The chill of Winter is leaving the landscape and the warmth of Spring is finally upon us. Thank goodness!! Those -2°C mornings (down to -6°C one day…brrrrr!) are behind us for another year and we can look forward to longer days, more sunshine and a verdant, productive landscape. Even the llamas are happy about the plentiful, fresh green growth…
Spring is my favourite time of the year, a reminder after the dry summer and cold winter that there are ideal growing conditions to be had in this part of the world, blue sky days, clement weather and a myriad of birds filling the farm with a joyful chorus as they do their birds and the bees stuff. Nests are popping up all over the place, birds are courting each other, plumage colours are enhanced (even our male duck’s bill gets a bit more orange and he struts around proudly!) and it’s a great reminder of the joys of new life. 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 →
Ah, Garlic planting season once again! When we moved in during Jun-July last year, it was manic as we needed to hastily plant all of our organic garlic cloves in between doing renovations and trying to discover garden beds and planting space under grass and weeds.
With some wonderful help from our family, we rescued derelict garden beds and some designated planting areas and got lots of bulbs safely planted into various parts of the garden. Garlic in the front garden bed amongst the roses, garlic along the side of the house, garlic in other random garden beds between ornamentals, garlic in rows along the fence.
The bulbs were planted carefully and tended, sending green shoots soon after planting and surviving the frosty winter.
Through spring they matured, growing taller and stronger until in summer they began to transfer all their energy to the bulb in the dark depths of the soil. In December we decided them ready to harvest – later than usual but due to the slightly later planting season we wanted to give them enough time to nourish the bulb and produce great garlic!
When we first moved in, it was a demanding race of time and energy towards renovations to make the house more liveable and planting our first crops to be ready in time for summer.
With a heap of wonderful organic tomato seeds that we had collected and prepared, Stace busily went about planting them in pots in his greenhouse. And before we knew it we had a plethora of seedlings demanding daily watering and attention. With Stacy in Melbourne most days, I took this on alone. A single parent to my many tomato babies.
My mornings were filled with the careful tending of over 40 tomato plants. Hand watering them and all of our other thirsty plants was a time-consuming labour of love.
Suddenly our Solanaceae babies were getting cramped feet as they outgrew their pots. Stace prepared a spot for them all – an enclosed veggie patch that we discovered under long grass and weeds and our new kids got a secure, new home.