simplifying the farm

Hello there! I am doing a terrible job of keeping up with this blog for which I apologise. It has gotten to the point there is so much to write about I don't actually know where to start. 

We are deeply thankful the season has broken and we have had some good rain. The creek is at a trickle, but it is better than bone dry. Our creeks dried up for a couple of months there and we were forced to cart water 1000L at a time from the river nearby. It was not ideal. The bushfire season started early and began to hit hard, thankfully in our area it seems to have slowed with the recent rains. Being the sub-tropics we get most of our rain in the summer months. Our pasture is looking green again which is both essential for animal feed but it also helps to add a protective element against bushfires. 

I have been busy finishing up my theology study for the year, which has been a blessing. I have enjoyed returning to college immensely and I have three subjects left to finish a diploma of theology. Next semester I will be doing two subjects and an intensive which means it will be complete by the middle of the year if all goes to plan. Eventually, I hope it will help lead to a chaplaincy job or something similar. Time will tell, I'm not really sure where I will end up at this stage, but I am enjoying the process. As Elsie grows bigger, it feels right to return to study. 

Amongst my studies there have been baby goats to welcome, a dairy goat to milk, the garden to tend, foxes to try and deter along with the tasks that go hand in hand with being a family of six. The endless cooking, driving and washing takes place amidst the usual arguments, laughter and joy of time spent together. 

One week seems to blur into the next and so the years progress. 

We have been in a period of reflection and re-assessment when it comes to the farm. We have been here for nearly 5 years and there are unfinished projects all around. Time is by far our most valuable asset. It all takes endless time. There are composting toilets to empty, rubbish to keep sorted and cart away, water to pump to the header tank, solar to tinker with, cars to repair....the list goes on. 

When we bought the farm it took every dollar we had. Soon after COVID hit, and the world changed as we knew it. With it came job insecurity and financial strain and now we are battling mammoth inflation. Turns out it wasn't an ideal time to build a farm, but perhaps there never is a perfect time. At least it is never boring, eh!

Since doing the permaculture course we have had some great discussions and done some meaningful reflection on what our family needs in this season. One was a garden, which we have made excellent progress with. We also need more space. The aim was always to build a new house eventually, but given the economic climate that is no longer in our reach. (I may have mentioned this before, apologies if I am repeating myself!) Instead, we are going to build a deck with a couple of rooms on it, as well as a large undercover outdoor space. 

But building at that scale takes time. A lot of time. Grant is our primary earner, farmer and builder. Although I hope to contribute financially in the future, I am currently the primary carer, cook, gardener, homemaker, keeper of small animals and nurse of sick and injured children and animals alike. I do what I can to minimise the load on Grant so he can tackle the big things, but we are both finding ourselves tired and constantly chasing our tails. 

Progress is painfully slow. 

This leads us to the question; 'What can we put down in this season to make progress on the things that truly matter?' To be honest, there isn't a lot we can put down, but we can simplify a little in various areas and all those little things add up. We do need to keep some livestock to keep the grass down, and although we love the boer goats they are more labour-intensive than cows. They require better fencing which takes longer to move on a weekly rotation and are generally more needy. So after a few weeks of deliberation, Grant has started to list our flock. We love goats and hope in the future to have them again, but for now there is an extension to build, fencing to improve, wood roaches to work on, a workshop to improve and only so many hours in a day. The goats are one area we can simplify.

The day-to-day homestead management side of the farm mostly falls to me and the children. There are tasks I really enjoy like looking after the chickens, milking our dairy goat Hoopla and gardening. These jobs provide food and nourishment for our family and are of high value to us. We will keep Hoopla the dairy goat, as well as buy a second goat to milk and keep her company. Goats are herd animals and shouldn't be kept alone and we enjoy her good raw milk. 

Well, the sun is shining and there is a beautiful breeze, which can only mean one thing when you live off-grid with a big family - it's time to do the washing! 

Hopefully now college is finished for the semester I will be able to catch up on what has been happening here. I hope this finds you well. 

Much love, 


  1. Congrats on your theology studies! Your garden/oasis looks beautiful. Your hard work is evident. andrea

    1. Thanks Andrea, the garden has grown alot from even these photos, with the warm sunny weather and regular bouts of rain, though we are not getting alot of heavy rain, the garden is loving the regular showers. xx

  2. Just catching up on all. Your news.The garden looks beautiful and you have achieved so much since i was here last!How you have time for study as well inspires me.I am a mum of 3 boys and work so know how time consuming washing and cooking can be.As my boys get older i give them a night to cook.The eldest on one night and the other two another night.It doesn’t always work out and i often have to suggest what to cook or give tips but its all skills building and hopefully my husband and i can sit back occasionally at dinner time.One day….Even though we live in inner Brisbane ,i so relate to your value system of family,good food and nature.Keep up the fabulous work of being a role model for your young people whilst having your own aspirations Jane

    1. Thanks Jane! There are so many ways to live well on all size properties aren't there? I think when we love something we can squeeze it in, even if it is only a little at a time. Also external deadlines are helpful!

      We were away for a week and my garden has now gone utterly wild. It's going to take me days to catch up. And the washing it's endless isn't it?! xx

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