A New Farm Celebration – Vegetarian alert!!!!

We have three kids, Grandpa and I, two farmers and an arty type who is a wannabe farmer.

The eldest lives in Victoria with his wife on their dairyfarm, with a couple of dogs, lots of horses and a herd of cows. The middle  one, lives in the city, in a house, with a fully mulched front yard turned into a food forest and a backyard with a little space for the kids to play in and a space for her hubby to light fires and cook sometimes. And then there is the youngest who, with her hubby has bought a farm in Rugby to carry on what was left when the old family farm died.

It was to Rugby that we went to help celebrate the first anniversary of them owning their own farm. They raise free-range Berkshire pigs and prize winning pigs they are too. They also have three very free-range kids, some beef cows, a Jersey cow, Wiltshire sheep and numerous chooks. Money might not be plentiful, but there is always something to eat.

They give their pigs an incredibly spoilt existence until they have their “one bad day”. This includes, sleeping in the shed with the new born litter to make sure the sow doesn’t squash her babies, feeding them warm mash during the day and ensuring their last trip is as stress free as possible. There are lots of dramas along the way and it can be difficult to decide the best way to deal with animals that are not able to be productive in an economic sense but still have a place in your heart.

I could get into a very philosophical post about ours and animals places in the world but that can wait for another time. One thing I have wanted to do for a very long time is to make sausages. It was a real revelation to me to find out that traditionally, sausages were made from pork! I was brought up to think that sausages were filled with the scrapings from the butchers floor and filled with anything goes and that was why they were so cheap(?). But now I had an excuse to buy a mincer and sausage stuffer and work on some fancy sausage flavours.

When an older sow with an injured leg could not be sent to the abattoir, there was a decision to be made as to what would be the best outcome for her. Rather than disposing of an unwanted animal we could make sausages from her.

A butcher was not available to do the deed, so they were brave enough to do it. There was nothing left to do then but marvel at the size of a pig and how many sausages we were going to be making that weekend. It was the middle of winter so we didn’t have to worry about keeping meat cold, the forecast was for a maximum of 10⁰c, in the shade it was very chilly. We had a repertoire of recipes, some sharp knives and hopefully enough garlic. The butcher must have thought I was a bit crazy buying so many sausage casings and I must admit I didn’t really know what I was getting us into. But, then I thought, this is Lisa and Todd we are talking about, the couple who have accomplished and overcome so much in their young lives.

Friday, we drove down and we were early enough the get to the school to see the kids at their assembly to see Tyler receive an award and Reuben perform with his Kindergarten class. If you knew these two boys you would understand what a marvel and an achievement these simple things are. Then it was back to the farm to get on with the work. Of course, the kids joined in and we started sectioning off the meat and cutting into manageable chunks for mincing and preparing for the two days ahead.

There was crushed fennel seed; dried apple and sage and white wine; plum sauce and ginger; porcini mushrooms, dried tomato and red wine; Toulouse; turmeric; paprika and lots of beer and more wine. All up, nearly 100kg of sausages, enough to keep the family fed for a year or so. We tasted each recipe on the BBQ and had Pork sausage rolls and ribs for dinner so by the end of the weekend, I felt as though I had been on one of those fancy high protein, low carb diets and didn’t feel too bad for it.

Sunday afternoon, all of our backs were sore from working at a too low table and we wearily made our way home to go back to work on Monday. It is great to have a break from everything in a place removed from the rest of your life, the internet, phone and are only doing what you want and what is important, like, feeding your family. One day we may get to do this in our own way….now that will be an adventure!!!!

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Grandpa’s new adventure

SidecarNerriga

Grandpa has always loved motorcycles and me and sidecars. We have had a few sidecars over the years and I must admit that they are fun and at times, much more practical than a motorbike. We got our first sidecar, a Goldwing 1000, when I was pregnant with our eldest, when for some reason we didn’t have a car. Luckily, we got a car before the birth especially as a friend crashed the Goldwing into a tree, so that was the end of that one.

The second sidecar was purchased in 1979, as a trailer load of bits of multiple Indians. Over many years it was restored into a monster of a motorcycle and still lives today. We have done many miles in that and it was at one time the ‘everyday ride’. We would pile the kids into it and go for a picnic on Sundays, as we couldn’t afford to do anything else.

Indian

Then there was the classic racing scene that another friend got us into. His father had an enviable collection of vintage and classic bikes that would make many a man drool. He had a spare 1939 Norton 500 that ‘would make an excellent sidecar ‘big wheel’ outfit’, particularly when fitted with a JAP speedway motor.

SidecarNorton

Now, long before this, we had taken a few trips to Winton, Victoria to be corner marshals at the Southern Classic races and I was amazed at all these old blokes on old bikes blasting around the race track like there was no tomorrow. Then there was the sidecars. Wow, that would be fun, I thought to myself.

So, move forward a few years and there we were at Oran Park, Amaroo Park and the inaugural meeting at Eastern Creek around 1990 with me hanging on for dear life down the main straight with the vibrations so bad I couldn’t actually hang on. I had to keep making sure that I wouldn’t shake back and fall of the back of the platform. Then we went back south for the Southern Classic, as entrants this time to Broadford. We came third and I got my only piece of silverware as a trophy. Ten laps is a long way around any racetrack, especially sliding around all the right handers.

SidecarEasternCreek

Family life took over then, so thankfully racing was put on the backburner.

After spending so much time and money on motorcycles, we finally bought a house for our family. But Grandpa still had to get to work and ever since I had known him, he had lusted after a BMW R100/RS. That, he decided, was the only bike he could have to get to work on. So a family loan and a trade-in meant that he could finally have his wish. This was fine for a couple of years. We always had shiny bikes (as you can probably guess) and crappy old cars, not worth a cracker. Then one day, we decided to go for a holiday to South Australia. Now, the old Holden wouldn’t make it and we only had a motorbike. How could we have a family holiday?? Guess what we did! Put a sidecar on the BMW.

SidecarBMW

A small fortune was spent on changing the front end, brakes, suspension etc and adding a HRD sidecar and we were off. Now this was something different, riding a motorbike which wasn’t really a motorbike on the road and all the way to South Australia. Not to mention what the kids thought about it. We had all the mod cons, a gas bottle, a tent and some clothes. What else would you need? We had fun, not sure about the kids. We cruised through the Adelaide Hills and the race track at Mt Gambier and back home again.

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The next trip was better, up through the middle of Queensland. We went to Lakeside, Mt Morgan and the Beef Road, somewhere between Dingo and Middlemount in the middle of nowhere. The kids were really impressed about that, stopping on the side of the road and telling them we had broken down. How cruel!

Child number 3 made it a bit difficult to all fit into the sidecar so it had to go, sadly. But moving forward, as they say, to 2018 and Grandpa now has a shiny new Ural outfit with reverse gear no less. What adventures we can have now. Travel the outback and to work, wherever! It is very comfy, I have tried out the sidecar seat already and will one day learn how to actually ride the thing. Yeehah!

SidecarUral