Hello Cabbage Tree,
The only way to cover 4 months of signing off from writing is to begin. I did not intend to take such a long break, but I needed it. At Christmas time I put my business down and became a full-time Mama and gardener. We had a huge year for food from the garden, with our first true crop of peaches, more corn than we could keep up with, and cherry tomatoes by the kg. My parents came and spent nearly a month with us at the end of summer. They were a balm to our family, with cuddles for everyone. They also helped with our property, we cleaned up many things while they were here, and put a lot of food in the freezer. I made many jars of food from sauerkraut to peach chutney and our first olives using lacto-fermentation. This is a food preservation style I knew nothing about. I feel like I’ve discovered something that I will spend my whole life growing into. Although I will say that fermented bananas were not a hit with anyone in our family.
While I’d be tempted to say that the summer was about filling up and re-focusing, really it was about kids, weeds and garden food. Simple is good. Oh and, in the process I filled up and re-focused.
We got in several sailing trips on our 23′ boat Sea Bond, and learned without a doubt that we had outgrown her. Literally. The kids no longer fit in the forward berth. John took on the mission of finding us a new boat, with hours on Trade Me and a watch list several pages long. He made three trips out of Kerikeri looking at boats. Asked questions of a dozen different people, and last week we bought a Nova 28 called Terra Nova. This is where it gets interesting. She’s down in Tauranga, so in a few days, the four of us- John, myself and our two kids are headed down to sail her from there to the Bay of Islands. This is a big adventure for us, and we’re all super excited. We’ve give ourselves 10 days to do it. Here’s a map of our intended journey, decisions on route will be based on condition.
To do this I have had to take a leap into smart phone land and have just become the owner of a Nexus 5. I have spent the last week learning how to do business on it. You know all the important stuff… Facebook, Twitter and Instgram. Oh, plus banking, e-mail and file storage. And a GPS driven maps app as a back up to navigation.
The Goodbye business has grown, and gone are the days that I can just disappear for a few days. My main focus has been putting in the systems and inviting the people to help make something like this sailing trip possible. Karen, our shipping goddess will take over that side of things completely. And Jo, the one who makes me look tidy, will keep the accounting side of things moving along.
And on the property side of things, Troy Lee Yan Xiang has been working hard to learn our animals and the routine. He’s milking Grace our goat twice a day. Despite a few kicks from her, he is getting better each day.
If you’d like to keep up with our journey, I will be posting photos and updates to Instagram and Facebook, as well as updating our map. All going to plan, we will set sail on Friday, ANZAC Day and Helena’s birthday where she joins the realm of double digits.
I’ve had it in mind for awhile to share more about what we do on our property. Especially as many of you have joined this magazine and then haven’t heard too much!
Growing food and tending our space using biodynamic principals in a huge part of how we show up in this world. Our story and property has recently showed up in two articles. This one is from a super couple from Canada who stayed on our property in November through the WWOOFing program (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). They show several pictures of our property and one of the office that we call the International Headquarters.
And we got to be Kiwi Families first Great Kiwi Families, where we tell a bit about the process of raising and killing animals for our meat. With kids, this topic is intense, creative and relevant.
I hope you’ve had a wonder filled weekend with your family and some outdoor time.
Until next Yellowing Grape Leaf, with love, Becky
Director Essential Touch NZ Ltd.
Maker of Goodbye products and puller of Weeds