Some days I think my head might fall off.

Some people are good at asking for help and others are hopeless. I'm an other. Hopeless. I'm even hopeless at accepting earnest offers of help. Which is why, right now, when everything is utter chaos, I'm incredibly grateful for friends who just show up and get started. They might spend a random half an hour weeding the market garden. They bring dinner. They rip up carpet, knock down walls and in the case of our completely marvellous friend Chippy, a retired painter, they paint the commercial kitchen then get started on the house. Incredibly grateful. 

Oh yes. Utter choas. The kind in which you think your head might fall off, you know? 

There's the between-houses stunt we're pulling, not yet in the farmhouse but not wholly in the loft. The farmhouse has old carpet over older floorboards and it's time they showed up again. We've got jap staining around all the walls and we've reconciled ourselves to the rustic raw look for now until we can polish the boards sometime in the future. The boards are gorgeous. And for me there's something a bit awesome about the fact they are the boards walked by my great great grandparents and everyone in between. Meanwhile the loft is a muddle, we've moved all the kitchen stuff into the farmhouse and the kids have no idea where to have breakfast. 


At the same time the market garden is planted and growing, hooray! I managed to get rows and rows of seeds in before the wonderful rain fell last weekend. We've had  good advice on drip line irrigation from our market garden hero and lovely friend Fraser, and we're measured up and trying to get around to get an order in for the set up. There's more rain forecast for next week so we've bought another week, yay! Next person that shows up will be staking tomatoes.


Both our sows had piglets last week! Sage, our beautiful Duroc, had 13 and Fennel, our Large White, had 12. They all look wonderful and super healthy and the two mums do too. The boar was borrowed from local friends and is a Wessex Saddleback – that gene is strong!



And the kitchen. Oh, the kitchen! I can't believe I thought it might take four weeks. It's been four months, in bits and pieces, but it's nearly done. Actually it is done. I just can't believe it. It was finished today, the ovens and dishwasher have been serviced, the commercial grade non slip floor with coving is in, the plumber has finally finished, the grey water system which we debated for weeks with council over just needs to be inspected and we're good to go. It needs a clean up and then I'll take some photos for you!

Meanwhile here's Chippy, total hero.


And Adman, who makes it happen. And who has fitted out this old dairy vat room into a kick arse farm kitchen. Legend. 

Ad too


Matthew, carpet ripper extraordinaire:



And of course there's the house garden to keep an eye on. I dive out there for some spinach for 'Shrek soup' (my best tip to get kids to eat spinach) and pull out some onions while I'm there. I notice the cabbages are past their prime and wonder, can I put my hand on my kimchi recipe this week? Probably not. There's always google. The garlic really should come out this week.


Meanwhile there's biscuits to be made for Gerringong market this weekend:


and there's sourdough proving amongst the muddle on the bench, because everyone needs to be fed. The ants are in the honey again, stick the jar in a lidful of water. Oh look, that's where the new pegs are.


And Ivy appears to be running around without pants on and there's customers coming in for eggs and has anyone seen Tilly's glasses? and far out we've forgotten to pick up Henry from his buddy's house. 

This was our sign at the farmgate last week:


Tilly added the names and my Dad added the price. He said he was going to write 20c but thought that was just rude.

I'm also on the committee that's driving a local weekly farmers' market. It's a fabulous committee, I love working with them, and it looks like we're on for a January start, but there's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with council (who speak a different language I think) and there's been a lot of work just to get up to this point – approved – and we've only just drafted the first communication to stallholders! Committee meetings are an oasis right now though, there's usually wine and cheese and there's always laughs. I'm excited to see this market come to fruition, and very proud to be involved.

So if you see me down the street wandering aimlessly please check I have my head with me and perhaps whether I am currently responsible for any small children. 

We're going to get through this bit. 

And it's going to be great. And if all goes to hell in a handbasket at least there'll be rocket for dinner. (Eventually.)



20 Comments on “Some days I think my head might fall off.

November 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

Thankyou for sharing, particularly as I rea this at 1.40am !

Penny Hannah
November 15, 2013 at 4:29 am

I feel exhausted just reading this! – but what wonderful progress. Are you planning on growing several more pairs of arms, or just dragooning the daughters into becoming kitchen hands, or slave labour in the garden?

Suze xo
November 15, 2013 at 5:54 am

Ok, that’s crazy busy even for you! Don’t worry about it going bad, it will all be so great in the end. The commercial kitchen looks fab! Yay! And the house needs to be able to greet the new people coming to live there, so I am super excited to hear about carpet coming up and painting being done – make it shine! Just count heads when you go to bed each night to know for sure you’ve got all the kids and everything else is a bonus. And just a query πŸ™‚ are you hosting the family Christmas lunch with 10 adults and 10 kids? Or have you flicked it to the grandparents?

Ngo Family Farm
November 15, 2013 at 6:07 am

This is the stuff of life – crazy, but glorious all the same. Your house is already looking beautiful with all that wood!

November 15, 2013 at 6:25 am

You may see chaos – but from this perspective all I see in the photos is amazing progress!! Well done…& keep it up – tis all good!

Just Joyful
November 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

Your post, whilst wonderful to read (you do have a talent for writing), has a little bit of the feeling of “mania, out of control, my god what am I doing” about it.

Keep strong. Keep going. It will be wonderful when you achieve your goals! And as long as the family are together (once you get Henry back from his mate’s) the rest will fall into place.

November 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Oh I think it’s going to turn out all ok. Quite wonderful in fact. Good luck for getting through this crazy phase.

November 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Wow, my head’s spinning just reading about it all. Keep going, you’re doing a fab job. Just one or two of those things would be enough for most people.

Kirsten Bradley
November 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm


November 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I totally get i……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

November 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Oh stop it and drop in with some wine will you?

November 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Frase, Adam says he has a sleep debt that life will never repay. But he does have some flame weeder thing that he’s pretty damn excited about.

November 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Thanks Genevieve, drop in sometime when you’re up this way. So fab to hear about your first batch of pastured chooks last week, wish we were closer to the Bega abattoir! Bit too far for us. Glad it all went well!

November 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Lunch is at our place. It’ll be Hungry Jacks. Or KFC.

November 16, 2013 at 2:50 am

Delightful glimpse into your crazy-but-wonderful days — If you can write such a post you’re maintaining your sanity and more!

lily boot
November 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Wow! You really are going a hundred miles an hour Fiona! i love your kitchen – and even love the japanning on the floorboards – makes me think of the pretty drugget that would have laid along that hall. And your thoughts of great great family walking these boards is so beautiful. Hope everything falls into place – and I think KFC sounds almost acceptable for Christmas lunch! πŸ˜‰

November 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Ha! Thanks lovely Lily, and you could safely put money on a slow food christmas lunch! xx

November 17, 2013 at 1:41 am

Without sounding completely out of order. I am totally in love with you and your farm!

We bought 5 acres back in July and are slowly turning a run down property into a home We have sheep ( who hate me and run the moment i step out of the house) ducks who quack a lot (but love my youngest son) and a vegetable garden that really isn’t coping well with the Western Australian heat. But we love it, even though we live in a shack and our property is clearly the ‘worst kept block’ on the street.

You are phenomenal I take my hat off to you. And hope one day that I can stand at a farmers market and think I did this.

πŸ™‚ x

November 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

You are inspirational!

Mel Vallel
November 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I need a lovely cup of coffee and a lie down after reading that Fi πŸ™‚


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