Monday, April 26, 2010
I love long weekends. Mainly because I get the wonderful few days where I get to visit the family farm. It's not my family farm, technically, but I would gather to say it's not far off. Visiting my husband's family farm to me is so welcoming and wonderful you can't help but feel part of the family, no matter who you are.
Always ready with my favourite, her roast chicken, Mother makes me feel like I'm completely rested and happy - even though it's a four hour drive! Only Mother can make you feel ready to take on the world after spending time with her and then driving four hours home.
The best part, other than Mother, is all the cows and goats and chickens. I spend my morning slowly waking up and getting to eat delicious fresh eggs with some pepper and toast before heading out to do some farm work. Farm work has to be my favourite type of work; it just feels so rewarding! Every single thing you do, whether it be planting or pulling or mowing or feeding or milking or collecting - it gives you something back!
If you plant a seed you can proudly say in a few months you'll get food. If you gather eggs you know you'll get a cake. Even if you end up coming back to the house with nothing in hand (which never happens), you can look out of the windows at all the work that's been done and be proud of yourself and feel important and useful. Better than any 9-5 job where your boss yells at your for turning in a tax report five minutes later than he wanted it.
The more time I spend there, the more I'm convinced my own smallholding is exactly what I want, much to my husband's happiness. He loves his farming and building and growing and shooting and eating so much. It's grown on me, big time.
My husband and I's favourite Sunday event is to gather the paper from outside and spend all morning over a couple coffees looking at houses with land and playing 'pretend'. We talk about where the stables would go, how many cows that acreage can hold and where I'd put my veggie garden. We can't afford a house or land at this moment, but we have a solid plan for one in the very near (5 years is near) future. We have immediate (6 months - 1 year) plan to at least rent farmland we can utilize and live on.
I have got to say - fresh homegrown farm food is my favourite food. I hate packaging and bottles and packets and premade food. When I visit the farm, my husband's sister, Tegan makes the most delicious handmade cakes and slices and desserts. Even me, sugar-phobic weirdo, indulges in a piece now and again, because they're just so awesome. You can taste the handmade love in them. I can never have too much thanks to my sugar sensitivities from rarely eating it, but it's always a treat when I do. My husband kindly devours the rest for me so I don't feel bad at leaving any behind. What a gem.
So... I'm back. Shockingly refreshed and full of life, excited to plant the bundle of seeds I traded with Mother (capital M, always). Excited to make a delicious fluffy cake with the duck eggs that were gathered lovingly for me. Excited to make treats and tea and scrub my face with the amazingly delicious crystallized honey Father collects from his hives (I never stick my finger in the bucket to taste, I swear).
If you're ever in desperate need for recouperation after a hard week, make a visit to a family farm. There's thousands in Australia that accept visitors for farmwork in return for free board for a few nights. They love backpackers who come by just to feed the cows and get a feed themselves. You can find ads on gumtree.com.au for such things, I discovered one day, happily. Trust me, you never ever in your life felt so relaxed and rejuvinated from travelling and working as you do when you finally come home from a visit on the farm.
Or it could just be Mother that makes me feel that way.
What a great weekend.