Whilst every other farmer and his wife is leaving the land and heading to the city. This farmer and his wife are leaving the city and heading for the land…..
About a year ago Wally and I made the decision to start talking seriously about doing something to make our long held dream of working the land a reality. When you’ve lived your entire life in the city, moving your young family to the country and starting a holistic farming enterprise (of which you have zero experience) is a pretty daunting task. But living the rest of your life saddled to a job you dislike and wondering ‘what if’ is pretty daunting too.
In 2014 I packed my wanna-be-farmer off to New South Wales for his 40th Birthday to do a Permaculture Design Certificate at Milkwood. I have to admit I thought he’d come home with the bug out of his system and we’d just go on as we had. But the exact opposite happened – he came home more enthusiastic and vigorously opposed to the idea of staying put than ever!! And so we started adding to our conversation ideas about how we could extricate ourselves from our comfortable inner city life.
A week after his return from Milkwood we were delivered the news that the company Wally has worked for would be closing down. WWhilst this news set others into deep recesses of uncertainty we couldn’t fist pump and high five ourselves enough – the universe had delivered a gift we could hardly have dreamed about. The decision had been made for us and we set about planning our future as farmers.
We explored our options for farm land, close to Brisbane, New South Wales, Victoria. Even as far a field as New Zealand rated a mention. But I was forever being drawn back to the idea of returning home to my family in South Australia. After traveling overseas for most of my early 20’s I moved to Brisbane fourteen years ago to go to art school. I expected to be here for 2 years or so. Seems I’m really good at turning up places and never getting around to leaving!! I always knew we would return to South Australia as a family one day, but the time just never seemed right. But now everything just seemed to point us in that direction. And so it was decided. South we would go. With a twist of reinvention and a good dash of country life!
The travel adventure
Late last year we decided to muddy the adventure waters even more by deciding if the Universe had presented us with the golden opportunity to follow one dream why couldn’t we push her/him/it to cough up for a second…We didn’t want to be greedy but with no requirement to be anywhere at any particular time, no job to get back to, our lives packed into a shipping container, our house rented, our business (hopefully) sold and our children portable, out of nappies, not in high school and not yet chock full of attitude we decided we also had the opportunity to fulfill the dream of taking our family traveling in Europe for six months.
This little adventure is a work in progress but it’s slowly starting to take shape. Our plan is to work on farms in the UK and Italy through the WWOOF network. We will visit markets. Drink wine. Visit old friends. Swim in the sea. Imbibe our children with a sense of adventure. Challenge our own parenting. Have a white Christmas. Stand a top the Eiffel Tower. Gather ideas for our own farming enterprise. Eat cheese. Learn things. Teach things. Visit friends we haven’t seen in many many years and enjoy the freedom only a road trip with no itinerary can bring. We hope the first chapter in our new adventure will be one that starts our journey off with joy and excitement (and only a little bit of trepidation).
Our home will be a caravan. A small tin box on wheels, with a shower over the toilet and ability to turn from school room to bedroom with the deft flick of a hinge and redistribution of a few lounge cushions. It’s going to be real cosy! The children have been helping us acclimate to the greatly reduced space we will soon inhabit by joining the Farmer and I, en mass in the bathroom or the same corner of the kitchen. They’re kind like that!
The continuing story
I don’t know where our adventures will take us, I guess that’s the excitement of starting a new book – the story hasn’t completely unfolded yet we just have a vague idea of the plot. I do know it won’t be boring!
Viva la adventure!