When you wake up in the morning each day, there is always a beautiful grounding perk to our farm life.
Even when you’re hit by the wrong side of bed waking reflex of, ugh, pillows, blankets, no, don’t make me go, and today’s to do list hovers dauntingly overhead. When the frost of the brisk start of the day is chilling your limbs to the point of fearing amputation. When you’re stuck in deliberation over what to eat, what to wear, how to juggle all your morning prep. When you’re still tired from the night before, but bed can’t hold you any longer because of the weight of the things that need doing today. When you get stuck on the bloody internet first up and can’t make it out of that place.
You get up and you get to it.
They need an early tending, and whatever your morning state, they are like a beacon to getting back to business and a healthy appreciation of the natural daily cycles of work and nurture.
We feed them food scraps, pieces of leaves from the garden that are too old and scraggled for eating, others that are fine and strong as treats. They peck and demolish the big firm meaty leaf of brassicas before they even touch the grains we throw out for their feed each day. They are like chicken chocolate. It’s such a pleasure to watch them go gangbusters on them.
And then you get one, two, sometimes four or more beautiful eggs each day for the bargain.
So, to keep this daily bread rolling in, we just bought 8 more chickens.
Our heroic survivor Peg had also been struggling with the significant “my sisters all just got killed and dragged off in front of me” blues and we had wanted to reintroduce a flock to her as soon as possible for chook mental health reasons.
The new lot are integrating well which is a big relief to see. Many of them are from the same brood of chooks as old Peggy so we think this may have helped.
Losing most of the girls to a fox last weekend was a major blow. A damned sad thing to happen. A bracing reminder of the risks involved in animal rearing and the reality of mortality.
A natural function of foxes moving into their young rearing phase of spring. Something that we hope to reduce the incidence of further with regular, humanely managed hunts up at the property starting soon which will be a great learning experience for us. Looking forward to adding rabbit meat to our diet, learning to cure fox and rabbit pelts and being more naturally fur and leather sufficient.
A weekend of fence straightening, tightening and raising should also have us in a much better position to keep them safe.
What else has been happening?
Spring growth keeps on coming on.
Asparagus is excitingly peeking up out of its bed. Coming out from 2 year old crowns planted a few weeks back. We’re not supposed to harvest more than half of it this season, to avoid stress and allow the plant to get healthily established for next year’s flush of growth, but anyhow, yummo!
Rhubarb has popped up in about a week, growing like a weed. Stoked about introducing it to custard over the coming months.
Weeds have also been growing like weeds (go figure). Some delicious ones are in a real flush now, like wild fennel, which is in its peak salad harvest time. Which only comes up like this once a year, so if you’re close to a big bunch of it which you can guarantee is pesticide and herbicide free, make the most of the goodness!
It’s a good complement to fish especially; in a salad with a nice tart lemon dressing, or baked in foil with a good piece of snapper or what have you. Or cooked in any of the following exciting ways: Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum!
It makes a huge feature in Lebanese and Greek cuisine especially.
If you’re keen on learning more about the urban foraging caper, and pick some clean fresh weeds from our property, come on our upcoming weed foraging with, Diego Bonetto.
A wild and charismatic Italian born Sydney local, Diego sets out to engage with our sense of wonder, nature and the stories that define our cultures and our experiences in life, both old and new.
To book for the tour, which will include learning to make a delicious lunch and afternoon tea made yourselves from tasty wild forage, visit:
To find out more about what the weedy one is up to all around town, see
Otherwise, Murrindindi’s putting a beautiful show lately.
Bright spring skies.
Wine starting to come along.
Beer a brewing.
More soil block making!
We are so lucky.