When I first started this blog a hundred years ago, I was living in Sydney with two children, not three, and Adam and I would foray down to Gerringong periodically to visit my parents, and we’d wonder on the way home what was keeping us in Sydney.
We toyed with the idea of moving out of the city and down to the farm for years before actually having the guts to jump, and just do it.
I mean, what an offer. A family farm, debt free, if we wanted to have a go. It was circumstantial that none of my siblings were able, or interested, to take the farm over, and Dad eventually sold off a big portion of the farm and paid everyone else out in order to allow Adam and I to confidently invest in the 18 acres we were left with. Amazing. I thank my lucky stars every day.
But once we got going, and once we started to run on-farm cooking workshops every weekend, that was the end of this blog. With three small children (not that small anymore) and gardens and chickens and farmer’s markets and sauerkraut to make and administration and bookkeeping and marketing and workshops to teach, I was able to get dinner on the table every night but had absolutely no ability to write a blog post about it. More’s the pity, I’d at least then remember them.
It’s been an incredible ride. If you were here three years ago, you’ll know we nearly hit the wall after a few fairly major chicken losses to fox attacks. I’d say we came perilously close to the wall pretty regularly for a few years. Even now we occasionally consider what our world might look like if one of us took a job off-farm. But then we get back to it because we love working for ourselves, we love living and working here together, and we can’t really imagine being happy doing anything else. And there’s kale to pick and workshop participants to email and bone broth to make for the market so a little less naval gazing and a bit more action! Move!
If you know a better way to eat kale, please tell me. We think that fresh kale scrunched with good olive oil, sprinkled with salt and baked in a moderate oven (170 degrees C) for about 10 mins until they’re flakey crunchy chips is the best way on earth.
One of the big new additions to the farm in the last year was dairy goats.
I milk them every morning, by hand at present, and I’ve milked up to four but we’ve dried three off now in anticipation of them kidding in a couple of months. We get on average 2 litres of milk per goat per day (one milking) and we love it. We make cheese. We walk them out to pasture from the hayshed every morning and bring them in every evening. They hate the wind and passionately hate rain (princesses) and the cheese is good. More on that later. Suffice to say it’s kind of a dream come true.
In other news, what are we eating?
Lots of sourdough, goats cheese, bone broth, fresh veggies, eggs, homegrown chicken and beef and pork and traded lamb and bartered trout.
And about once every two weeks, in some form or another we have flatbreads.
You can whip these up with whatever flour you have on hand, but I keep a nice organic unbleached self raising wheat flour around for this purpose.
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup natural yoghurt
2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together, roll into 8 balls, roll out thinly into circles.
Throw into a very hot dry pan and cook for about 20 seconds each side.
Wrap in a tea towel to keep warm and soft while you cook the rest.
You can halve or double this recipe – just keep the proportion of half the volume of yoghurt to flour.
Extremely delicious spread with fresh goat’s cheese.