Saturday, January 24, 2015

We're back!

Well. That was the biggest break from blogging I've had since I started the blog some years back. There have been times in the last 6 weeks where I've wondered if I was going to come back to it. But hey: this thing is a record of our adventures, and the adventuring ain't stopping here. It's a place for us to rant about the things we're passionate about, and we're passionate about a lot. It's a place for us to share stuff and (hopefully) teach or inspire people, and there's a lot to learn. So we're back.

What have we been up to since the canceled party debacle?
Heaps of stuff! And also heaps of relaxing!

We have a little break from chicken farming over the summer because we find the chickens really struggle with the hot weather. Also, chicken farming is bloody exhausting, especially after the year we've had, so we need a break!

Life without chickens is roomy and free and relaxing. There's space for new friends, foraging (blackberries! plums! raspberries! oh my!), baking, crocheting, quilting Australiana-themed baby-quilts, reading, swimming, eating, old friends, bee-swarm-catching, a trip to the big-smoke for circus shows and visiting, and general merry-making.

After processing our last batch of chickens for the year and (happily) providing delicious chicken Christmas dinners to the people of the Bega Valley (and one lady who comes all the way from the Snowy Mountains for our chicken!) we headed out to the coast for a luxurious 2 week holiday with some of our nearest and dearest. It. Was. Amazing. Eating, swimming, reading, crocheting. Repeat. Oh, and we harvested a bucketload of native wild raspberries, which we dumped onto a baked ricotta for New Year's dinner. 
Not a bad spot for an afternoon of foraging
There are no words to describe the deliciousness, but here's a picture...
When we came home to the farm the garden was ridiculously overgrown, but we didn't mind. We harvested and made merry.

Our neighbour called to say there was a late swarm of bees at his place, so we caught it in an esky and installed it in our top-bar hive. We've been waiting for a swarm for 2 years since our last lot of bees got hive beetle and evacuated, so that was a happy day.
Me in my "crazy person" beekeeping 'suit' and Gunnar in his proper suit.
The roadside plums came on, and we had a harvest-and-preserve party with some new lovely friends.
I finished a custom baby-quilt order for an Australiana fan in Sydney. Love this quilting bizzo...
The blackberries have come on, so we're harvesting and freezing daily. When the season's over and we've got our haul, we'll have a massive jam cook up. In the meantime, we pick and pick and eat our fill.
Locavore dinner parties with friends, including plum cakes with Jersey cream!
And in between it all we've been working at our off-farm jobs. I've started a new job at the local wholefoods co-op, which is AWESOME, and of course we've been running and working at our little abattoir, which continues to process for small-scale chicken and duck farmers and backyard growers around the traps. Sometimes, the abattoir cleaning (not processing!!) is a family affair. 
The kids don't mind at all (it's an excuse for us all to hang out together playing with high-pressure hoses, after all), and we feel it's important for them to see us (and share in) working hard for the things we believe in.

Oh and I've been thoroughly enjoying exploring the instagram world. Never thought I would, but there you go. Life's full of surprises, right? 

On the immediate horizon we have another little break and then we dive head first into building and chook-enterprise-expansion and abattoir overhauling and school and uni and show season and roadside-apple-and-peach season and all the other busy-ness that comes with this life we're living. I'm excited.


  1. Welcome back! Are you guys still planning on holding a day workshop on your chicken-growing??

    1. Thanks becs! Yep, we're still planning a workshop - stay tuned!!

  2. It's lovely to have you back blogging and to catch up on happenings.
    The baby quilt is stunning.
    Here's to a happy and healthy 2015.

    1. Thanks Zara. Unfortunately we only got 'in progress' photos of the baby quilt. Sometimes I'm just so excited to finish and post things off that I forget to photograph them! Hopefully I'll get a photo of the quilt being modelled by the little bubba when they make their appearance 😊💛

    2. Oh you sure will see the quilt when the baby pops out! And Zara, if you can believe it- the quilt is even more awesome in real life!! We love it x

  3. Oh yay! I love it when you ladeez blog. Those raspberries - how great! Fellow beekeepers round Melbourne are saying that the small hive beetles have gotten bad down here this Summer, probably because of increased humidity. I haven't seen any in our hive yet, thank dog. Peops do say that having chickens round the hive can help, as they scarf up the larvae when they (the larvae) leave the hive to pupate in the soil. If that's so, then your bees will be set.

  4. Yay, wonderful to hear you have all been enjoying summer!!! May the wonderfulness continue throughout 2015 for you beautifuls! Extra yay for the new bees - how exciting! Hope they settle well into the top bar hive. We just harvested a few jars from our top bar hive, with Rich dressed in a similar DIY 'crazy person' bee suit like Annie's, hahaha :)

  5. I have been truly inspired by all that you are doing. Thank you for continuing to teach for I shall continue to listen. Blessings!

  6. I miss you, in blog and in person. 5 minutes of Pearl on the odd Saturday lunch break is just not enough, we must have some sort of proper reconnect and catch-up. xxx Mer