What’s in a name?

Every day I spend pruning I am surrounded by a diminishing array of sunset coloured foliage. The solar energy embodied in each tree is drawing in, preparing for the dormancy of winter. An autumnal orchard sunset that mirrors the dusk tinted sky. The seasons are shifting and I am anticipating the responsibility of caring for…

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In the eye of the beholder

“Hey farmer, farmer put away your DDT, I don’t care about spots on my apples leave me the birds and the bees, please” The lyrics of that corny 00’s Counting Crows song were on repeat in my head today as I sorted another bin of Pink Lady apples. Sorting fruit is a simple yet difficult…

A philosophical flower

A few months after our dramatic brush with disaster some of our lovely trees are releasing one last breath of life. These gorgeous flowers are a sign that the tree is dying and that it is focusing the remains of it’s energy into a final attempt at reproduction. The bittersweet nature of these flowers leaves…

Home sweet home

Say hello to Franklin and Maka! Until a few weeks ago I’ve been living in Hugh and Katie’s beautiful bluestone homestead. But now I’ve made the temporary move into ‘Franklin’ – the loaner caravan I’ve borrowed off Tess. I still haven’t patched the flyscreens, and it rocks like a boat on windy nights but its…

Building farm community

Deep breath… aaaaand sigh it out. Phew! After a challenging few months, the pace on the orchard has started to slow (a little) - or maybe I’m just getting the hang of things. Although, I’ve only scratched the surface of what I will learn and every time I think I’m all over it, I make…

The first few steps

Shiiiiiit. I knew jumping into the deep end was going to be a challenge but after 18 months of learning and a strong community behind me I knew I was up for it. When I arrived here I hit the ground running and now I’m just trying to keep up (I managed to make time…

How to be a farmer

It’s weeding couch-grass in the rain. It’s piglets in the garlic. It’s home brew and wine in ‘The Belvedere’. It’s the stillness and vibrancy of a spring sunrise mirrored on the home dam. It’s ‘did I turn that tap off...?’. It’s the juxtaposition of romance and tough lessons that engenders a gritty satisfaction that I…

Why the draft planning controls for Victoria miss the mark.

Here are some simple reasons why the changes proposed for planning controls in Vic miss the mark (and could damage the small-scale sustainable farming industry, removing your freedom of choice for healthy ethical meat over the mass produced alternative). The controls define intensive agriculture by feed input which does not correspond with the actual definition…

Victoria’s War on Sustainable Agriculture

Small scale pastured pig and poultry farmers in Victoria are at the centre of a potentially devastating shit-storm this week with the anticompetitive actions of one of two remaining private poultry abattoirs and the release of the draft changes to planning regulations. Many small scale pig and poultry farmers in Victoria are the leaders in…

First Farrowing Experience

I've written previously about the resilience of my farming mentors and my first farrowing experience was a reminder of how small scale farmers need the confidence and strength to improvise, adapt and overcome any unexpected circumstances. It was challenging to me let alone the sow herself and her owners.   'Farrowing' is when a pregnant…