Wow – how quickly the year is disappearing! No sooner did we enjoy the golden hues of autumn, then winter approached with bracing winds, rain and more rain, sub-zero temperatures and more rain. Did I mention rain? How sad the extra water tanks aren’t in yet! But the ducks think it’s the best thing in the world – the whole property is one big swamp, just ripe for puddling around in!!
So far, our record coldest morning was about -6°C. The landscape was blanketed in white icicles, giving everything a lacy cover that crunched underfoot. Nearby towns had snow! Even the weeds looked pretty in their icicle finery.
Aside from the cold, there have been some glorious days of winter sunshine, enabling Stace to get out and make some amazing changes to the White Stone Farm landscape. The rain and high clay content on the property does make anything to do with dirt or driving around the property a lot more challenging and it’s caused Stace huge frustration as he slips and slides around the block. In future years we won’t be doing such grand manoeuvres in the slushy, slippery winter but this year we need to get lots done before spring. Despite the trying conditions, Stace has done an amazing job at moving earth to create some innovative infrastructure and effective grow beds… Continue reading →
A quick glimpse of what can happen in a month at White Stone Farm!
Recently I was asked by a fellow-blogger friend to contribute a guest blog detailing my life for 30 days. The blogger is Christie Peucker, who has just returned from an epic year-long adventure around the globe where she did weird and wonderful things for a month at a time to celebrate and tick off her bucket list. It’s a fascinating look at the adventure of a solo female traveller in some pretty incredible places. Christie has now set up 30 Days – The Collection series on her website, asking people to contribute their 30 days of life or adventure – and I was very happy to contribute the crazy antics of daily life at White Stone Farm. Read on for a taste of my month of musings. And if you’d like to check out Christie’s blog of her amazing adventure (or help her publish a book about it!), go to: http://www.30days30years.com/
30 years = 30 days of a Tree Change
In a sudden moment of epiphany as we began our 30’s, my partner and I decided that we wanted out of the smoggy city, the hustle and bustle and sprawling suburbia and headed for the hills for a new life of fresh air, wholesome veggies, strong community, country living and a small-acre farming lifestyle.
Within a month we were moving our jobs, lifestyles and futures to an idyllic country township with dreams of creating a sustainable farming venture and merely 6 months later buying and settling on a 10 acre property near Clunes in central Victoria. Nestled on an ancient volcanic landscape, with huge gum trees that have watched over the land for over 500 years, we began to make our home in the rustic weatherboard farmhouse and named the place White Stone Farm. Continue reading →
Brrrr…winter is on its way at White Stone Farm! Crisp, clear nights with millions of stars ablaze in the sky turn to frosty mornings and a landscape blanketed in icicles of white. The grass crunches underfoot as I brave the frigid air to feed the early morning crew.
Jess is always the first at the gate (or back door if she’s near the house), jets of breathy steam blowing from her wide equine nostrils. She whickers good morning and her ears prick forward at the promise of carrots. Continue reading →
As April rolls into May and the leaves turn golden, the first frosts appear and the landscape is blanketed in autumn colours around Clunes, things are also busy as we prepare for winter at White Stone Farm.
Our winter crops have been planted, out in the newly established growing beds enriched with mulch, multiple animal manure (the llama girls certainly contributed!) and worm laden soil. The garlic is sprouting, reaching out to the sun as the days begin to cool, while other seedlings are gathering strength and size in the greenhouse.
And in our desire at White Stone Farm for more manure makers, natural insect eaters and a possible food source later on – we’ve officially gone quackers! White Stone Farm welcomes our first domestic birds to the farm – our new Pekin Ducks!
Originally bred from Mallards in China, the Pekin duck is now a popular meat bird across the world, but is also a good egg layer too, laying about 200 each year. They are highly sociable and can bond closely to humans if imprinted when a duckling and can also be good guards (enough to rival geese apparently – which is great because geese freak me out slightly with their aggressiveness!). Our first three duck members to the farm are a little more wild, having lived the first 5 months of their lives on a dam at a nearby farm, but they are slowly getting used to us and living in their new home. Continue reading →
Every day at White Stone Farm there is something new to discover. Whether it’s an old garden bed, complete with fruit trees buried under monstrous weeds and years of neglect, or a new type of raptor soaring overhead, or a new animal that shares the property with us, there is always a little surprise and a daily discovery.
On this day it was the latter, a bundle of fluff in the garden. One with a nocturnal nature, that you don’t often get to see and likely I would never have realised that we share our home and land with such a delicate creature.