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.
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.)