Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Simple pleasures ...

Thursday morn was beautiful and mild.  We had some rain to shelter from, light drizzle to walk in ... ... and lots of puddles to splash ... ... we walked for miles.

Cosmos, Milana, Dakota and Farrah were just total pleasure to be with ...

From Collages

Let's start by following Ella ...

Ella’s excitement and enthusiasm was such a lovely energy to have with us in the morning. 
It created a sense of excitement in us all. 
Ella lead the group to see the horses and the guinea pigs. While some children were interested in the animals, some were just happy to be there and do other things like show me some very interesting ballet dance moves.
After we had spent time visiting animals we decided, as it was a very windy day, to get our lunch boxes and head down to the back of the farm to a little place the gang call 'The Witches Garden'.
We all trooped down there visiting the very fast growing piglets along the way ... ... and playing games all the way down 'til we got there. We spent a lot of gentle time together sheltered from the wind and and protected from dust in our eyes.
We had with us all our necessities. They were: Lunch, friends, water and of course the spray bottle. Danella and her gang joined us for a while and we had all the kids spraying each other sharing, laughing and keeping cool.
It’s wonderful to create all of what you need out in nature no matter what we are presented with. Another adventurous fun day spent together. There are some photos for you to share in below.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How sweet!

On Wednesday I was under the Peppercorn trees where Carly's gang usually meet in the morning with Harvey, Pepper, Omkara, Finn and Samson.

The children were absolutely loving each others company and harmony prevailed in their enthusiastic play.

They kept climbing under the tables and making cubbies and plans and then would split up ... ... some would be under one table, some under the other.  They'd do visits and play some more and all be under one table again and then the other.  The buzz of great fun and great adventure was loud.

At one point Pepper, Finn and Harvey suddenly walked over the fence at the close by chook pens and as they muttered away, Harvey said, 'Yeah, let's go to Sugarland.'

Now I was intrigued, 'Sugarland'.  Sounds like a child's idea of paradise.

The three amigos walked round the corner of the chook pen ... (this is where I wish the blog had a little tool where I could draw you a map) ... anyway, they went round the corner, bobbed down behind a bush and I was hooked.

I had to go and see 'Sugarland' for myself.

Finn turned and saw me coming and said, 'Oh, oh ... ' and I rounded the corner to see Harvey and Pepper squatting facing each other and four blue eyes looked up to see me.  Harvey looking to straight at me said, 'Hi danella.' ... ... and Pepper looked up with two fingers scooped right inside a sugar jar,(one from the farm cafe that was on table they'd been playing under) and little sugar crystals round the corner of her mouth.

'Sugarland' was more literal than I realised!

I'd also totally missed how it happened ...

I got the kids to put the lid on the sugar and talked to them about the sugar being for the people who come to have coffee at the cafe ... ... and Tom and all the cafe folk care that it stays on the table and stays clean ... ... keeps things happy at the farm if people can find sugar when they need it for their coffee.

A moment or two consideration and a big sigh and, 'Ok.' came my way.  We went to put the sugar back and the children chatted on,  they talked about liking sugar and how it tastes good in cakes and all listened to each other sugar knowledge and experience.

Pepper suddenly looked my way with a most urgent question, 'How did you know?'

... and I got what she was asking even though the conversation was in full swing amongst the kids.

I answered, 'I didn't Pepper, I just heard Harvey say, 'Yeah let's go to Sugarland and I had to go see it for myself.'

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sending Gabriella off with lots of love ...

Today was Gabriella’s last day with us at the farm.

We had a special picnic with thanks to Lauren (Mac’s mum) who made us a super yummy pumpkin and sultana cake ... ... and also Deb (Gabriella’s mum) packed some really yummy ladybird cakes that had liquorice strips and chocolate buttons that made them very special and very yum!

We have all loved having Gabriella with us. She has been a wonderful part of our group, with her big heartedness caring so much for everyone and her very bubbly joyful ways. She will be missed by all.

We wish her the best in this next stage of her life and feel happy for the next group of people that get to meet her. I’m sure she will lift all of their hearts as well.

Goodbye with love from us all ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Movie Stars and new mothers ...

Pepper arrived on the bike today with Andy and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses.  A very gorgeous clear sunny day and so sunglasses not such a bad idea.  Not long after she arrived she said most demurely, "I think I look like a movie star with these sunglasses on."

We also soon heard the wonderful news that Moira had just given birth up in the pig pen.  There she was lying in the sunlight with 5 very new, very sweet little piglets.

Snuggled in ...

One brave little adventurer ...

Climbing over mums nose to snuggle under her ear ...

That's more comfy ...

We also spent hours in the reverie of the witches garden, (you'll get a peek at that movie start style of Pepper's below :) )

Tending the campfire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A little letter of appreciation ...

A lovely lady called Lisa who lives in North Queensland has read our tree planting story here and here and finally here and wrote to share her appreciation with us ...

Hi to danella,

... and to all the children in the beautiful growing-tree story. 

I have read all three parts
and felt your feelings shared
and saw your truth spoken
and watched your actions create,
changing hearts on the way,
planting seeds of love,
and co-operation,
creating beauty together...
and I thank you,
for sharing this beautiful story,
and look forward to seeing
you and the trees growing
together as one.

How wonderful to touch anothers life with our love and adventure and how wonderful to be appreciated for sharing what we have been part of.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jyra and her fairy godmothers ...

Jyra is absolutely adored by her friends in the little gang on Friday and it's easy to see why.

She is beautifully open faced and wide eyed with us all, quirky, clever, funny, determined and independent and loves being along at the farm.

Not only do these things endear her to the other children she is also really, really interested in each one of them.

She finds them all very fascinating and worth watching and paying lots of attention too .. .. ..soaking up almost everything they say and do.

Today, Dawn, Daisy and George were delighted to see her and Dawn shared that she thought it would be good for there to be lots of love for Jyra and announce she'd be her Fairy godmother. 

Jyra sat on my knee like a delighted little princess hearing this news, even though I'm sure she had no idea what it meant

Daisy quickly said, 'I'm her Fairy godmother too.'

George said, 'I'm not', and after some quiet consideration announced, 'I'm her Tiger.'

The mood was set for a lovely morning together, we watered plants, played in the long grass, picnicked in the Witches Garden, played in the sand and splashed in the water in the horses trough to cool down and bare the heat.

Have a look at a moment down in the vege garden and another one of Jyra, 'self-styling' ..

Some grass for you ..

I'm loving being here right now ..

Totally taking in Daisy's every move ...

Hey you guys, I'm here too and watching you ...

Still more joy abounds ..

Who loves who the most in this little duo ..?

Now, here we have Jyra, little woman of great style ..

Jyra trying Daisy's headband on .. hm.m.m not such a good fit here ..

.. there's got to be a better way ..

Ah, I think that's more like it for a girl of style like me ..

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'twas a warm thursday morning ...

.. a little one man glee club ..

.. who said I can't try eating all my sandwiches at once ? ..

.. now that's a smile we see a thousand times a day..

.. you can see me in the cubby ..

.. even when I'm tired and hot, I can still make up a game ..

... home time already ?!

We welcomed Ella back today after her big holiday to visit her grandparents in Switzerland. 

We heard she had a lovely time and for us all it was lovely to have her back.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves and getting towards the end of the day, when I had to tell them all we needed to go back up to the Peppercorn tree because it was nearly pick up time, all replied with a roaring....


... and my heart was filled with joy to know they had been having so much fun that it didn't even feel like home time yet!

I have added a slide show for all to look at today, so enjoy sharing in our adventures ...

... and there was more ...

As if the tree planting wasn't enough to make Wednesday special.

While we were on our way to meet with Michael, we met up with three bike riders fixing a puncture.  Sylvia, Richard and John were more than happy for curious little faces to want to know more ... 

Frankie had her first visit to the farm ...

... and we got to see Farmer Bridget hand shear one of the sheep ...

.. and we also spent time  being nothing short of decidedly gorgeous ..

.. and if you watch our little slide show, you will see we did even more ..

New Life ...

This little vignette brings full circle, an unfolding story about loss and new life.

To have the full picture, things begin here and follow here and then below.

Or you can just read on and share in what happened on Wednesday ...

Pepper, Harvey, Omkara and Agnes were joined by Peppers sister Frankie and we had a meeting of sorts to attend today. 

Michael Rogers from the council was coming down to fulfill a promise to plant new trees in the face of us having lost the old ones we loved.

We'd arranged this some time ago, and the intelligence and love of the children had been a huge part of what made it so ...

Off we went down the path to meet Michael and all of a sudden, in the distance on the bike path came a car and a truck.

Wow, some crew seemed to be attending ... this could be quite an occasion.

We all bounced across the grass to meet our visitors.

Michael jumped out of his car with a hearty hello and we soon found out that he had come along with five casuarinas to plant.  Five indigenous trees that would love the sun and open up another imaginal world for the children in time and home for the birds.

The children were pretty awesome, lots of question, all busy, everyone pitching in and along with Squiz and Heath two men along with Michael to help get the job done ... we had quite the planting adventure.

Pepper walking back from a look at the truck.  It had a big water tank, the trees and water crystals too ..

Harvey being Harvey, got stuck straight into things, carrying a tree  ...

It was a hive of activity our little spot down along the bike path with lots of busy hands, busy feet, chatter and questions and excitement for what we were doing.  How great that this was coming full circle for the children and that they would have the experience of having been listened to, cared about and would experience the difference they all made ...

Michael with shovel in hand while Pepper has a look at the tree about to go in ...

Agnes watching Heath dig deep ...

Squiz showing everyone the water crystals ...

Action stations everyone!

Omkara looking on as that tree gets sized up for the hole it's to go in ...

Many hands make light work and all hands in mother earth feels great...

Time for a drink little tree ...

Now these trees will be taller than danella by the end of summer ...

Yay! ... we did it !
Frankie, Harvey, Omkara, Agnes and Pepper with Heath, Michael and Squiz ...

and last but not least a wash of our hands ...

Five little pairs of hands, five clear voices and five big hearts that together made a BIG difference ... while Frankie was the fifth heart today, Finn has been the fifth heart for chapters 1 and 2 of this story ... won't we have something share with him next week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Of mice and little men ...

At lunch time last Wednesday, Finn suddenly said, 'Whoa, Omkara's got mouse cheese for lunch.'

Harvey pipes up, 'Mouse cheese ?!'

... and I look up to see Omkara smiling, with a large slice of Swiss cheese in his hand looking at the other boys right through the biggest hole.'

'I love mouse cheese.' .. he says with a grin.

... all three now laughing together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ow, ow, ow ..

Daisy was wandering through the grass and daisies in the goat paddock on Friday morning ..

Happy as she was, she suddenly started to call, 'Ow, ow, ow .. '

I looked up and she came towards me doing a funny little limpy skip, still full of life and insisting on calling 'Ow, ow, ow .. '

I could see nothing major was wrong and asked her what happened ..

Her reply, 'Ow, ow, ow'

I looked at her leg asking, 'Where Daisy, where did you get hurt?'

She pointed back to where she had been walking, 'Ober dere.'

I asked again, 'I know it happened over there Daisy, what happened, let me see where it is.'

Again she pointed over to the grass, 'Ober dare.'

I said, 'Daisy I'm trying to see where your leg is sore, where is the Ow on your leg?'

A little Daisy grumble, and frustrated humph, 'Ober dare Too-naya. It's ober dare Ow, ow.' .. as if to say, I already told you where the thing is that caused the Ow, ow.

By this stage I was feeling like we were our own little Laurel and Hardy show ..

 .. all the kids had gathered round Daisy, all were looking at her leg with me to see what had happened and she was still insisting, with head turned  that it had happened, 'ober dare.'

Finally, still looking I said, 'Oh, I think it might be stinging nettle.'

I could see a few little spots and told Daisy that the 'Ow' she was feeling was stinging nettle and it was really good for her bones. 

Nettle is high in calcium and boron both good for bone building and I've found if the kids think about their bones getting strong, it takes attention away from the sting and helps. 

We got out the green oil, which provides instant relief and all of a sudden there were lots of little legs and arms and fingers in front of me all wanting me to administer to them now too .. 

Daisy ..

.. and the rest of the gang too ..