I was sitting in a pie shop on my work lunch break as I started to write this last Murrindindi farm blog post. Good old food as a psychological crutch – and the excellent Port Melbourne fare near my new job fits this bill nicely. Still I was halfway to crying into my free range chicken, mushroom, white wine and thyme number like a little power suited yuppie sad sack. Now I am sitting on a Melbourne tram, which often make me fairly sad, finishing this up and blubbering again something embarrassing (Controversially for a newbie Victorian, I hate trams. Slow, dangerous excuses for a bus or a train IMO that rip motorbike and bicycle perilous trenches everywhere in the roads down here. I got my hand stuck in a tram door last night c/o an absent minded driver turning the power off before everyone got out, as but one small example of their menace. Another almost mowed me over on a green light pedestrian crossing a few weeks back. Anyway I digress, as I tend to do and you would be used to if you’ve been reading this blog for a stint, fuck trams, back to the goodbye to the farm thing.).
Knowing how to even talk about wrapping up the last three years, to give due credit to the times we shared has stumped me a lot. Hence, it’s two weeks past D-day and I am only finishing penning this now, with many stops and starts.
D-day. The idea kicked around the drawing boards for a long time before it really took on a definite decision, a form, a date: “we will be leaving Murrindindi now!”. Then, once we had all settled on our exit time, again, the waiting and planning and interviewing for new work , (for me), and the selling off belongings, and the move prep and move prep and move prep (there was a lot of move prep).
We have left our farm. We are all moving on.
The words look so hard and final to write out, although coaxed out slowly and gently together through months of discussion, carefully laid plans and gradual adjustment.
It all started with Greg’s announcement, “I’m off to England!”, following the suit of his girlfriend, Zoe, who was set to start working for Contiki as a tour guide in March.
So, we all head scratched about whether or not we would seek a replacement housemate, and decided that our time together at the farm would reach an end.
Enter a baby into the equation, and Zoe and Greg are now off for the much less exotic Wollongong to start a home and family together (well, the Harp Hotel can be pretty exotic at times, truth be told).
However, although the moving to England scheme didn’t stick, our resolve to wind up our farm project did.
After much deliberation, Tully and I decided to leave Sydney surrounds for the cheaper, student-friendlier, shinier and busier, and decent work prospect holding Melbourne and Chris and Amy are trying their luck with Sydney city, in one of the sweetest pockets, Alexandria (Salt Meats Cheese!!).
One of the first processes was re-homing the bees – source of a bit of friction and stings.
Then, selling a bunch of things on eBay, again, stress pocket.
Over time as we packed and prepped, the weight of things eased a lot and the stress wore away and quiet deliberation and cooperation replaced it. Apart from perhaps the last few days but it was worn and tackled well. Chris and Amy in particular did a powerhouse effort of cleaning and shedding our unwanted bits and pieces. Greg of tip wrangling, and Tully all sorts of two person’s worth of grunt work while this little black duck was off scoping out a new town.
We had a lovely farewell party, with a bunch of our favourite farm folks bidding us goodbye, and a beautiful celebratory photo wall crafternoon us farmies took part in, c/o Amy’s nostalgic smarts.
We set out to tick off the rest of the boxes of the fun things we wanted to do together. Boggle (Tully is a Boggle fiend). One last night out for dinner in Camden. Home grown beef heart tacos (my weird obsession – freaking delicious incidentally though). Check, check, check.
We unravelled the last three years of weaving ourselves into a home and a community, an alternative, liberal, intellectual pocket of a chiefly Liberal voting, conservative fundamentalist Christian town. An oasis of oases.
Ah, gush, I’m choking up. But like the old cliché says, a picture can sometimes carry as much weight as many words. Here is one the last ones that Tully took, in the early evening light on his last farm night.
I thank Murrindindi, and Amy who brought us there with all of my heart. I will carry a lot my time there away with me and hope to keep growing in connection with the land throughout my life.
Also, thank you for reading the blog over the years. I hope it’s motivated you to feel like growing your own food and building a closer connection to nature is more accessible. If five unexperienced people in a share house on a farm (not a religious sex cult, to clear the air!) can pull off what we did as a part time hobby activity, it’s something pretty much anyone can achieve. If you want it, go for it.