Hello from Mount Gnomon Farm, Penguin, Tasmania!
Eliza Wood and Guy Robertson raise old-fashioned breeds of livestock so you can experience meat as it used to taste.
Our animals live true free range lives, and are respected from paddock to plate.
You can share our journey here, on facebook and twitter, at farmers' markets, and at your dining table.
Monday, May 20, 2013
On the anniversary of four years at Mount Gnomon: a selection of photos from our farm.
It feels significantly longer than four years - and the grey hairs and wrinkles support that!
But as the song says, all you need is love, and without love we wouldn't be here riding the roller coaster of farming.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
|X4 and her calf at Mount Gnomon Photo: Eliza Wood|
Thursday, March 14, 2013
They haven't got a hospital bag or a new nightie, but their pen has a muddy wallow and a shed filled with soft barley straw.
Through luck - and a tiny bit of planning - we've got a number of sows due in the week of our Rare Day Out.
Who wants to see a fresh, silky piggy, or ten?
The muscovy ducks that have been sitting in the barn have surprised us with their timing, and brought out their waddling clutches a little earlier than anticipated. At least the ducklings will be a bit more robust for enthusiastic handling at two weeks old.
The guinea fowl has also got babies. In the past we've had rotten luck with getting the chicks past a week old, but as we check these ones through the binoculars, they seem to have outlived the riskiest time.
Part of that's because the weather's a bit like dry Africa, where the fowls originated.
A year ago, as I looked out this kitchen window, the grass was a brilliant green and there was a paddock of smiling clover ready for the pigs to be moved into.
Today the grass that clutches the dirt is dead and waiting for the autumn break to bring it out of dormancy.
But as the wind blows, and the pigs rotate their bodies in the mud wallows, we are thankful for the hardy shelter belts that divide the paddocks like green oasis strips.
It's dry - certainly the driest season we've had since we came to Mount Gnomon in 2009. But the old farmers across the north-west says it's been decades since we've had a year like this.
I'd love it to rain before our open day. I'll order a day where the cloud hangs low over the mountain and the water trickles slowly into the ground over hours. And then I'll order warm, overcast weather for the next day, and then the sun can come out and coax delicate shoots from the soil.
Dry weather or green grass, we're starting to get excited about the 2013 Rare Day.
Last year we fell off our hay bales when 650 people turned up to see our patch of piggies.
This year, we've got a few extra attractions, including music from the Doctors Rocksters, artisan wine from Blue Penguin Farm, Lost Pippin Cider, and cheesecakes, platters and smoothies from our friends at Red Cow Dairies.
They'll join Seven Sheds Brewery, enthusiastic coffee-making friends Theresa and Beau, and our team of Mount Gnomon taco and sausage cookers.
Head over to our registration page to let us know how many people you're bringing - you could win a voucher!
And we'll get back to running around like headless farmers as we prepare for your arrival...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Five years ago Guy set the romantic bar rather high when he sent me a bunch of tropical flowers from the Northern Territory.
He was working at Humpty Doo for 12 months doing sustainable agriculture work, and I was living in my little house in Ulverstone getting up early to present the ABC's Rural Report.
As I relaxed in the bath on Valentine's Day 2009, I was annoyed by knocking on the back door. Very little will get me out of the bath once I'm in, so I ignored it.
The knocking continued. I assumed it was the children down the street, so I called out for them to "go away!". Eventually they gave up, and left me alone.
Later that night I opened the back door to go out to the veggie patch and there was a longish white box on the mat.
When I opened the box it was one of those wonderful moments where, even though you're alone, you grin rather stupidly and make happy exclamations.
There were heliconias, bee hive gingers, birds of paradise - all so bright and almost fake-looking. They were nothing like the salvias and daisies in my yard.
I know you're thinking about the flower miles and how a card would have been sufficient - but just let me enjoy this short moment of reminiscing.
My romantic contribution had been to make a batch of gingerbread biscuits, cut in hearts, and a card with a pumpkin on it. I was really worried the tropical heat would cause the biscuits to go mouldy, so when I asked Guy if he'd collected the office mail that day I had to encourage him rather strongly to make a special trip to town.
Five Valentine's days on, and surprises come in different forms.
"Get off the phone, Guy," I called inside this morning. "I've got a surprise, come and look!"
"Have we got guinea fowl babies?"
"Have the Aylesbury ducklings come out?"
We were heading for the orchard.
A tree that we thought the possums had destroyed is completely covered in beautiful downy, white-skinned peaches.
They're ripe and drippy and I can smell their fragrance as I stick my head between the branches to take photos.
So today we slurped and chewed in the orchard: dirty boots, farm clothes and messy hair, and ate the first fruit from the trees we planted together when we moved to Mount Gnomon.
That's what I call romance.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
|Tasmanian tiger snake. Photo: Adam Holbrook|
Monday, January 28, 2013
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
And thank YOU for your support and encouragement!
Best wishes for a wonderful season of fine food, wine, and friendships,
Eliza and Guy
P.S. See you at The Taste in Hobart from the 28th!