An idea was born.

It has been a while since I have been here. I have to admit it takes me a long time to put into words the ideas, feelings or events that I want to share. I am more a talker than a writer! 
Anyway, here goes. 

We have just returned from our summer holiday up north, visiting family and friends. It was so wonderful on so many levels and the perfect place to recharge. Like a friend just said to me, holidays are a wonderful time for clarity and inspiration. That is exactly what happened. 

I read what has now become one of my most favourite books, Fair Food. It's interesting the timing of things sometimes isn't it? I had been pondering for awhile about A Plot in Common and its future.  A Plot in Common was created as a way to give people the opportunity to grow their own food and feel a connection to our farm. It didn't quite work out as I hoped. The people were incredible but what I hadn't considered was the time that would be required and that the location of the farm made it difficult for busy people living out of the area to visit frequently and tend to their garden. I don't regret trying this and haven't completely wiped the model for the future, it will just need to run slightly differently.
So, with this stirring away in the back of my mind and having just finished reading Fair Food, an idea was born!
I want to grow food. I have the land and the ability to grow food. I think I have the market. I started to research CSA models. I started to think really hard about how, what and where. I started to think about my local community and about how to connect and support them. 

This is what I came up with!

This gorgeous thing! 
She is going to be a mobile farm produce van. I am thinking about using her as our farm gate stall and once or twice a week taking her into our local town, Kyneton, and sell my produce. Ben wants  to call her, The Common Goods.
(He comes up with all the cool names.)
I want The Common Goods to be a way to share my produce and also a place for people to come and connect. Possibly swap produce, share ideas, or just sit around and drink coffee! (Ben is keen to bring the coffee.)
The old corner store but mobile.
I am not sure on all the details yet. I have some places in mind for The Common Goods to visit and ways to connect people with each other and really good food. I have also been thinking about a community compost system...

So with all these newborn ideas, I will now be spending a lot of my time out in the garden (Yay!), cleaning out The Common Goods and making the few adjustments to convert her from a chicken van to a mobile farm produce van. I will also be hosting some workshops in our barn over the next few months and then again in spring. 

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I decided not to plant out the garden before we went away. The only thing alive are two zucchini plants and some strawberries.


I have a huge job ahead.
I thought out of interest for myself, and for others, that I will closely document this project.
I am hoping this project will be a wonderful success and something that others may want to replicate in their own community. I will attempt to update each step along the way here and on my Instagram feed (aplotincommon). I am looking forward to sharing this with you all and hope to be sharing our farm produce and Ben's coffee with you all very soon! 

Tash x

Intimate. Beautiful. Delicious.

It feels like everything is running at full speed at the moment. A little crazier than usual. 
A good crazy though. 
Pattie and Petite are loving the sunshine and the spring grass. They will be heading next door to meet the bull again in a couple of weeks. 
The chickens have just been moved over under the pine trees, for a little more shade. One chicken is broody and into her second week of sitting. I'm not totally convinced that Boris (rooster) is a sharp shooter, but she seems convinced...


The boar left us a few weeks ago for a new farm and some new ladies. I think he weaved his magic on the black pig, she is HUGE. I will move her into her birthing suite next week. If she conceived on her first cycle she could be having piglets in a couple of weeks. The pink pig looks the same sadly. We will wait a little longer to see if she is pregnant. If she isn't we will have to make a decision what we are going to do with her. 
We have bought in 40 meat birds. They are 3 weeks old now and about to move out of their brood. They are nearly big enough for country air and fresh pasture. 


The garden has been a little neglected lately. We experienced some really hot days a couple of weeks ago and lots of things jus bolted and went straight to seed. I will pull out my kale, rocket, broccoli, and cabbage that went to seed and consider what I will plant for the summer months.

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My beets, garlic, beans, peas, sliver beet and berries are looking good despite the neglect. 
Water is a huge factor at the moment. We currently rely on tank water. The winter and spring rains didn't really exist this year and the little we had we didn't catch because we were finishing the house extension and the plumbing wasn't in. We have a dam that is not being used so I am thinking of putting another water tank next to the garden and pumping the water up to the tank and then gravity feed it to the garden. The other possibility is a bore. There is so much to consider in regard to cost, quality and practicality. I need to work something out. 
The workshops have been wonderful.  Intimate. Beautiful. Delicious. 

Intimate. We have kept the numbers of each workshop to a maximum of 10 people. A perfect number for the workshop and our lunch. It has created a personal, intimate atmosphere. 

Beautiful. Ben made some tables from off cuts and old floor boards from the house extension. They completely compliment the gorgeous barn. With these tables, fresh flowers, creative, passionate, interested people, the barn is stunningly beautiful. 

Delicious. Our lunches have been delicious. Farm grown chicken, beef and pork. Farm smoked salmon and bacon. Fresh seasonal vegetables and salads from the garden. Sorbets and ice creams from a local business. Pork sausages and other pork goodness from Jonai farms. All served with local wines. So delicious. 

We all find Intimate. Beautiful. Deliciousness in different ways. I hope you are surrounded by yours.  

Tash xx

New beginnings.

I think I may have mentioned before the deep emphasis on the seasons now that we live on a farm. The garden, the animals, the rainfall, the heat, the condition of the pasture. It is ever changing. I find it really magical. Tomorrow is spring. I am excited to greet this season, but also sad to see the end of winter. I love winter here. I love Autumn too! Summer I struggle with. But I guess you can't have it all..
Spring brings new beginnings. New life. New garden. It is beautiful to watch. Yesterday gave me a glimpse of what is to come. 

The gardens have been prepared for spring planting. The bulbs and blossoms are already going crazy. The roses are giving signs of new growth. The incubator is ready for the next batch of fertile eggs. The pigs are looking convincingly bigger. Fingers crossed for those piglets in a couple of months. My workshops start in a couple of weeks. All these new beginnings. 

I hope whatever you are doing this spring brings you lots of love and happiness.

New beginnings. 

Tash xxx
 

Start with WHY

I watched this fascinating Ted Talks segment yesterday which made me start to think that I should share with you more about the WHY of A Plot in Common, more so than the WHAT and HOW.

There are many reasons for my WHY, but here are two.

Firstly, I've touched on the incredible joy and satisfaction that this farm has given us. The recently new journey in growing our own food and what that means to us. To give others the opportunity to grow food, make a connection with their food, and make that one less trip to the supermarket, would make me deeply happy!!

Secondly,  I have become very passionate and concerned, like many of us, in where we as 'consuming beasts' are headed. So I hope by opening my world to others we might reassess our consumption and think more about giving and sharing....

There are so many ways we can GROW, don't you agree?

Tash xxxx