Friday, October 19, 2018

expect the unexpected

I think I'm going to call this blog post - expect the unexpected. Not the surprise it's your party!!  kind of unexpected, more of the if you don't have expectations then you won't be disappointed, in fact you may just end up being pleasantly surprised.

This morning over coffee I was having the same conversation with my farmer boy that we've had at least a million times before. I was comparing our crazy, mixed-up, wild farm with those that you see in the magazines and on the design sites. How come after all these seasons, after all those hours, after all the experience and sweat and planning and money and tears...our farm is as wild as ever?

There were times in the past where this sort of statement first thing in the morning might have been the cause for an argument. I would think that I was stating a fact, yet he would take it personally. These days though, after 17 and half years on this land, we're getting better at seeing things differently. Or perhaps he's just getting better at reminding me.

'I think the neat aesthetic picture we have as humans isn't necessarily good for nature' he told me.
'The pretty picture of a farm made of perfectly neat rows isn't how the natural world works. Nothing grows neatly on its own. Nothing grows in isolation. Nothing grows in monoculture. Nature is inherently messy. An old growth forest in all its beauty is still messy.'

I looked out the window and thought of all the times we'd come to this point in the past. When he'd talked to me about what herbicides do to the earth and how as certified organic farmers we've chosen to have less control but more biodiversity, less neatness and more jungle, less magazine perfect and more us perfect.

And so this morning it was a quick turn around from expected frustration to unexpected pride and satisfaction.

This entire past week wasn't what I had expected it to be at all. There was no weeding, no mowing, no planting rows of seedlings in the garden, no mulching, no burning off, no workouts at the gym, and worst of all there was no bee pollination of the apple blossom in the orchards.

At the start of this week while visiting our bees a few things happened that were unexpected: first I hurt my neck so badly, and then not long after the temperatures dropped, the wind picked up and it rained for days.

It wasn't great. I felt sorry for myself and I worried about the apples. It felt hard not to take the terrible pollination weather personally, it felt so dreadfully timed. I felt more concerned every time someone tried to cheer me up by telling me the rain was needed and that Mother Nature would look after us, and I remembered those few years when we hardly got a crop at all. 

But life went on. I drove Indi to school for her practise exams, we planned Pepper's birthday party, I stayed up late into the night and finished two books and I watched the rest of the garden soaking up the rain and loving it.

And unexpectedly because my neck was too sore to do much outside, I planted and planted and planted up the greenhouse.

We planted and tidied up the garden near the house.

I had another spinning lesson with my teacher Rebecca and have fallen in love.

I used to worry that learning to spin would be just another craft that would take time away from knitting, where now I can see that it's only going to add to the experience. Especially when I'm spinning the fleece of our own sheep hopefully within the next year.

I also had a fair bit of couch time and was able to cast off my Lanes cardigan, pictures to follow hopefully next week.

This morning, scared to have any expectations after the week of wild weather, we took our second coffees of the day down to the orchard to see what was going on.

And we were pleasantly surprised.

Most of the blossom had survived the lashing, the bees were flying around in a drunk frenzy and the smell was intoxicating. Thank goodness, thank Mother Nature, phew.

There are even a few teeny tiny apples! That swollen bit on the stem to the right of my finger will hopefully, if all goes to plan weather wise, be a delicious Mutzu apple come next April. That's our Jazzy's favourite apple in the world, if she were here she'd be very excited.

So while some crappy things did happen this week ruling the expected impossible, the unexpected was actually surprisingly okay. Possibly even perfectly okay

And that's me for the week. If I could put in an order for next week I'd ask for injury free and sunny, but I know better than that.

I hope your week has been unexpectedly, perfectly okay friends.
Are the apples blossoming or ripe for the picking where you are?
Are the seeds for sowing or for saving?
Was your week what you expected?

When I write this next week my baby will be 11!! She was one when I started this blog.
I'd best be off and go and bake her birthday cake.

Love to you!

Kate x


  1. your wild garden might be another persons neat garden. Wild or neat, i do love seeing your garden, flowers and trees.

    1. Thank you Tiffany. I would love to see the garden messier than ours one day, I think that would make me smile. xx

    2. Come to my place - you'll be grinning from ear to ear!

  2. just beautiful I love rambling untidy gardens ,they are full of treasures

    1. So do I when I think about it, formal neat gardens don't appeal to me at all. x

  3. Kate you have such a way with words. Look forward to your blog every Friday. We are truly inspired by your "wild" farm, shed building, bowl carving, flower growing and the list could go on and on. Have a great weekend ������

    1. Oh thank you so much Jay, that means the world to me. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. xxx

  4. What a wonderful, wonderful post. Exactly what I needed today! Among all the seedlings to be planted, building our house and facing suprises (like... the car breaking!) what a timely reminder to appreciate all the goddness in all this mess. Thank you x Cat

  5. Sorry you have been unwell this week. I know how you feel, a sore knee last week, bee sting on the weekend -yes I'm allergic- now a cold! Man next eeek needs to be better 🙂
    I can't believe Pepper is turning 11- wow- happy birthday

  6. The person with the greatest faith is a farmer.

  7. I look forward to your posts every Friday and love every single picture of your wild farm. That is what makes it so beautiful, in my opinion! We are headed into fall/winter where I live (Utah, USA) so your gorgeous photos always help me make it through the dreary cold months. Hope you have a great week, Kate!

  8. Ah Kate, you look at the beautiful perfect farms....and I look at yours. I grew up with the spraying and the neat rows, the immaculate, matching house....but I dream of natural, wildness and biodiversity. Of recycled, of things with a soul and a story.

    We have just bought a farm and will be moving interstate to it in a few months and it too will be a biodiverse property. Eventually. She may not ever get to “country style” magazine or something similar....(as in, never.) but she will be ours, created with love and passion for the work we will be doing.

    Your farm is beautiful, I’m so glad your apple orchard is looking good still after the rains.

    And spinning....oh how I love it. I have only spun a couple of times, but it resonated with me so deeply as a craft. One day I will buy a wheel and develop the skill. Though unlike you, I’m a bit of a sucky knitter.....I need to master knitting first. I get stuck when I make a mistake, and frustrated with my imperfections. I’m more of a sewer, but I look longingly at the knitters and one day I’ll persist and master it!


  9. Love this post Kate, thank you:) Reminds me to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy the garden in it's messy glory.

  10. I never miss your Friday posts, but somehow I did with this one! Your farm is what my dreams are made of, it's just so beautiful. Bren is right, nature will out and how can you have a well ordered small holding, all neat and in rows, without a lot of toxic chemicals. So glad the rain stopped and the bees did their work for your apple trees.


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

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