Grace


Last night we took a moment to pause and say grace. Grace to me is about being grateful for what we have in our life. Whether it be the food on our plate, the people in our life, or a sudden moment of wonder when you look up at the night sky. Grace. Every day I am grateful for so much. For the fact that I get to do what I love, work outdoors with the mighty Leanganook mountain keeping watch, and experience the changes of season through my skin and senses. I’m grateful for all those around us that believe in what we do and support us to keep on going even when our belief begins to wane.

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And so, last night amidst the hectic and fruitful time that early autumn is at the patch, and with the most stunning setting of late afternoon orange rays through the golden grass and apricot trees, we gathered. It was the first seasonal feast that we have held at the patch and its purpose was to say thank you to some of the people that contributed both financially and in-kind to our crowd-funding campaign. The crowd-funding campaign has been amazing in many ways, but in the most basic, it has helped us to take the next step towards viability by expanding the size of our patch.

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Thanks to the late and warm summer we are still drowning in produce. We set up a long table amidst the apricot orchard and with the help of friends and family cooked up a massive feast with all our produce. For us it was an opportunity to pause and give thanks to just a few of the people who have supported us along the way so far. It was a chance to feed and nourish others from the food and living that feeds and nourishes us, and, most simply, a moment to say grace.

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Sas and Mel

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Say Hi to Fifi!

We’ve had a new addition to the Gung Hoe team in the last few weeks. Fifi, the 1960 Massey Ferguson tractor, lovingly revamped by Kenny (Sas’ dad). Fifi has lived a life in quiet retirement in Kenny’s backyard for many years, occasionally getting fired up to go out and grade the dirt road where they live after a big rain or to move something large around the backyard, or sometimes just so Kenny could hear the deep guttural hum of her engine and rattle of her rusty exhaust pipe and know that she still had it in her!

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Kenny has given Fifi a complete retune and even a paint job and new seat and she is looking and sounding mighty fine. Last week Kenny and Jules bought Fifi up on the back of a trailer to become a part of the Gung Hoe family. I got a lesson on how to drive her and look after the engine and Kenny is coming back in March to show us how to use the different implements, such as a scoop which will come in very handy when we’re moving loads of organic cow poo around!

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We don’t use machinery in the market garden proper. This is so that we don’t compact the soil or disturb the delicate soil life more than we need to. Fifi has come in mighty handy already though around the patch. Last week she lugged 80kg+ of tomatoes up to the packing shed in one go, rather than us lugging them up in eight sweaty trips by foot! She bought a load of 12 trays of seedlings down to the patch that would have taken me four trips back and forth by foot. I’ve still got a lot to learn about how to drive her gently…not accelerating over bumps and loosing afore-mentioned seedlings off the back of the ‘carry all’ would be helpful! But all in all we love FiFi and her red hot exterior! Doing things by hand is wonderful but it is also a great thing to be able to use appropriate technology thoughtfully to smooth some of our efficiency bumps. Thanks Kenny for passing Fifi down the line and saving our backs!

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In other news, the tomatoes are seriously staring to crank and the okra and eggplants are not far behind! We’ve started sowing all our autumn seedlings en masse and have started our very small scale foray into weekly veggie boxes. We’ve also got our rainbow cherry tomato mix for sale in biodegradable punnets at Green Goes the Grocer in Castlemaine, and the feedback so far is that they rock. Enjoy the sun folks…

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Sas and Mel

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Gung Hoe Growers
69 Danns Rd Harcourt

A summer’s journey…with garlic

Well hello there!

I wonder how this finds you, at this time of year, in this upside down turn around season which feels like spring/summer/autumn all mixed into one unknown bag…

I hope it finds you breathing calmly and walking steadily. Or if steadily is too much, just walking is ok too.

Its taken me almost 10 months to be ok with the fact that the world has felt a bit much to handle and that it’s ok to just breathe. Breathe and take stock and not fall into the rush and craziness and sometimes very fast pace of this place and time in which we live.

Of course, as I’ve realised this, things at the patch have amped up which require the theory to be put to the test! Summer is taking its time to warm up here, but that just makes it seem that our turnover period is also dragging out like no end! This is a bit exhausting—I just want summer things to be in and growing! But they are growing! The lettuce is booming the eggplants are beefing up, the okra is still standing, and wee baby tomatoes that will be red I’m sure before xmas (here in central Vic that’s a total win!).

But that’s what happens isn’t it? Life rolls on and we can choose to sit and watch it, or move along at our own pace with its ebbs and flows. I am trying to keep my own pace so I don’t feel so overwhelmed that I burst and then slowly pool into a mess of a puddle, or pretend that I can keep up and all together and fizzle out, either with a large bang or a wee whimper, into an atmosphere of dust. Sounds dramatic but it’s really got to be a conscious decision—that and noticing the everpresent sweet things in life (cliche but true) such as Scallywag being a rocket dog keeping cool, and this nasturtium about to bloom amongst the tomatoes that looks like petrie from the Land Before Time.

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And so, as you read a few weeks ago, we harvested the garlic and now we’re selling the purple beauties along with our leftover chuffed teatowels!

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We had a huge amount of help for the garlic prep (Braz, Jessie, and Felix) and also to print the cloth (Jem & Betty!) and they all look beautiful!!!

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We’re currently selling the garlic and towels via an online pop-up shop here for a very limited amount of time! –

https://gung-hoe-growers.myshopify.com/

Oh! and if you’re interested in keeping in touch with our pop-up stalls, veggie boxes over summer, pictures, chuffed updates, etc, please sign up to our mail subscription here!
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We do hope that whatever your journey has been this year that it’s built you in a way that you could never realise until it happened. I’ve never thought of life as such a mystery until this year, and even with its inbuilt struggles and beauty, I’m grateful for it always revealing itself to me.

Make a little garden in your pocket.
Plant your cuffs with radishes and rocket.
Let a passion fruit crawl up your thigh.
Grow some oregano in your fly.

Make a steamy compost of your own fears.
Trickle irrigate your life with tears.
Let your troubled mind become a trellis.
Turn your heart into a summer palace.
-leunig

Stay breathing out there, and walking your walk.
We’ll see you in 2017

…Mel