we've neglected our garden, but just this morning we were talking of what we're going to plant for the winter. I miss not being able to head out to the veggie patch to get supplies..x

  3. Passion now includes a baby, fabric creations, gardening and hoping it grows, and walking the neighbor's dog each day which brings a rhythm heretofore not included in our day-to-day routine. Your tomatoes look delicious-we're hoping for some too...

  4. Lots of passions, mostly around making. Making stuff from scratch instead of shop bought - jams, chutnies, bread, soap, and lately yoghurt. All squuezed in adound full time work and part time study and constant teenage-wrangling.

    Oh. And knitting. Always knitting.

  5. So much tasty red & green in your photos Kate! I like your comment about the slow life being busy. It is a good, healthy, physical busy though isn't it? At the risk of sounding lame I think we share similar passions although I cannot knit or sew. Feeding my family 'from scratch' wherever possible is a true passion of mine. Baking bread, growing food and also teaching my children these skills. These things get me out of bed in the morning :)

  6. So true - the slow life is definitely a busy life but what a fabulous way to live!! I feel more passionate about our life now than ever before and I'm sure (for me) it's got something to do with living rurally, being more in sync with the seasons, producing food, caring for animals and living in an exceedingly beautiful environment - it all makes my heart sing. Your tomatoes look absolutely gorgeous and I'm desperate for some Fowlers jars but have had no joy finding them in NZ. Might just have to bite the bullet and have some shipped across the Tasman!

  7. Exactly how I felt last night as I harvested the ingredients for a salad from our garden. Beautiful fresh, organic produce that I grew and cared for. It's our first produce since moving here a year ago. And it felt so good. xx

  8. My passion at the moment is getting my veggie garden happening so that it feeds us more than just a handful of tomatoes..... maybe you could host a glamping weekend (camping with the added extras of good coffee) and teach us how to do this food thing. And when you read my post tomorrow you will laugh at what I was writing at the same time that you were uploading your tommy toe pics..... we must have been having a brainwave together. Beautiful words Kate

  9. I adore your food photos Kate!
    We have only just started planting a few things recently, after putting in
    a little wall right the way along the back fence. The girls have their own sections.
    Just tomatoes, carrots and onions at the moment. (and a herb garden
    that seems to being doing well already with the sun and rain we get up here).
    I am not much of a gardener, but love picking bits from the garden!

  10. Hola! Yo no se ingles, gracias al traductor puedo seguir este blog que me encanta. Mi pasión son el cuidado y la educación de mis hij@s, me alimenta el alma la naturaleza que es mi templo, trabajar con la tierra , cuidar del huerto y el jardín, la buena música ,la lectura,me relaja tricotar, el crochet,las manualidades...Disfruto de las cosas sencillas que nos brinda la vida,la familia, las amistades, la compañia de los animales,me gusta la sencillez y la tranquilidad ...Un cordial saludo desde España.

  11. I love how passionate you are about your life Kate. We have new opportunities on the horizon that will lead us to a life in the country and it's stirred up all the dreams we have kept tucked safely away. Every minute we get we are planning, chatting, reading and researching a new way of life, one we are all looking forward to.

  12. I long for a life a lot like you mentioned. Perhaps not as big, but a bit of land to love and tender. I have faith that my time will come. In the mean time, my passion is to be a stay at home mum, tend to my families needs, toil with my photography a little more.

  13. yum ... I can't wait until we move back to our old house where we can have chickens and a veggie garden!

  14. Oh, I love this post. My passion is soft things, fabrics and yarn and all the cute paraphernalia of needlework. I lie in bed at night imagining this backing on the quilt or what the precious bits could become. I sew to immerse myself in the making.

  15. Books are my passion. I get such a buzz when I go into a bookshop or library, and I also love notebooks and sketchbooks. The books are stacked three rows deep on our shelves and I have boxes full of notebooks, some full of scrawled notes, others completely untouched. My other big passion is food, which is why I like your blog so much! xK

  16. My passion is hand lettering. It feeds my soul to sit and draw when so much of our lives are online. And books of course...I couldn't live without books.

  17. oh my! those tomatoes look and sound delicious...i can ALMOST taste them. we were starting our tomato seeds this weekend in the midwest. thanks for the sensory overload!

  18. My passions are my wonderful partner and children, eating good, homemade (hopefully homegrown) food. Exercise - cycling, yoga, even the school run! Books, theatre, music, dance. Friends and family, a good meal shared. Painting and decorating, wandering round fabric shops, crafting....Too many to mention really! Lovely post and fab photos, as ever. I heart it! Xx

  19. Love your pics and you do lead the idealic life. Sadly I lost everything above ground in our garden over summer to fruitfly. Even my father who has lived here for 70 odd years has never seen fruit fly in his garden! So my new passion is to declare war on the blighters and actually have a summer crop next year. Shame that only ourselves and our immediate neighbours were laying traps etc.

  20. Cut back work hours further and simplify my home to be more creative with crafts, food, gardening and loving.

  21. My passion - creativity... takes on all forms - writing, photography, arranging flowers, cooking, lighting candles and prettifying the home, talking.. ANYTHING to do with creativity. I guess that's why I LUUUUUURVE your blog!! ♥

  22. I'm most passionate about family! Slowly trying to discover what other things I'm passionate about - starting with a camping trip around Oz! Finally posting a comment on your blog which I LOVE and came across about 2 years ago when we first started planning our campervaning journey. I have been inspired by your story in soooooo many ways so about time I said thank you :-)

  23. Kate I'm loving your photos so much at the moment. They are just gorgeous. Each one just speaks of a different story, and so beautifully told.
    Passion and soul filling for me? Food...real food, our little family, making, baking, catching a moment in a picture, pregnancy birth and babies, new discoveries, curiosity...there is a hell of a lot of of things to get excited by. (And chai in the early morning...that's what gets me up in the dark mornings.)

  24. I'm not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    My web-site; acoustic guitar a chord


Thanks so much for stopping by...

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

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Visit my other blog.