My Favourite Morning Job

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” 
~  Hermann Hesse

 

Here on the farm my favourite morning job is checking our water points. I slip on my gumboots (still usually dressed in my pyjamas!) and then go for a little walk to check the cattle troughs. They all fill by themselves with float valves except one up in the orchard, that we only need if the cattle are there.

If the cattle are grazing in the orchard I will take the heavy farm hose and top up the trough for them before the heat of the day comes. While it fills I talk to the cows and watch the birds doing their early morning circuits. Our skies are always busy just after dawn.

 

I’ll flick the hose around the vegetable gardens and note anything that needs picking. And yes, a few stray strawberries or sweet little tomatoes usually find their way into my mouth.

Back down at the house again my last stop is the birdbaths. I fill them up, and the one on our front deck has new flowers placed in it from whatever I have gathered from my morning walk.

It’s a peaceful start to my day that never fails to put me in a good mood.

I’m wishing you a peaceful day and happiness too, much love, Nicole  xx

 

The Crystal Farmer of Byron Bay

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

 

We live on an organic farm, tucked in the hills behind Byron Bay. Our main focus is organic heritage citrus, beef cattle and bush tucker (Bunya nuts and herbs). But we have come to do a very good additional line of earthed and energetically charged crystals.

Our land holds an abundance of ancient trees and wildlife, and expanses of soft green grass and leaf litter where it is possible for me to lay stones out on the earth beneath these trees, or under open skies or where the various animals (eagles, koalas, platypus, wallabies, powerful owls etc) make their homes.

Neighbours have laughingly begun to call me a crystal farmer because I always seem to be planting or harvesting stones as I charge them up for my retreats and workshops.

In the giant shed where Ben houses his tractors I have row upon row of pallet racking, in which there are all of my boxes of stones. The boxes and crates are carefully marked. I have stones that have been in grids through such varied astrological events as the Mars, Saturn, Mercury Venus and Jupiter alignment of 2000 (this was on another farm, under wide open skies and nights crowded with stars) the 2012 Transit of Venus, the total solar eclipse of 2012, a partial solar eclipse in 2014, the transit of Mercury in 2016 and many supermoons and comet showers.

I also have crates for stones that have been in grids such as my 2016 Ancestors and Songlines grid, as well as stones that have been charged with the energies of plants, places and weather.

To do this energetic charging I lay out crystals on the earth (mostly – sometimes I place individual in trees or even in our creeks and waterholes) in various patterns that conform to the principles of sacred geometry, after which I leave them for a prescribed period of time.

Later I go back to harvest them, digging them out of the earth or from between the grass where it has grown long. All the crystals are then cleaned and placed into storage, ready for use.

I even charge up the stones we use in jewellery and mandala making.

Sometimes I play my Tibetan Singing Bowl over them, or I will tone and sing the songs my Aboriginal Aunties or other elders have taught me.

Eventually we harvest the stones. If the grid is very big I will often call upon Ben and our friends or neighbours to assist with bringing up the stones for me to clean and sort. It’s a lot of work, but once they are harvested and stored away they maintain that energy, ready for use at some future date.

Now we have our Crystal retreat, our mini-retreat and workshop, and our Christmas pop up shop and events coming up, as well as the Crystal Packs for our 2018 Year of ME Planner, we’ve been down in the shed for days, sorting and gathering and allocating stones. I’m bringing out some rare and precious ones for my students, and a few for sale.

And already I am planning a gigantic spiral grid of stones for the total lunar eclipse on January 31 in 2018.

So I guess it’s true – I’m a crystal farmer. I like to think of my harvested stones as the seeds that will help you to grow as you seek your own inner space, soul connection and intuitive path.

We’d love to see you at any of our events, or as part of our growing community of like-minded souls in 2018. You can click on the links to view our events for the remainder of this year. Information about our online community and 2018 courses will be available soon. As well as our community and year-long course and support we have an Awakening to Spirituality retreat for waking up your psychic and intuitive abilities in March 2018, and Advanced Channelling and Energy Techniques using Sacred Geometry in August 2018 – contact my wonderful PA Dana to put your name down on the list to receive more info about those on our pre-release list – she’s at nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com

I’m really excited to share this journey with you, and I hope that one day you get to hold one of these special stones.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole  xx

 

Eagles and Cups of Tea

“Farewell,” they cried, “Wherever you fare till your eyries receive you at the journey’s end!” That is the polite thing to say among eagles.
“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks,” answered Gandalf, who knew the correct reply.” 
~  J.R.R. Tolkien

We are always up early, here at the farm. Right now we have weaners (calves that are being weaned from their mums) locked up in the yards being fed hay and taught yard manners while their mums’ milk dries up so we start our day down at the yards feeding out and checking water.

At the back of our farm we have a wedgetail eagle nest – a giant platform of sticks large enough for us all to sit in (if we could climb that high!). This year the eagles have hatched and reared three fledglings, and while we worked this morning they all took flight, riding the thermals about our farm.

It made my heart swell to watch them all; the majestic father with a feather missing in the leading edge of his right wing, the slightly smaller mother and then these three tentative and still clumsy juniors. When they landed in a Sydney Blue Gum at the back of our orchard it looked like 2 large men and their dogs sitting in the branches, so big are these birds.

They were still resting there when we finished our morning chores so we sat out in the backyard with our mugs of tea watching them. We only came in again when they took flight and soared off over the ridge and out of sight. (I added a photo below of the golden glow that surrounded us this morning!)

I hope you get a little outdoor time or time for a quiet cuppa today too.

Take care of yourself and each other, all my love, Nicole ❤ xx

Fanny’s Whist Cake – A simple and delicious treat!

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.” 
~  Ray Bradbury

On Wednesday we mustered and did cattle work here at the farm. It’s always incumbent upon me to provide cake for smoko when the workers break for a cup of tea, and I have a host of favourite recipes to choose from. But our friend and her little boy were visiting later in the day. Eli loves cake, but mum was hoping it might be low sugar, so I decided to go through my old recipe folders and there I found a recipe I’d never made, one that was copied from my Nana Cody. My beloved Nana passed away in 2012, but she’s still a strong presence in my life – especially in the kitchen! Nana was always good for recipes and simple life wisdoms. This particular recipe was called Fanny’s Whist Cake. It was lower in sugar than most other recipes and seemed worth making. Well, I thought, why not?

The name of the cake was quite curious. First I googled Whist Cake but there is no such thing. There is a card game called Whist though – it’s a simple trick taking game that was a popular parlour game in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

Perhaps it was a cake that Fanny liked to bake and take to her Whist games? Seems logical to me.

But who was Fanny? If she had been a friend of Nana’s I didn’t recall her ever being mentioned. I rang my sister, who is the family’s genealogy sleuth. Fanny Wheaton, Simone declared. She was Nana’s (our Dad’s mum, Joyce Cody, nee Heppell) grandmother. So that makes Fanny Wheaton my second great-grandmother. Here’s a photo of Fanny, circa 1915, courtesy of Jon Heppell who uploaded it to Ancestry.com. She’s the lady in black in the middle of the picture, holding the baby. Nana’s parents are Doris Minta Parish & her husband Frederick William Heppell, Fanny’s son (back row, right). Isn’t it wonderful to think that I am now baking her recipe, one that she was making over one hundred years ago!

So, is a cake made to a recipe that’s easily over 100 years old any good? My word it is! It’s a light and buttery cake, made interesting with the addition of dried fruit and a simple cinnamon-spiced crumb topping. It is quite firm to slice. We found it excellent served plain with a cup of tea, and our young friend Eli found it even better served with lashings of vanilla ice-cream.

I don’t think it will have very good keeping qualities so I advise that it is best served on the day it is made. We did eat the last of it the following day and found it a little drier, but still acceptable and very good buttered!

I hope you enjoy Fanny’s Whist Cake as much as we did. I’ll certainly be making it again.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter (115g or 1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar ( 170g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour (300g)
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins – 88g)
  • 1/4 cup sliced glace cherries (40g)
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup warmed milk (58ml)

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, chopped (30g)
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar (30g)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour (20g)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder ( 12g)

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to moderately slow (160 degrees Celsius or 325 Fahrenheit)
  2. Grease and paper line a 20cm round baking tin
  3. Make the crumble first by rubbing the butter, sugar flour and spice together with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Note: Make sure the butter is cold!
  4. Warm milk (Warm, not boiling!)
  5. Cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy – sugar is dissolved
  6. Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly after each to combine
  7. Add pinch of salt
  8. Alternate the flour and milk in small amounts, gently folding in to the mixture.
  9. Add the dried fruit and fold through.
  10. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  11. sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter
  12. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until top is golden and cake springs back when lightly pressed in centre.
  13. Cool.
  14. Best served on same day.

 

Why We Vaccinate

 “In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.” — Benjamin Franklin

 

We live on a beautiful rural property in Byron Bay, which we farm organically. We don’t use chemicals, artificial fertilisers or pesticides. To support the health of our herds and crops we use natural mineral fertilisers, biodynamics and good farm management. We also supplement our stock with minerals and molasses, and we vaccinate.

People are often surprised that we vaccinate, and that I am the chief officer of those vaccinations. But we live in the Northern Rivers – a lush country with high rainfall and summer temperatures, and every year when the season’s conditions are right ( dry winter followed by lashings of rain, summer storms, high heat and abundant new grass growth) we have an upsurge of a spore-forming bacteria in the soil called Clostridium chauvoei. It causes a condition called Black Leg, which kills healthy young cattle in a number of hours. By the time the condition is detected, if at all, there is little that can be done to save the animal. There are livestock deaths every year on farms around us. All of which can be prevented by vaccination.

Why do I know this?

Previously we farmed organically on a property in Queensland – a very different kind of holding with open forests and hard grasses. I hadn’t even heard of Blackleg, because our farm just didn’t have the conditions for it to be a problem. We vaccinated there too, but for different illnesses, including Tick Fever (Babesiosis – a co-infection that many human Lyme suffers have, including myself. Blood tests revealed this in me, along with a number of other bacterial infections that are also tick and biting insect borne and that are accepted to be present in many other mammals including cattle, although of course not humans! I’d love to show you the Fact Sheet on Borreliosis in cattle put out by the Department of Primary Industries in Australia. It was widely available for many years until the Lyme controversy started to heat up here, after which it was suddenly withdrawn. Sorry, I digress…)

When we trucked the best of our herd to our new farm we had a summer just like the one we are entering into now – lush, wet and hot. And within a month we lost six young animals over just a few days to this disease I’d never heard of. They were the healthiest and best animals we had, and that good health and good genetics did not protect them. We found them dead in the paddocks, after having seem them healthy and strong the day before. We called in the vet, and the vet introduced us to Blackleg and explained how and why it had occurred and what we could do to minimise the chance of it happening again. We’d vaccinated those cattle too, but not for this illness. I was beside myself that it could have been prevented and that I hadn’t researched this better.

So now as part of our herd health we vaccinate. Our dogs are vaccinated too, especially for the highly contagious Parvovirus which is rampant in the Northern Rivers and which kills too many puppies and dogs here in Byron Bay every year.

I thought about whether to post this, as vaccination has become such a polarising and controversial subject. Here in Byron Bay we have one of the lowest rates of human vaccination in Australia. I think the ongoing debate about the number, frequency and manufacture of vaccines for children is important. But I also know that vaccines save lives.

While we keep farming I’ll keep practicing land care, soil health, biodiversity, organic practices and I’ll vaccinate.

Take care of yourself, and each other,

Much love, Nicole  xx

The Stop Go Man

“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” 
~  Roy T. Bennett

 

Byron Bay has sunshine and farmers markets and great beaches and heaps of tourists and endless potholes. Our roads are in a constant state of disrepair, and there are always road crews out doing their best to keep them patched.

Wherever there are road crews there are also traffic controllers, or Stop-Go people, as I like to call them. It’s usually the same faces that we see, year in, year out. Byron is a small shire, after all.

Recently we’ve been stopped often just here (see below). The view is fantastic and there’s almost always an ocean breeze, so the long wait is not much of a hardship.

I like to wave at the traffic controllers, and thank them as we drive past. Almost always they smile or wave back, or at least acknowledge me with their eyes. Except this one bloke…

For over five years I could not create any kind of interaction. Every time we encountered him I’d wave and smile. If he saw me he never let on. Somehow that made me even more determined. Whenever I saw him I’d double my efforts. When that didn’t make a difference I began dancing in my seat and doing funky disco moves. I even made up songs for him.

Finally, one very cold morning earlier this year, after years of concerted effort, the traffic controller raised one finger off the Stop-Go sign in what is known in Australia as a one-finger wave. Motorists often do this on country roads as they pass one another, raising just one finger off the steering wheel.

I was beside myself!

‘Have a great day!’ I yelled as we drove past. And of course I waved one more time.

He was in that one spot on the road all week. Every day we’d go past, and each day I’d wave and yell out something positive, and every day he’d raise one finger then go back to being poker-faced.

Then I didn’t see him for months.

Until yesterday. He had his back to us, talking into his two-way radio as we drove up, but as we went past he turned and saw us. He raised one finger at me and smiled. ‘G’day, love,” he grunted, then turned away again before I could react.

Made my day, he did!

Wishing you all a fabulous day too, with waves and kind words and funky disco dancing,

Much love, Nicole  xx

Not my Stop-Go guy, but one just like him!

The Best Blog Was The One I Didn’t Write!

“Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day.” 
Vera Nazarian

 

I had a rough day yesterday, and then a rough night. In this week’s intensely intuitive energies some of my clients and students are struggling with the realisation that their lives that are far from alignment with their inner selves, or they have become overwhelmed with the weight of humanity’s problems. And there has been an influx of suicidal feelings for some, or for members of their family. So this week my phone has rung off the hook, my inboxes are jammed and the calls just keep coming. Since my fiftieth birthday in September I now feel every single emotion other people are holding within them as viscerally as if those emotions were mine. As you might imagine I went to bed totally drained, and woke the same, despite my regular meditation.

I had intended to blog, but nothing would come. So I walked.

In the murky twilight I threw a warm jacket over my pyjamas and put my feet into gumboots and I walked outside and into the paddocks.

The tawny frogmouth owls were singing to their chicks while feeding them an early breakfast. A powerful owl sat in the teak tree, feasting on the remains of a possum. Koalas grunted to each other in the trees, and the boughs above our house shook and danced as a group of possums jumped down and then ran across the roof of our tiny cottage, moving towards our shed where they will sleep throughout the day.

The air was alive with the sound of insects and birdsong as the sun slowly rose behind the hills, ready to illuminate the day.

As I walked further I saw one of our older cows lying down in the field. She was in an unnatural position, so I hurried over to check on her welfare, just as she finished pushing out a newborn calf. I stood quietly by while she broke open the sac and cleaned off the tiny animal, licking it until it began to push up on its brand new twiggy legs. Soon it was standing for the first time.

The cow and I both stood quietly together, catching our breath, and the newborn calf wobbled over to mum, found a teat and began to drink. Suddenly my world was calm and beautiful and milk-sweet.

Some ‘alone time’ in nature is always good medicine for me, and if you’re feeling things intensely this week I suggest it will be good medicine for you as well. Then perhaps some journalling and the pulling of a few cards so that you can explore your feelings and find pathways that give you choices, understanding and a way forward. Of course I also recommend a good cup of tea with that too!

Sending so much love your way, Nicole  xoxo