Why I love Friday at the Farm!

calf, farm life byron bay

That’s our newest calf, Rosco (in the middle), named after Carly’s Dad!

“Its always difficult to keep Fridays confined within themselves..they tend to spill over..”
~ Parag Tipnis

 

Fridays at our farm are my perfect kind of day.

There was an early-morning walk to say hello to the cows and check the vegetable garden. After that I spent a little time finalising my Year of ME Planner for 2017, and playing with the crystals I’ve chosen to go with next year’s Planner.

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Then we headed off to Mullumbimby for the Farmers’ Markets. The annual Mullumbimby Agricultural Show is on this weekend, and the signs were up already.

Looks like it’s going to be fun!

Mullumbimby Show

Before we could even think about filling our baskets with produce we stopped for a local Myocum Coffee and pastry. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do quality control!

Scratch Patisserie’s market stall is one of our favourite stops on a Friday morning.

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After which we bought lovely things. Fresh things. Things grown or made with care and love by local farmers.

Cooper’s Shoot tomatoes are the best!

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We chose tiny carrots and crunchy sweet apples. We bought organic eggs and sourdough bread and all manner of tasty goodness.

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apples

I even found some wonderful hand-made soap, coloured with clays and scented with essential oils! They are crafted by the lovely people from Church Farm at Billinudgel. (Do pop over and visit their website – it totally captures the feel of our region!)

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Then it was home again to a happy day of writing and cups of tea, followed by the pleasure of a dear friend dropping by for dinner.

We taste-tested my new mango mousse recipe, and it was fab! Watch for the recipe on the blog next week. 🙂

What a wonderful day! I so love where I live. It’s good to be home.

Hugs and love, Nicole <3 xx

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Green Grass, New Mums and Other Exciting News

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“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound…
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

~ Wendell Berry

 

We are home.

My technology is finally upgraded, downloaded and working. Touch-wood that all computers and phones shall now be hassle-free. But it took so much time and energy to make that happen. Days and days worth of time. I was relieved to climb into the car and finally be on our way back to the farm.

There is a place the highway comes to as we return from the city. The land moves suddenly to a flat expanse, with the mountains at our back. Ahead of us stretch lush cane fields. Farms of tender grass and fat cattle. Thick green belts of trees and birdsong.

Every time we get to this place we breathe out. The stress of the city falls away. We take a deep breath in again. The tension melts away. Almost home.

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We travelled home with our headlights holding the road and stars above us in the deep black sky.

Tired, we tumbled out of the car at journey’s end and went straight to bed, comforted by the call of owls, the croak of frogs and the chirp of crickets.

What a joy it was to wake in our own beds. But more was to come.

The grass in the front paddock is thigh-high and luscious from the heat and summer rain. To have paddocks full of grass is a beautiful thing when you are a farmer. The cattle are fat and content, and Daisy Mae has borne us the first calf of 2016 – a stocky little male who is playful and curious, just like his mum was at that age.

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There is so much more to explore, and today I will do my best to get some decent pictures of Daisy Mae and her calf. Let me know if you come up with a good name for him!

I’m off to the Farmers Markets now to catch up with friends and to fill my basket with fresh produce.

Did I mention how good it is to be back home?

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Sunshine and Apples

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“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

It’s Autumn, here at the farm. Yesterday morning we ventured out early for our favourite Friday morning adventure – the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets.

The day was clean and bright, with wide blue skies, crisp cool air and a hint of woodsmoke on the breeze.

We filled up on good coffee and pastries, and then we stocked our baskets with all kinds of fresh delights.

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There was a new busker who caught my eye. He’s a local musician and producer called AJ, and you can read more about him here and here. AJ was playing a cut-down upright piano to which he’d attached some sturdy wheels so he could be supremely mobile. His music, and the sound from the old Beale was fantastic!

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Back at home I hung a load of washing on the line to dry. There’s nothing more comforting than clean sheets that smell of sunshine and fresh air.

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While I stood at the clothesline we were greeted by loud moos, and the mums brought their babies up to the fence for our inspection.

The cows are all looking fat and content, and the calves were happy to frolic in the sunshine, chasing each other and splashing in the shallows of the dam.

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2015-05-15 10.22.03The little grey calf in the middle of this picture was born just yesterday. Mum hasn’t let us get close enough yet to find out f it’s a little boy or a little girl. That’s Mum on the right, if you couldn’t tell!

2015-05-15 10.24.41By day’s end it was rainy and cold. That’s okay. I had a pot of soup on the stove, we lit the fire and made the house all cosy, and snuggled up in front of the fireplace with the sleepy pups.

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A very beautiful ordinary day here at the farm.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

 

 

A Little Bit of Normal

the girls

“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.”
~ Steve Goodier

 

I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours offline and disconnected from the outside world, so that I could reconnect with my husband, our dogs, and the beautiful place we call home. I needed that, after five days holding the space for my channelling group. I wanted to feel grounded and nurtured. I’ve even had a day off from early starts and meditating.

Today I’m still tired, but feeling good. I’ve even planned a day of cooking, after our morning trip to the Mullum Farmers Markets. (Which we shall be going to as soon as this blog is posted and I get out of my pyjamas!)

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow. In the meantime here’s my last twenty-four hours in pictures:

suffolk

 

 

breakfast

 

pink

queenie

 

bert

 

harry

 

home

 

bedtime

 

Music, Smiles and All Good Things

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“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” 
~ Confucius, The Book of Rites

 

Ben and I ventured to the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Markets yesterday morning. We got there a little later than usual, about 8.30am, because after my pre-dawn meditation I sat down at the computer and hammered out some more words for my memoir. The reward for all my toil? Breakfast at the markets – whatever I wanted, plus a good local coffee.

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Normally I’d race around first and grab the things I want that always run out – kale, certain kinds of bread, organic free range eggs, hibiscus and ginger kombucha drinks, but the weekly busker was so engaging, his music so mellow and warm and inviting that we grabbed a coffee, stopped at a table in the middle of the markets and sat down to listen.

So, it seems, did just about everyone else.

The tables were packed, and people found spaces on the grass to sit in the early morning sunshine and listen to the performance too. It was like being at our own private concert.

There was lots of smiling and clapping. Little toddlers danced blissfully, friends hugged, and strangers came together to share in the magic that is music.

Such simple pleasures, but oh so good!

The busker’s name is Mark Heazlett. He’s a local musician from Brunswick Heads here in the Northern Rivers. He sure did make the market a wonderful day out. If you’re ever round our way I can thoroughly recommend a trip to our Friday Farmers’ Markets. Maybe I’ll see you there! 🙂

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Hooray for friends!

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” 
~ Elbert Hubbard

 

Isn’t this the most colossal bucket of flowers for ten dollars? They are grown and sold by two elderly brothers who live up the road from us. You can read more about that here.

I’ve had a lovely time finding vases for all of these luscious blooms.

Anyway, I’ll keep this post short and sweet. A friend has come to visit for a few days, and right now we’re doing ‘friend’ things, as much as my energy will allow. Tours of our farm, adventures in the local area. Farmers’ markets. Lots of cups of tea and chats.

I’m so glad for friendship. It truly is the most precious of gifts. And I consider you a friend too, although perhaps we have not yet met.

I also have another shout-out for a friend of mine this morning, currently living on the other side of the world. Kimmie, I love you, and I miss you heaps!

Excellent. Hugs all round!

Okay, we’re off to the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Markets for some breakfast and to fill my basket with fresh produce for the week ahead. Excitingly, I shall be wearing my gumboots because we’ve had RAIN! After such a long dry summer, a little mud has to be a good thing. 🙂

We’ll stop in at the Chocolate Shop on our way back from the markets, because what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t take our guest to such a fabulous place? Then we shall come home, drink chai tea, eat a few sweets and talk some more, as friends do.

Lots of love,

Nicole

xx

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It’s Friday – You’ll find me at the Mullum Markets

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“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
~ A.A. Milne

 

It’s Friday. I look forward to Friday all week. Why? I get to have breakfast at the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets.

As I fed out hay to my cows this morning my own thoughts were filled with breakfast…

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There’s this delicious Thai sticky rice roll, filled with spiced sweet potato. Oh it’s fabulous.  All chewy and warm and good. It’s a breakfast favourite.

Or maybe something from the Sicilian Nomad’s kitchen – a fry up of fresh seasonal fare. Or miso and some freshly made sushi hand rolls. Something from the French Patisserie?

And chai, or a good local coffee.

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Today we’ll eat our breakfast and chat to whoever’s sitting at our communal table, we’ll say hello to friends, have a lovely social time, and then we’ll fill our baskets with herbs and vegetables, fresh baked sourdough bread, good local ladyfinger bananas, eggs, and whatever else looks good.

I think I’ll buy myself a bunch of flowers too.

We’ll have all of that done and be home again mid morning, and I’ll have the rest of the day to write and work, to nap, and to dig in the garden when it gets a little cooler in the late afternoon.

Oh, I love Fridays!

Sending all my love to you. Or maybe, I’ll see you at the Mullum Markets too! 🙂

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My Friday Morning at the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Markets

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Excitement! I went on a short outing today to my favourite local Farmers’ Market at Mullumbimby. After the last few horrendous days of Lyme herxing I appreciated the fresh air and change of scenery…

My first stop was an excellent breakfast from The Nomadic Kitchen – Rice, banana and tomato sauce, and fried egg. I can’t begin to tell you what a rapturous combination this was, and it fuelled me up for the morning shop.

2013-03-22 07.42.28I then filled my bags with organic sourdough pumpkin bread, swiss brown mushrooms, sweet little muscatel grapes, kefir, and a few varieties of fresh garlic;

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as well as organic zucchini, lady finger bananas, eggs and bees wax tea-lights;

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some tasty kale (my current addiction – and my cows’ too, who ate all the kale I had growing at home!!!) and pak choi;

2013-03-22 10.03.16and a multitude of smiles and hugs.

Here’s the organic beeswax lantern (also available at the Markets) where I burn my little tea lights.  Makes the whole house smell of beeswax and honey and it glows translucent and shimmery when it’s lit!

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Nap time for me now – you can’t have too much excitement in one day.  Much love to you, and some healing hugs.  Bless ♥ xx