Exploring the new Hood

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And here’s where we’ve landed – in the rolling hills and hidden coves of the South Coast. We’ve dived straight into exploring, foraging and getting a feel for the lay of the land… 

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On the way over the great dividing range we passed through canyons and by waterfalls. We picnicked. And we wondered.

And eventually we got to the Ocean.

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New view from the weekly shopping trip

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Kiama’s weekly Wednesday Farmers Markets. Lots of local goodness lives here.

I was excited to make it to the Kiama Farmers Markets for the first time, and to have the opportunity to get an entire week’s worth of food from seriously awesome local providers.

No supermarket for us this week! Not sure how long we can keep that up, but we’ll give it a go.

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Can’t look. Scratching.

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The other end of the small harbour houses the local fishermans co-op. And itchy pelicans.

And oh so many small pumice stones that simply must be floated out into the water before we can possibly go home.

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We’re also getting a feel for the foraging potential of the area. There seems to be plenty.

So far we have a line on kerbside olives, and the gorgeousness of plentiful warrigal greens in the sand dunes.

We’ve also found great patches of dock, dandelion and cobblers pegs where we’re quite sure the council weed sprayers do not go.

So that’s wild greens sorted until further notice.

Warrigal greens, dock and dandelion.

Warrigal greens, dock and dandelion.

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Home made ricotta (made on local raw milk, yay) and wild greens ready to become picnic pastitzis

We’re also exploring the many nooks and crannies of Kiama and surrounds each afternoon when work is done – the Minnamurra river mouth, the hills, the rocky headlands.

So much to learn and discover.

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And of course, we’re getting down to work in between jaunts and adventures.

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Amoungst all the settling in, we were lucky enough to sneak in a day of filming this week with the fabulous Mr Joel Salatin – that lunatic farmer that largely inspired our early days of Milkwood.

Within the beautiful setting of Buena Vista Farm in Gerringong, we made some how-tos with Jimmy from Meanwhileoutside and Joel, on the important subject of backyard chicken raising and processing.

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In between takes, it was great to see Joel sit down with Fiona and Adam from Buena Vista, who are developing their amazing small farm enterprise with ‘beyond organic’ pastured egg laying, pastured meat chickens, pastured pork, sourdough and more.

The calculators came out as everyone started talking the brass tacks of best-practice, small scale pastured meat bird production, and the intricacies of problem solving within a mobile pastured egg laying operation.

Such good conversations! This is what the future of local food looks like – dedicated producers figuring out how to do things better while regenerating their land and communities.

To help Ashar adjust to so much new stuff all at once, we’ve been taking afternoon picnics everywhere we can. Exploring, talking, learning, and just sitting, too.

Yesterday after preschool, we went up the local mountain. To get a sense of the new whole.

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We’d like to thank everyone for their beautiful messages of encouragement this last week – we have been mightily overwhelmed from all directions!

We hope to be settled sometime soon and planting our first “whatever fits according to the particular rental context” shortly thereafter.

And debating just how far we can push things in terms of nutrient cycling at home, i expect.

In the meantime, anyone got any great weed pie recipes to swap? We’re perfecting ours currently, and outside influences are always welcome…

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12 Comments

  1. Alacoque
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Your new area looks just lovely. What an exciting time for the whole family, discovering, exploring, making new friends. I hope you feel settled soon and enjoy putting down new roots.

  2. Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    Welcome back to this side of the Mountains. So lovely to hear your adventuring voice – very best of luck getting settled and I look forward to visiting you sometime soon….

  3. Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    It looks absolutely gorgeous and exciting. Re- the nutrient cycling. I have friend composting humanure on a 180sqm block in inner melb, so I am sure you will find a way!
    Must have been an enormous, exciting and emotional time for you all. Congrats on everything you have achieved, the next chapter will be just as much of an adventure I am sure, and we are grateful that you keep sharing it.

  4. Margaret of Vivid Edible Gardens
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sounds like you are discovering one of my favourite patches of NSW – Illawarra and Shoalhaven. I am sure this must feel like heaven to all of you. Enjoy the newneighbourhood!

  5. Heidi
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    We make a mean weedy green soup based on a spinach recipe – basically green curry paste, stock, and armful of greens (nettles, warri gal greens, whatever’s on hand) cooked up with coconut milk and also either spuds or noodles to thicken it up. Noodles added at end, spuds cooked through in soup. Then blend up to make green goodness. add yoghurt at end to cool down for children.

  6. Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations on the move!

  7. Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I like how you played with scale in this picture. That tree stump (?) looks as large as a cave compared with the two boats behind it. Cool photo!

  8. Ron
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wha… I missed something! Is this a planned experience and are you expecting to go back? You should have come up to the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, may not be what you expect.

  9. Cath
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Pee bales and a bucket & chuck-it system in to a wheelie bin, or a worm-farm that you can take with you – surly these contained nutrient cycling systems will be welcomed.

  10. Suzanna Cace
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    kirsten …or any locals in area I am after “raw gooats milk” …if anyone has any leads please let me know …Mighty thanks Sue ..

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