Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Farm Girl- Veggie Gardens, Poddy Calves and the end of the year blues

Lately, everything has been falling in a heap. You know the saying that bad things happen in threes? Try 300's. It's true that these things usually wouldn't phase me on their own, but lately, a rather large pile of them have been getting me down and I have been feeling completely overwhelmed. I know there are a fair few other people around that are feeling the same. It seems of my friends lives are fairly chaotic at the moment too. What is the meaning of this Universe?! Can you please calm down!? I know it's the end of the year, so obviously that is contributing to the chaos, but this year seems particularly bad. I also haven't been home for a while, and I haven't seen my baby sister for even longer. I always wish I could see them much more often, but can't imagine moving back to the G'dah. Argh, so conflicted. 

So last weekend, I knew I needed to get out of the city and just have some time to do not much at all. We decided to visit C's farm, which is the ideal spot to relax and just 'potter' around all weekend. When we arrived at the farm quite late on Friday night, I almost felt relieved at my first breath of fresh air.It's probably true to say you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. Yee haa. 

I love going to the farm, especially when it is so beautiful and green. It's even better at the moment because heaps of the cows are calving and it's always lovely to see. Plus they usually pick up a poddy calf or two for the season as well. 

The property is a cattle property, but down near the house, there is so much food growing, it's really inspiring. Actually, It makes me totally jealous, because in my suburban little concreted backyard, not much grows, and when it does, the possums help themselves to all of it. Even the red hot chillis I planted to spite them. 

It rained all weekend but I went out anyway and snapped some photos to pop on here. There is nothing more satisfying than going outside, picking some ingredients straight from the vine/ground/under a chook's bum and then making them into something that appears on the table in less than an hour or two. Carbon footprint = 25 of my own steps around the garden. Good one. So this isn't going to be a usual post, It's going to be me, walking through the garden! Very calming!! 

It's raining here, but you can see the view across one of the paddocks. It's so green. I will never complain about the amount of rain!!

There are a couple of established pecan nut trees around the place, but they haven't been fruiting particularly well, so C's dad decided to plant another. Plus they are a really pretty tree.

Pretty sure this is a mandarin tree. Maybe they had to plant another because everytime we go there, I clean them out of mandarins!?

I wish I had a mango tree, in my back yard. 

Pawpaw tree. Hmmm.... not so sure about Paw Paws.... Anyone got any good recipes?

The peach tree kept on getting attacked by birds so S had to rig up some netting around to protect the fruit.

The fruit are quite small but really tasty- and they aren't squished at all because they haven't been carted in a box anywhere- only in my jumper pockets from the tree into the house. Yes, I said jumper! Aside from being wet, it was seriously cold there on the weekend! I packed my bikini thinking I could need a bit of cooling off, but instead ended up grabbing some old trackies out of C's cupboard to keep me warm!

The chooks are mostly free range, but at night have to be locked up because the foxes and snakes kept on getting them. The chooks lay pretty well and their eggs are really delish. The chickens are actually pretty funny. C's brother L also purchased some guniea fowl a while ago and bought them home too. The chickens and the guinea fowl are locked in a rather jason nevins vs run dmc type battle. Sorry for the reference to an obscure 90's pop song, but seriously, this is what I think of when I see the chooks clucking at the Guinea fowl who return a weird kaa kaa sort of noise. They are like a little gang and they hang out on the tennis court or under the pecan nut tree. Obviously high society. I can almost imagine them sipping on iced tea!

Check out the colour of fresh eggs in the pumpkin and spinach Frittata C's mum made for lunch. SO vibrant! The actual vege patch is a pretty serious thing- it is fully enclosed with wire because of the animals that getting in and eating everything. 

Chilli bush only has a few red chillis at the moment.

One of the many patches of parsley. There are also versions of flat leaf.

Zucchini plants- I was going to harvest all the zucchini flowers, but turns out there was only three so will try again when there are more!

Some freshly picked spinach and chives from the garden, ready to be made into lunch.

Same as the pumpkin which was picked from the garden about 3 minutes before I took this photo!

Cute mini pumpkin that won't be ready for a while! The pumpkin vine is seriously prolific. As you can see there is another mini pumpkin on the bottom left hand corner of the photo just waiting to grow too.

Some new lettuce plants that are just starting to grow. I think there are about 10 planted. I personally like those lettuce plants that you can pick a couple of leaves from the outside without using the whole lettuce- I'm thinking of getting C's dad some for Christmas, among other things.

The mandarin tree with the last of the fruit. It has to be covered with netting too because the birds are maniacs, who like getting wasted on rotting fruit.

This is the naughty poddy calf. His mum died during calfbirth or shortly afterwards. This guy is pretty naughty and has tried every way of escaping possible. He regularly gets his head stuck in the wire. He's also pretty cute, even if he is naughty.

Some of the beautiful flowers that are looking gorgeous because it is spring!

 Some of the puddles on the driveway. I didn't even care that it rained all weekend. In actual fact, it made the days so much more relaxing, and it was cold enough to curl up in bed and read a book- something I haven't had time to do for a long time. I did feel more at peace after the weekend, but really can't wait for a longer break. I was dreading the drive back on Sunday afternoon- back to normality.

As the end of the year comes to a close, I find myself willing it to hurry up so we can have a new year and start fresh! I try to remind myself that things aren't as bad as they feel at the moment, just with SO much happening, it's hard to find time to prioritise and just get a large list of things done. I think I will definitely be in bed at 8:00 a.m. tonight!! 

Maybe it's the birthday blues hitting earlier than usual? It's no secret that my own birthday is my least favourite day in the year, and it is coming up within the next month.. Usually it only starts a week or so beforehand but maybe as I'm getting older, it is getting worse hmmm.. 

On a less depressing note- Christmas is coming, and Christmas is my favourite time in the year (excluding the whole birthday thing). A much needed holiday and time to spend with my fams and friends, plus some time to rejuvenate will be much appreciated from this worn out little food blogger!!

So tell me readers, have you had enough of this year yet?!

12 fabulous comments:

M.E. nee M.D. said...

It will be good to see you back on home turf for Christmas GG. It's green here too, promise! As chaotic as this time of year is, its one that I love - seeing that I am still at home base, this is the time of year that all good Gunnedarians return to the mothership and as hectic as it is there is something strangely blissful about having all the familiar face back in your life - even if it is only for a short time.

I am certainly wishing for the new year, but not because I am tired of this year yet, because I have some pretty fantastic things waiting for me in 2011, as you know. Hopefully it will include a jaunt up to your neck of the woods?!

Hope 2011 turns it all around for you my dear!!

M x

MelbaToast said...

I'm hanging out for the end year as 2010 has been exhausting. I started a new job, bought a flat, moved house, moved offices, got engaged, planned a wedding. The latest thing was the office move and it's put me in such a bad move - always unpacking boxes at work...grr! A few weeks ago I had a weekend up at a friends farm and it was great - so relaxing!

Barbara said...

Nice photo essay. A perfect spot to chill.

Jen said...

What a lovely escape from the city! Looks like a delightful spot to refreshen yourself. Thanks for taking us along the journey too, I really enjoyed the pics :)

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

The farm looks great! I'm trying to grow some paw-paw trees at the moment. They're not my favorite fruit but they look pretty easy to grow.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Aww that poddy calf has won my heart! And you're right, chickens definitely have a secret life :P

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh and thankyou so much for my necklace and earrings! They are SO adorable! :D

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Looks like a great type of weekend in at a relaxing pace and away from the usual stresses of life in the city, even if it did rain!

Matthew (Masterchef) said...

The eggs look the business and there is nothing like a fresh peach! Nice one

Ladybird said...

Nothing better than to get back to nature when you're feeling like that! As for paw paws, try a Vietnamese paw paw salad - so healthy and refreshing, especially on a hot day :)

PS - 2010 has been a bit of an asshole for me... If it were a bf it would be well and truly DUMPED! Thank Gawddd for blogging!

The InTolerant Chef said...

I just want a break too! I hope you feel a little better after your weekend away. I'm not a big paw paw fan either.

SOL's view said...

That's just the way it is!

Also sooo needing a holiday right now! The farm stay looks lovely and relaxing. I've not been near a farm for many a long year. Relatives used to manage cattle properties in the Burnett area.

I love the photos. Everything is so green and plentiful.

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