When I see blueberries in the supermarket or the fruit shop I’m torn. I know my kids love them, I know they’re good for them but I also see that they’re quite expensive. Well expensive in fruit terms but not really if I compare the price to say two take-away coffees, a slice of cake at my favourite cafe, a ride on a public bus, the price of electricity, the price of water, the price of petrol … you get the picture.
Then I interviewed Bundaberg blueberry farmer, James Philips, and I realised that no matter what the things are selling for I should support the industry so farmers can continue to supply these incredible, sweet, juicy fruits. James calls them sugar bombs and says they’re great with ice-cream or just on their own.
Read my Sunday Mail Ask a Farmer article about James and his blueberries. This is how he grows them.
I had it all planned out in my head. It would be close but if we stuck to the timeframes all would be okay.
Of course I hadn’t factored in the whims and misbehavior of our five-year-old.
I don’t know about you, but our life is getting crazier by the day. I’ve tried to rein in our extra-curricular activities, every family member is allowed one per term.
I think twice before accepting invitations to dinners, morning teas and play dates.
I write EVERYTHING down, and sync all of our calendars online so I don’t forget something important … like collecting a child from school.
With two kids at different schools, a wounded husband on crutches and a busy work schedule, lately life has been a bit of a juggle. And a struggle.
But I’ve kept the balls in the air … just.
Then Sunday hit.
I’d mapped our day out with military precision. 8am: Leave the house. 8.30am: Load some furniture into the trailer and drive to the Gold Coast. 10am: Deliver the furniture to our rental unit. 11am: Treat the boys to an ice-cream before attending my dad’s 60th birthday lunch at Southport at 12.15pm.
Now that I read over that schedule I realise how nutty I was to think it was all achievable with two children and an injured husband in tow.
By the time everyone was showered and dressed and wrangled into the car we were already 30minutes behind schedule.
We finally arrived to the Coast at 11am and discovered there was no parking near our destination due to massive earthmoving works on the beach.
We parked illegally and started unloading the furniture.
In a moment of sheer genius (or so I thought) I locked the boys in the pool area to contain them.
I turned away for a second and before you could say, ‘Lady are you crazy?!’, the five-year-old was drenched. He’d launched himself, fully-clothed, into the spa.
I’ve written previously about Greg Dennis, his Robotic Dairy at Tamrookum and his family’s decision to invest in their own processing facility and go it alone. Well this week Greg’s hard work paid off and he sent his first bottles of Scenic Rim 4Real Milk to the shops.
Most of the retailers in our town now stock his milk and many sold out on day one.
Queensland Agricultural Minister John McVeigh will officially launch the milk brand next Tuesday at the dairy. Visitors are welcome to the launch and the open day, which runs all day as part of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.
I interviewed Greg about his decision a while back for my Sunday Mail Ask a Farmer Column.
His decision takes courage but having spoken to Greg a few times now I reckon he’s the man to do it.
Look out for Scenic Rim 4Real Milk in your local shop and if it’s not there why not ask them to stock it? And remember buying branded milk over the cheaper no-brand milk is also a great way to support dairy farmers remain sustainable.
I’ve been a little lax in posting here lately. Life around our place has been nuts with a capital N!
Life as we know it is officially over – carrot season has started. The first bags of carrots were packed on Monday.
The carrots are looking and tasting great, which is always a good thing. Getting to this point has been a challenge, following the heavy drenching the farms copped on the Australia Day weekend. Continued rain post Australia Day made planting difficult but those farmers are resilient buggers and they got there.
So get thee to a supermarket to buy some bags of Kalfresh Carrots. Heck, why stop at one? Buy two.
Don’t forget to come visit the Kalfresh Field Day on Saturday June 29 AND the Kalfresh stall at the Winter Harvest Festival, later the same day. It’s on at the Aratula Community Centre and Annie, Tracey and the girls from Kalfresh will be selling Annie’s AMAZING carrot cake, plus bags of Kalfresh carrots and lots of other carrot goodies. You won’t regret it. Have I mentioned how good Annie’s carrot cake is?
Come and join us on June 29 for our Carrot Field Day. Meet the farmers, learn how to grow great carrots, sit in the tractors and get muddy in the paddocks as you pick your own carrots.
It’s a great morning out for families. The cost is $5 for adults or $10 for a family and includes a bag of carrots.
Our Field Day runs from 9am to noon at Kalfresh, which is on the Cunningham Highway at Kalbar, about one hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Hope to see you there!