A warm welcome to Fiona of Inner Pickle to the hotseat. Fiona’s blog never fails to inspire me ~ with yummy recipes, stories of family life on a farm and the challenges of establishing a family business selling organic and free range produce. Plus she is really nice in person! Today Fiona is sharing a little of what playtime looks like at her house…
When Christie asked me to write about what playtime looks like at my house, I struggled to think of anything other than MESSY! Oh my goodness the mess. The plastic tubs of craft. The washing up from the baking. The dried paint on the floor. The musical instrument corner. (I have a friend who calls it the Arts Precinct. I love that.)
When we lived in the inner city, our playtime was either inside or in a park. When we first moved home to the country, and now the farm, I enforced a ‘green hour’ from 4pm – 5pm every day, when the kids had to play outside. They were so un-used to it, they didn’t know what to do out there.
It’s different now. Playtime for my three means different things, like it would for your kids. For Ivy, not quite two, it just means being outside. She’s what we call a farm native. If she’s missing, she’s in the hayshed. Or the chookyard. Ideally not in the pig pen.
For Tilly, five, playtime is everything that’s not school and hopefully involves a friend. She’s a girl who adores her friends. It might also involve being in the trailer behind the quad bike, if you’re lucky it’s very windy, or maybe, on a very good day, playtime involves mud. Lots of it. (And a friend.)
And if you’re our almost eight year old Henry, playtime is measured in allocated doses of iPod time and computer time. Everything else is meaningless. Apart from dedicated Lego love.
The most precious thing about playtime at our house, right now, is that it’s primarily together. And I know that won’t last, but I love it, I love that they love each other’s company and we’re incredibly lucky there is minimal fighting. For the moment. Which makes this moment a good one to be in.
I’m Fiona of Inner Pickle. At the beginning of 2011 we moved from inner west Sydney to an acre in my hometown in the Illawarra and we couldn’t believe our luck. It was green, surrounded by dairy farms and occupied by a startling number of spiders. Some harmless. We took our worm farm and our intentions for a commercial kitchen and organic produce on my nearby family farm.
It’s now early 2012 and we’ve moved to the farm. We’re raising free-range laying hens, free-range pork and pastured poultry. We’re drawing up plans for organic market gardens and increasing the size Dad’s coffee plantation. My fella, Adam, spends his time chasing pigs and I spend my time (when not peeling children off the tops of fences) in a hired commercial kitchen baking for our little biscuit business, Buena Vista Farm Bikkies.