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 ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just like the old days ...

One of my favourite memories of the farm, is of days past, when the number of visitors was small ... ... on days when the weather was mild and you could spend time there as if you were the only folk around for miles.

Yesterday had that sort of feel to it.  Cloudy, a spot of drizzle at times, everything green and miles of ground to cover with a small group of friends.

Omkara, Isabel, Heidi and Oliver meandered all day together.

Our early morning visit to the vege patch was pretty special.  We saw such wonderful food growing and just when we stopped to pick a Raspberry each from a large growing bramble, a gardeners head popped out.  In her hands was a huge tub of Raspberries.  Every few days with all the rain and growth she's been able to pick abundantly, jams have been made, berries have been frozen and she was only too happy for the children to take lush handfuls each to munch on and enjoy.


Cow milking was fun, few folk and lots of turns as well as brushing Patsy for ages.

The baby ducks are still covered in down and looking soft, yet almost as big as their mum.  Anytime, overnight now, that down will be long white feathers and there'll be more big ducks for us all to enjoy.

Lots of work was happening and Oliver loved that.  Diggers, the tractor, the mulcher and the windmill turning all day long.   Omkara though insisted that the big round thing was a spinner, 'It's not, it's not a win-meel, it's a big spinner.' ... and we all stood for some moments just watching it spin.

Heidi and Omkara bonded, Isabel and Oliver did.  Isabel coming right out of her shell and singing her little heart out during the day.

We fed the horses, they loved our handpicked offerings of fresh green grass.

The goats ... who are by nature so social and gentle, gave Isabel and Oliver a bit of a scare.   The young ones are a bit pubescent.  In their play they took to the two little ones, jumping round them and on them and over them.  It was cute to see and just a bit overwhelming and scary to be in amongst.   So fending them off was my job so Isabel and Oliver could feel safe once more.

We visited the pigs and played under the big Peppercorn tree, cuddled the guinea pigs and hung out in the barn, listening to Joe the pony neigh with great fervour to everyone who passed by.

... ... and right at the end of the day, we met Mickey the new donkey.  Very gorgeous indeed.

Lots happened on our quiet day together and much was enjoyed by our little travelling gang.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thanksgiving and goodbyes ...

Our regular farm visits for 2010 have come to an end and we did what we always do to bring our year to a close ... we met and shared a picnic.

A simple affair, yet no ordinary affair as what shone on the day is how beautiful all the children are together and with each other.

What is also very obvious, is the appreciation we all feel for each other and the whole farm experience.

It was quite a moment in the lives of some, as a few children who've been part of things for about two years now, were all moving on.

Harvey, Finn, Omkara, Agnes, Dawn, Daisy and George and Charlie who wasn't there on the day have all finished their time as part of things happening at the farm.

We love and appreciate each and all of you, will miss you and wish you well.

My life has been deeply touched in many ways by each of these children.

While they make room for more faces to join through going, there will be no one who can exactly fill their shoes. They've each made a mark on farm life and in our hearts in their own unique and very special way.

Thanks to you all for sharing the day and coming along throughout the year. I feel huge gratitude to each family for your commitment and involvement. 

May your holiday season be all you desire and wish for, shared with those you love most.

There'll be blogposts over summer from some of our casual days at the farm to look out for ... and we'll be back in 2011 with our regular visits.

Thanks to Carly for the slide show and Renaee and Vicki for the photos ... the first photo under the slide show links to an album ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Friends already and twice the fun ...

Today, clear sky and warm weather and a wonderful gang to explore with.

Flora turned up this morning and not long after Matilda came bouncing in. While I expected a meeting of firsts, turns out they are already friends and were in total delight to be seeing each other.

Mika and Eden were our 'twice the fun' crew.  Siblings and twins and very gorgeous little children.  Eden very gentle and curious about all the animals and very patient in getting to know them or make contact.  Mika, shy and sweet and deep with a quirky sense of humour that came out to play too.

Omkara made the final crew member and he took a while to get over being 'dim-sa-pointed' that Finn and Harvey weren't along for the day.  Only one more sleep and they will be Omkara!

We spent an age with the guinea pigs, this was the ice breaker for Mika and Eden.  They spent a good 20 minutes sitting and patting and feeding and chatting to their little furry friends.  Now 20 minutes is a long patient time and it was only because a lot of other very noisy people came into the guinea pig house that they'd let themselves leave.

Cow milking was a big hit, and so was our time down the back in the 'Witches Garden', our little sanctuary all green and magical tucked way down the back that no one ever really visits but us.

We picnicked twice and that was fun. We walked for miles, visited the baby pigs, saw the sheep, climbed the Peppercorn tree, watched the workmen digging for a while, chased some pigeons, watched the peacock and played, 'What's the time Mr. Wolf?'

All in all, huge fun was had by all.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Diggers and dirt ...

We got stopped a bit on our travels today by diggers and dirt.  There is such a lot of work going on at the farm, stables extending, toilets extending, holes in the ground and diggers and dirt.

Oliver loved them.  He also spent the whole day fascinated by every Peacock call he heard.  He'd lift his head each time he heard one and ask me, 'What's that?'  Eventually we both peacock called each other, which he found very funny.

He was along today with Ilan, Isabel, Minnie, Omkara, Tommy and Tom.  Phew quite the crew, though the two tiniest of all ... ... Minnie and Tommy I knew were only along for part of the day.

Meanwhile, we visited the witches garden and played cubbies and climbed.  We saw the horses in the stables and visited the guinea pigs too.  We also spent ages in what is usually the goat paddock just taking it easy.

Minnie picking little yellow flowers and presenting me with each one, 'Daisy' she'd say, and give me one and then make sure I put it in my bag.  Eventually she just got them and put them straight in my bag. I think I pulled about 8 or more out when I got home.  She also made a mighty effort at tree climbing all by herself ...

Isabel and Minnie bonded and were very gorgeous together.  Isabel setting up a game with them looking after a baby and Minnie only too happy to learn from her new friend what to do.

The bigger boys, Tom, Omkara and Ilan were adventurous.  The ideas were flying thick and fast and the dynamic worked well and wavered, worked well and wavered.  Fascinating to watch them trying to blend with each other.

Meanwhile, Tom and Oliver shared some lovely time together.

Tommy meandered with us like a very amicable big sponge ... funny description I know.  He just soaked everything in and was very gorgeous to talk with.  He really listened and I wish I could ad a sound bite of him saying yes.  I felt so totally agreed with every time he had a yes to offer, it was full of the sweetest and gentlest of enthusiasm.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mud, mud glorious mud ...

Bulla-flois and berbees ...

Milana loves chasing butterflies ...

Totally gorgeous ...

She announced to me on Thursday morning, 'Dah-nella, I'm catching bulla-flois.'

... and off she went through the garden.

She watched them and followed them and jumped to reach them.  She called to them, 'Come bulla-floi, come.'

She also grumbled when they didn't come, especially after a stretch of concentration and pursuit.

She was the total archetype of child dreaming ...

When her patience wore thin, which was after quite some time, we walked on through the garden and a little sparrow caught her attention.

She called out, 'Dah-nella ... I'm gonna catch berbees now.'

... and off she went after the 'berbee'

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Harvey you are such a delight!

This morning in the chicken house, Harvey, Finn, Omkara, Agnes and I were checking out the new nesting boxes and how comfy they looked for the chickens.

We were also keeping out eye out for any eggs to collect.

Lo and behold two chickens moved in their nests and we could see that right under each was a cache of eggs.

Hmm..mm..mm what to do?

We knew not to scare them off, so we stood back and wondered if they'd get off.  Then we asked them to get off.  Then we watched to see if they'd oblige. 

No luck and lots of patience.

We decided to go outside and wait quietly while we watched through the window.  The plan was the chickens wouldn't know we were waiting and they might get off their nests and we could collect some eggs.

After a few moments, Harvey slumped down on the stoop of the old tool shed head in one hand and said, 'Danella, my fingers sore.'

I looked to see that he had one finger tucked over the other and asked, 'Where is it sore Harvey? Can you show me.'

He held his hand up, one finger still tucked over the other rather tightly and I said, 'Why don't you take this finger off?' pointing to the top one, '..it might help.'

Harvey piped up and said, 'No, you said keep your fingers crossed.'

.. .. and I had, 'Well if we keep our fingers crossed the chickens might get off their nests.' 

Harvey in totally trust and faith in my spoken word had done just that and even when his fingers hurt he wasn't about to give up!

Time for another strategy...

'Well maybe we could sing to them.'

I made up a song that went something like this,

'Hey little chickens all snug in your nests.
Time to get up and finish your rest.
Then we can collect your eggs.'

Harvey standing alongside me peered in as I sang and swung round with the last line and said...

'Hey, don't sing that last bit danella.'
I was deeply moved by Harvey's faith and trust in me and in the power of my little song.   If I can sing to get them off their nests, of course the chickens will understand I want to collect their eggs and there is no point letting them know that.  Such innocence and such intelligence.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Running and raining ... both happened today ...

With all the high energy about today, we ran around lots in the morning trying to burn off some of that steam.

Luke led the way from the barn down to the back stables where the children just seemed to run and run and run. Out of the stables and to the sand pit, they just kept running.

Samson and I had cuddles and watched the others running and jumping till they all agreed they were starving.

That was perfect timing because just as we got close to the barn, the rain came pouring down, yet it just got more exciting for them all. This was great opportunity to play in puddles, watch the geese and ducks waddle about and find games to play together in the barn.

So we ate, we laughed we played….

They were all in good spirits given the limits the weather presented us with.

Here are a few photos for you to share in our days play.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A sultry december monday

Charlie Anast., Charlie Curtis, Oliver, Tom, Archie and Isabel spent the day in adventure at the farm today.

We travelled far and wide, picnicked twice and drank copious amounts of water ... phew it was hot.

The guinea pigs had a visit, the baby ducklings, the cow was milked, we saw the horses and the sheep and pigs too.

We peeked out over the river, watched the builders and a digger and played in a wonderful cubby that is tucked away down the back.

... and we played and played and walked and walked.

At one point down by the river, we were all looking out over the fast moving water and enjoying each other company when a noise took everyone’s attention. Oliver asked what it was and little heads cocked and ears turned up, Charlie Curtis answered very excitedly, ‘It’s monkeys!’

Any guesses as to what we were listening too .. ?

Kookaburras laughing in a nearby tree!

All in all today was all very gorgeous children and very gorgeous (and warm) day.

Enjoy the pics from our day ...

Like brotherly love ...

We have enjoyed having Freya as part of our group for the last two weeks.

She is such a beautiful addition to our group and we welcome her with wide open hearts.

I particularly would like to mention a moment that I noticed today between Charlie and Mac.

There was so much love there between them. Almost like brothers.

Mac had been following Charlie most of the day and copying his most moves.

As we were waiting in the barn for parents to come, Daniel, Charlie and Mac had been playing milk the cow for ages and all of a sudden, Mac pounced on
Charlie, tackled him to the ground and started tickling him.

They were both giggling their heads off and Charlie turned it around and started tickling Mac.

It was so beautiful to watch and feel the love between them both.

I then got to see what nearly a year of being together in an intimate way can

There are some photos below for you to share ...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's in a name .. ? and baby ducklings

A visit to the guinea pig house in the afternoon and Agnes was nursing 'Ginze.'

A big discussion opened up between Agnes, Harvey and Finn about her name. 

Finn asked me, 'danella how do you say this guinea pigs name?'

It's spelt 'Ginze'.

I told him, 'Well Finn, some people say 'Ginze' (like the 'g' sound for goat) and others say, Ginze (like the 'j' sound in jump).  I call her 'Jinze'.'

Finn replied, 'So do I' and Harvey joined in and said, 'I do to'.

Agnes paused for a moment, looked at her furry friend, lifted her head and with all the love in her heart said, 'Well I'm going to call her Belle.'

The last little creatures we saw today were three very new baby ducklings.  So sweet and golden yellow ...

Floods and puddles ...

This morning Pepper, Harvey, Agnes, Omkara, Finn and I walked for hours.

Such a great day for it.  The river high and flowing, the ground green and soft, the sky cloudy and the weather mild.

Along the bike path, Harvey suddenly called out, 'Hey guys, a FLOOD!!'

Finn and Pepper behind him, took in the stretch of water across the path in front of us, looked at each other with an all knowing glance, both gave a hearty laugh and Finn called back, 'Harvey that's a puddle, not a flood.'