Where do you live?
Ah ha… the big mystery. I don’t want to say exactly where we are because, living in a small community, we value our privacy. Our farm is on the south western slopes of NSW (Australia), about 4 hours drive from Sydney. The farm isn’t big by some standards, but is certainly enough to keep us busy. Country Boy and his father run the farm together, and my parents in law live in the other house on the property. I answer a common question about living on the same property as my in-laws here.
Tell me about your family!
Country Boy and I met at university. We married soon after I finished university, and spent time backpacking around Europe, before we settled in the lower Blue Mountains, west of Sydney (Australia), where I grew up. Before our children arrived, Country Boy worked as a horticultural grower for a large wholesale nursery. When our kids came along, he resigned to become a stay-at-home dad. He is a plant lover, a consummate gardener, a good photographer, an excellent cook, and all round great guy. I plan on keeping him around.
Hannah joined us in 2004. She is quiet, imaginative, and eager to do her best in everything. Country life took a little adjustment for her, but these days she is happiest climbing trees, building cubbies, or playing in the creek. She is our dog Tess’ favourite person.
Meghann (Meg) came next and is easy going, happy and a lover of dinosaurs, the moon, and country life in general. She is happiest wearing the same pair of clothes every day and would love it if I forgot to brush her hair for a month. She is also our little chicken whisperer.
Toby is our miniature farmer. Having lived on the farm since he was 18 months old, he knows no other life. He loves machinery of all sorts and thinks his rightful place is on the front of the motorbike or the cab of the ute.
Where do you get your recipes from?
Most of my recipes I make up from scratch, but if I do use someone else’s recipes I always credit them. I try to make family friendly, tasty food, based on the seasonal produce from our garden. You can find a complete list of my recipes here.
What camera do you use?
All photos taken from June 2013 are taken on a Canon Eos 7D with a 28-200mm f3.5 lens or a 50mm f1.8 prime lens. Before that, we used a Canon Eos 400D with a 28-70mm f4.5 lens or the same 50mm lens. Both Country Boy and I take a lot of photos.
Since January 2014 I have used Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. Prior to then, I used Picasa which is a free google product.
Please do not take images from my blog without my permission. I can be contacted through the contact page.
Where do you get your seeds/plants from?
To be honest, I know nothing about gardening. Country Boy is in charge of growing the fruit and vegetables around here. He gets most of his seeds from Eden Seeds, and some from Diggers club. I talk more about how we plan our garden here.
What about your kids and school?
Our younger two kids attend a fantastic little one teacher school in the nearby village, while Hannah now attends high school in the nearest town (about 20km away). I write about some of the issues we will face in the future with their schooling here.
Are you glad you moved to the country?
Well, that is probably the hardest question to answer. Over all my answer is yes. If I didn’t have anyone but myself to consider, I would probably still be living happily in the mountains. I miss our life back there a lot. However, I know that this is where we are meant to be. It is the right decision for our family and our future. Country Boy and the kids adore our life down here and wouldn’t be happy anywhere else. That’s not to say that there aren’t some hard things about living here. This post in particular talks about some of the parts of our life that I struggle with. I’m a fairly resilient person and I tend to just get on with life where ever it takes me. Hannah has also written about her experiences of moving to the farm.
Do you get up early and cook breakfast, and spend your days baking, and all those ‘farmers wife’ types of things?
No is the simple answer. Particularly to the getting up early part. I work full time in the nearest town as a teacher. I teach Food Technology, Hospitality, and Textiles, so I do a lot of cooking, but life with 3 kids and a farm is not all baking and preserving. I talk more about what an average day looks like here.
Are you a Christian? Do you go to church?
We are Christians. Both Country Boy and I grew up in Christian families, and seek to follow Jesus in our lives. Our greatest hope is that our children will grow up to follow Jesus too. Being a Christian informs all parts of our lives, and though we definitely don’t have it all together, we keep trying.
Before we moved to the country we attended a local church in the mountains. Since moving here, we have joined a house church with a few other families in our village.
What is your farmhouse like? I imagine you must have a big country kitchen and lots of space!
When we first moved here, our farmhouse was largely unrenovated. Country Boy’s great grandfather built it in the late 1930 s or early 1940’s. The old farmhouse had what I like to call “good bones”, but it hadn’t been updated since the 1960’s or 70’s. In 2017 we finally managed to renovate and extend the old house to meet our family’s needs. These days, our farmhouse is a joy to be in. While it’s not big (I didn’t want to have a big house to clean), it is full of light and makes our life easier and better. We have four large bedrooms, one bathroom (with a second toilet in the laundry), a mudroom, walk-in linen press, study nook, a large open plan living/dining/kitchen, and a walk-in pantry. It was designed by Country Boy’s brother (who is an architect), and it is a great house. You can see our renovation in this post here. You can also see what the house looked like before we moved in here, and have a look at my old kitchen here.
Do you have a Facebook page? How can I follow your blog?
Well yes, I do. You can follow our shenanigans via Facebook here.
If you’re social media junky, here are some more places I lurk: