Yesterday afternoon we returned from a few short days away staying at a friend's farm* cottage about 15 minutes drive from Daylesford. Looking out from the living area, we were lucky enough to be treated to views of rolling green hills and paddocks full of cows. It was wonderful! And so peaceful (if you discount the exuberance of our 21 month old daughter...!).
The view from the cottage
We managed to do some exploring of a few local attractions, including cafes, the Chocolate Mill, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm and the Digger's St Erth garden at Blackwood (below). My daughter also honed her skills in animal identification and noise making! I think she'd love to be a country kid... Sigh. Dreaming is good.
The Garden of St Erth - a view from within the food forest being established, across the kitchen garden and espaliered fruit trees to the drought-friendly garden, with a few daffodils in bloom thrown in for good measure!
I also managed to fit in a fair bit of crafting while we were away. Two washcloths** were crocheted for my secret swap partner in Jellywares' Spring Washcloth Swap...
...several ends were sewn in on my epic granny blanket (over half way now!), and I started work on an Eden's Adam vest (Ravelry link) for my daughter...
Beginning the vest was almost a non-event though. I discovered, after running around the morning of the day we left getting the right sized needles, that when I pulled all the bits out to get started, that I needed to do a long tail cast on. Which was a slight issue as I'd never done one before. To my great surprise, I had no internet access on my iPhone, and while this was a blessing (lots of craft done rather than wasting time online...), it meant that I had to be a tad resourceful in my efforts to find out about long tail cast ons. Mum tried to help (we had phone coverage), but it was too complicated to explain without pictures. Eventually I found my way to Daylesford Library where the extremely helpful librarian set me up with 30 minutes internet access which sorted me out fantastically! In the end, I found the Knitty instructions with still shots most useful. What a saga! But it was begun, and I'm really enjoying the process of knitting it!
Tonight, we had roasted free range organic Wessex Saddleback pork belly for dinner, bought direct from the grower at Fernleigh Farm. It was absolutely delicious! It's great being able to buy meat by breed, as well as direct from the producer. We're fortunate enough to be able to do this occasionally at Farmers Markets, but it's a special treat getting it from the place where the animals actually live.
*Farm is probably an overstatement given the size of the property is 1.5 acres, but it's surrounded by farmland, so you can pretend!
**Tulip stitch washcloth (pattern here) using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton in 8 ply and a 4mm hook.