A new start

This year has been quite a ride. Our borrowed 40 acres of unused farm land that we started our farm on is ready for a good rest and regeneration, our 4 sows have grown to 20 and we have purchased a larger chunk of land (65 acres) of almost virgin farmland with poor fences and no water surrounding our home. Not only has our farm grown but our family has too, Lucy will be two when our new little piglet comes along in February. With the commitments of buying more land and growing our family comes the inescapable sense to become more self sufficient. I love being at home in the garden or on the farm with Lucy, teaching her life skills from an early age is so important for me as a mother, as our mum brought us up the same way. We grow a lot of our own food already, swap with friends for stuff we don’t grow and stock up at the monthly farmers market from nearby farmers who collect honey, grow rice, harvest nuts and make cheese, but we could make more of an effort. Then there is the cost of running our house… red gum weatherboard full of holes and poorly glazed windows, facing in the wrong direction. How I long for a thermal efficient house, facing the north and run from solar power. But the reality is that this is our home for the time being, so it’s time to make some lifestyle changes to make things a bit easier. With inspiration up my sleeve from Rohan Anderson and a nesting drive from pregnancy its time for more vegetable garden space (we have a whole acre of lawn), solar powered hot water, outside kitchen for summer (BBQ cooking only!) to begin with. And one more thing…

I’ve been dreaming of a farm cooking school for years, set up in the existing shed at the house to share my love of being in the kitchen and cooking. Especially throwing together meals with weird stuff that hangs around in the pantry or recovered from our overgrown veggie garden. I learnt to cook like this back when we first met, we didn’t have much money and I had plenty of time on my hands studying from home. Mum is a fabulous cook, as are my sisters and our lives pretty much revolve around meals and ingredients. Lucy stands on her little chair next to me every night to help me get dinner ready, picks herbs from the backdoor and pulls all sorts of things from the garden to cook, albeit weeds. So the dream is… extend our shed using reclaimed timber and tin, solar panels for power, fit it out with a coolroom, oversized larder and a basic kitchen equipped for curing our pork and making small goods, preserving our fruit in summer and cooking bits for our markets- with room for a few guests. Must have window overlooking the red gum forest right behind our house, and must have airflow and a seat outside for cuppa/wine/G&T breaks. Not much to ask… I’m giving myself 6 months. Max.

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2 thoughts on “A new start

  1. Hi there I just wanted to let you know I also share your love of free range pork.. I have a farm at Mellool not far from Barham and run free range pure bred saddlebacks.. They are great mothers old English breed as yours and hardy for paddock grazing. We have sampled our own stock and were very happy with succulence and sweetness of the meat. Good luck with your business and congratulations on the success of your growing numbers and purchasing of land.. Sincerely Stephanie

    • Hey Steph, thank you for reading. It would be good to catch up one day, I’d love to see your pigs. We have one Saddleback x Large Black and she is a beautiful mother and I would like to get a few more Saddlebacks for smallgoods. Please be in touch if you ever have gilts you want to move on, I’m sure we could accommodate them and give them a long life on the farm.

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