(Note-written in October)
Good Morning out there!
I sit here in the dark listening to the kettle getting to the boil as we’ve switched over into daylight savings here in Central Vic. It’s a bit of a shock this year – the mornings have been a glorious time and it’s harder to get up and be at the farm and start work by 8 again! Not that I’m complaining, 8am is an incredibly reasonable start to the day, my alarm goes off at 5.30am so I can snooze for 30 mins (necessary) and then have my cuppa, do a few stretches, look at the changing sky, have a few Mel moments with my home space and say midday to the flowers and chooks before Wags and I set off.
There has been so much rain this September and beginning of October, it’s such a welcome to our expected dry, windy hot spring. La Nina is here – so wet and humid. It’ll be tricky to dry our garlic without getting mouldy and the storing onions too – but plants love the magic of rain and to not be worried about water just yet is a gift.
It’s a different season, its change. Sometimes change is a tricky thing, even if you want it you can still be resistant. Sometimes I find it hard to accept that I can be like this, but I’m both learning and trying to observe myself as I do the garden – without harsh judgement; and more with intrigue and curiosity.
The last few years have really shaken Sas and I up – in the midst of it no doubt we were grumbly and not the ideal people we want to be in the world, with ourselves and to others. So we knew that if we wanted to keep farming it had to be in a different way. We need to treat ourselves like we do the soil and the plants.
So it’s exciting to say that our new approach does feel different, in a most excellent way. Its more about the structure of how we are doing things that have changed rather than the the farming practices of what we actually do.
Every Monday we walk around and look at the patches and the plants and write out a weekly timetable based on them and the weather rather than our giant ‘to do’ lists. Then before we start the day we do a few rounds of stretches – this can involve anything from laughing yoga to soccer stretches to a dance routine.
Then we have sections of work for the day broken up with morning tea and shared lunches – so we all cook for each other.(myself, Sas and Ruby (our first intern has been with us for a month and she’s an absolute gem))
It sounds simple but having our focus and attention on a week by week timetable rather than everything has to get done NOW approach fused with fun and laughs has worked a treat. Work feels easier and a lot more the way Sas and I want to operate.
We want to honour the living things we grow with the vibrations we put out. Sounds incredibly hippy – but basically we don’t see farming as ‘work’ we see it as what we wanna do. No-ones forcing us to do it, we want to do it, so we want to enjoy it as much as we can.
We have an incredibly amazing bunch of people surrounding us who help with that too – every Thursday our group of vollies are safely spacious and work with us for 4 or so hours. They bring lightness and fun – we love Thursday with Cohen, Abigail, Rex, Will, Annie, Sky and Claire. Not to mention Deb the human weed machine and Manda who picks with us every Tuesday plus the people who support us and what we do that are off site. Ruby our intern is ace and we couldn’t ask for more.
We’re not ready to give up the ghost just yet – we’re taking our own words we use for the plants and applying it to ourselves with tender, loving, care.
Enjoy the wet and may it soak into your pores and rinse out what needs to be let go and give growth to the sunflower seeds that lie within that are just starting to sprout.