Winter on the farm

Well hello there!

It's been a while between posts hasn't it? All is well with us, but I have been busy studying half-time at theological college this semester. Thankfully, the semester is over. It was a bit brutal, but my grades were fine. I now have a few weeks of break to catch up around the place, relax, and touch base with you again.

Hoopla (the brown goat) continues to give us her good milk, and Mixie-May is the black British Alpine who is new to us. A proven mother and milker who is very sweet-natured. 

Things are quiet on the farm at the moment. 

The steers have gone to the local livestock market and fetched a fair price given they were a dairy cross and one of them was only small. Most of the Boer goats have been sold off, minus five. Some of those are marked for our freezer, and the remaining couple of does will be bartered with a friend. That will leave us with Hoopla our dairy goat, our new dairy goat Mixie-May, a handful of chooks and some guineafowl. 
Come spring, we will purchase some weaner steers to grow out again, but for now, the farm is quieter than it has been for a long while. In one sense it feels like a step backwards, but already we have more time on our hands and fewer things on our minds. The wood roaches that Grant breeds for pet food are very happy with their new gas heating and warm shed, though there is still a little tweaking to ensure they receive the perfect amount of wet/dry food. They are finicky things. Occasionally I receive comments from worried readers thinking we are breeding an invasive insect, but these particular critters are Australian native insects, that naturally live and feed on the damp leaf litter in the bush. 

The garden has slowed right down, and it's looking a little sparse. I planted some greens a little while back, which I hoped would feed us over winter, but I got them in a bit late.  Hopefully, as the days begin to grow longer, they will begin to take off and will instead feed us in spring.  Grant and the boys have started to pour the footings for the extension. However, time is flying, and unfortunately, it will not be usable by summer. This is quite concerning as my heart didn't do amazingly last summer, but it is what it is.  There is little point worrying ourselves with problems before they have arrived.   

Leafy greens were in a bit late, but hopefully, they will shoot out as the days begin to lengthen. 

We have slowly been cleaning up around the yurt now the cooler days are here. Brushing cobwebs from under the awnings, cleaning windows, dusting, and donating outgrown clothes to charity. Simple tasks really, but it gives our home a feeling of being cared for. It is important to teach our children to look after and appreciate what we have to help foster a feeling of contentment within them. We want them to grow up realizing they do not need to strive for a life filled with 'stuff', but instead to look for a life full of connection with those around them and to the place where they live. Striving for a simple life requires a certain amount of discipline and creativity, but it is a deeply satisfying pursuit and one that yields far greater rewards than looking outwards and filling our time with things that in the long run, don't really matter. No one on their deathbed wishes they would have worked more hours or lived in bigger debt than necessary to buy fancy things. Most people wish they would have spent more time with their friends and family, working less and appreciating what they had right in front of them. 

I love these winter days. It's been a mild winter for us, with frequent rain and only one light frost so far, which is very unusual. But the sunny days are short as we live in a valley, and the hills cast shade on our little home by mid-afternoon. The wood oven burns around the clock and is doing most of our winter soups, stews and roasts.  There is chicken broth simmering at the moment, which will be the base of tomorrow's cauliflower and potato soup. It's a favourite here, with a generous helping of parmesan cheese on top and a sprinkling of crispy bacon if we have any on hand. 

The garden is a bit sparse. Though I am interested to see how it fills out this spring, which will be its second year. 

The mid-year school holidays are nearly upon us in Australia. Will has a couple of weeks of full-time work experience with a local diesel mechanic business. He is thinking about applying for an apprenticeship with them. They asked for him back after two weeks of work experience, which was encouraging for him. He does not enjoy school, though his trade school is better for him than his last high school. He is keen to get an apprenticeship ASAP and that is fine by us. He is a good, hard-working young man, and I think he will do well wherever he ends up. Grant has two weeks holidays coming up which he will use to work on the extension. Angus and Henry are looking forward to spending time with him, Henry especially loves helping Grant in the shed and learning how to use tools etc. 

Little Elsie is growing up so quickly. She is a real little chatterbox and is becoming more confident all the time. I have promised to make jelly with her, feed the goats, and make playdough, so I had better be off. We might go for a wander and take the camera with us, so there will be some photos for this post! 

I hope all is well with you. 


  1. Loved the update. Glad you and yours are well! Sending you blessings and much love.

    1. Thanks Patricia! How have you and yours been? I hope summer is treating you kindly over there. xx

  2. Nice post, and beautiful flowers!!

    1. Thankyou! There is not alot of colour in the garden at the moment, but I am enjoying the few flowers we do have.

  3. Lovely to get an update as always enjoy reading what you’re up to on your farm with your family.

  4. Hello Emma ,
    I recently rediscovered your blog after not reading it for awhile I always enjoy reading your blogs and I feel uplifted when I do read them .
    I love your simple living philosophy and I am aiming to do more simple living activities myself like I used to .Emma my memory is not really that great so correct me if in wrong but are you the Livy lady who makes dolls ?.
    I think I remember that it was you ?.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend and that you and your family stay well and happy throughout the rest of winter .
    Barb ( I'm on the down to earth group a d was in Rhonda's forum ,I think I know you from there !)

    1. Excuse my typos Emma ,I was trying to type fast !

    2. Oh thanks for your kind words Barb, and your memory is perfect! I did used to make and sell waldorf dolls, I still make them occasionally though sewing in the yurt can be tricky as I don't have a space to leave things out. I'm glad you find the blog upping, I find writing about simple living uplifting too. And yes, I was on Rhondas forum and Emmy-Lou. :) xx

  5. Your farm looks so nice, even in winter. Congrats on your studies! You've accomplished a lot in the last year. Elsie looks so pretty. andrea

    1. Thanks Andrean, its been a busy year in many ways, but a good one. Elsie is such a sweet child, we all love her to bits and she makes us laugh every day. xx

  6. Beautiful post, Emma. It's lovely to see and hear what is happening with you and the family, and also to hear of the weather in your part of Australia (which is so different to my part of Australia!). I do hope all goes well for Will and he gets that apprenticeship; and I am praying your hubby makes good progress on the extension during his time off. Take care and bless you all, Jennifer xx


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