Saturday, January 3, 2015

third

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The first thing I did when the latest issue of Slow Magazine arrived in my post office box was scan the cover for any names that I recognised. The second thing I did, once I saw my own typed neatly there, was have a little self conscious moment.

Farmer - Kate Ulman

I knew that I'd written an article that would be inside the covers of the mag, but for some reason that description rattled me for a sec. Mother, wife, knitter, blogger, sister, grower, daughter, maker, friend, for sure, but farmer?

And then I looked down at myself in my dirty overalls, I put one hand in my pocket and felt the irrigation fittings and the tangle of hay band, I looked at my muddy, scuffed up boots and my calloused, dirty hands and I realised that a farmer I am.

For the past 14 years since we moved here I've mainly done the house and girl stuff and farmer Bren has mainly done the farm. Until last year when we changed our farm plan, said a sad goodbye to our farmer boys and Miss Pepper started school. Since then I guess I've been a farmer. I grow stuff, I mow stuff, I break lots of stuff and sometimes I even fix stuff (thus the irrigation fittings in my pocket to fix the drip lines I'd mowed through), I look after the animals, I make decisions, I watch the weather, I take directions and I learn stuff constantly.

So after a quick self evaluation and identity assessment I decided that Slow magazine was right, I am in fact a farmer.

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The next thing I did when my copy of Slow magazine arrived, while still standing in the foyer of the post office, was flick through the magazine until I found a photo I recognised. There they are those girls of mine, sitting in the garden where they so often do, frying up a batch of mud-balls on the fire.

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Next I drove home so my farmer boy could read me my article. It's so hard for me to really read anything I've written myself. I can see the words and skip through the sentences, but I can't separate myself from them.

Tim Baker, Slow's editor, had asked me to write a piece about our slow home. My intention was not to preach that our way is the right way, not to direct the reader or make it appear that we have it all worked out, but to share our story. To talk about how we do things here, what we prioritise, what rules we have put in place and to share some of the compromises we've agreed on and even some of our mistakes along the way.

As he read my words back to me I remembered them but I also heard them. I hoped that our story is interesting and perhaps even helpful in the way that reading others' stories sometimes is.

And of course the photo accompanying my article was taken by our gorgeous friend and photographer Tim Burder. A photo of us at our kitchen table laden with our produce, me knitting and him shelling peas, me looking at him and loving him. I love that photo.

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And lastly I flicked to the front and found my new profile picture Tim Burder took for me recently. I felt a bit self conscious asking him to take it and I felt even more so while I was standing there posing, but it's such a great thing to have it now. Me and that camera shy chook. Everyone should probably have one photo of themselves that they like on hand, just in case, don't you think?

Enough about me, tell me about you:
Do you have a profile pic?
Do you have a title that describes you?
Are you having a slow start to the brand new year?

Lots of love and a gorgeous rainstorm at the end of a stinking hot day.

xxxx

31 comments:

  1. How beautiful Kate...I am desperate for some inspiring reading so this mag will be on my next shopping list. Your photos look gorgeous!

    Personally, I struggle with profile pics but I am working on it. I do not have a specific title either: mum, wife, distance ed. teacher, sheep farmer when necessary or required, grower, cook, blogger, crazy women!?

    Our start to 2015 is hot and not necessarily slow but a welcome change in routine from the usual school stuff. Sending you a rainstorm too xx

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    1. It's raining here as I type, 3ml so far. I hope it heads out your way next and settles for the night. xx

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  2. I got two of my sisters to get me a subscription to the magazine for my birthday last September. When the magazine arrived I spotted your name first and went straight to the article and recognised familiar cyber friends (ha) cause of course I know you but I don't know you if you know what I mean. When my family was here at Christmas I held up the magazine and said "see this lady" she's the lovely lady who knitted the beanie. It was great to read the article and see the pictures. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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    1. Oh I love that Kathy! And I totally get that 'friends' thing, I say that all the time. Love to you and your sisters. xx

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  3. No good pics and no good title either. Perhaps soon.

    I will rush (slowly) to buy the mag to read your words. x

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    1. I love that little pic next to this comment. xx

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  4. I thought I read it wrong or it was an old post but no...you said hot so you must live on the other side of the world. Australia? New Zealand? I really wish people would put where they live in their profile. The more I know about a blogger the better I can relate....or not! LOL!
    I'd never heard of Slow magazine either but it looks wonderful! I have a few needlework magazines from Australia and I cherish them. I live in the Southern U.S. and it is cold and wet here...pouring rain in fact. Happy 2015!

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    1. Yep, we're in Australia. I probably should get to updating my profile one of these days. Happy 2015 to you too. x

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  5. congratulations that's terrific. Hope you get all the rain you need and maybe just a little bit over but not enough to flood...

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    1. Ahhhh thanks Anna, I haven't checked the rain gauge but I heard Bren tell the girls they could have a bath instead of a shower today so we must have had a decent amount. x

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  6. I bought Slow magazine (spotted your name in the Newsagency) and loved your article and the photos. A woman of many talents Kate!
    After a hectic December which left my girls run down with colds a week before Christmas, we have purposefully slowed things down here. Since Boxing Day we have spent our days in the backyard and on our front veranda keeping cool, enjoying our new cubby house and tending to our vegetable garden and chooks. We haven't spent so many consecutive days at home in a long time and I'm loving it.
    After a scorcher it has been raining on and off for a few hours here tonight, a welcome cool change. x Dre

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  7. Congratulations on the article.....we are waiting on our first major winter storm...it will be slowly making it's way here all day today.....yes, my start of the new year is slow as I'm on vacation until the 7th.....and if I had to use one word, it would be teacher...yes that's my profession...but even when I am out with my nieces and nephews I tend to teach while we play....

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  8. How very awesome Kate! And so very awesome not only because of having your writing published, but because you are spreading a message that people need to hear and start living. Appreciating the things that they have right in front of them, not wanting so many more things than they think they need, growing their own food and supporting local farmers doing it right. Wish I could get that magazine up here in the States!

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  9. It looks as though it is a beautiful article, unfortunately I've never seen that magazine in the UK so doubtful i'll be able to get my mitts on it :(
    I have had a slow start to the New Year but sadly now I'm returning to work, so no more slowness for me...

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  10. I love that you can let the label farmer sit with you. Every time I talk about you to my husband I say " oh Kate is a friend I met online, she's a blogger & organic farmer in Victoria " because I have always thought of you as a farmer!

    I've subscribed to Slow because I cannot bloody find it at any of my local places. Hopefully soon I'll get to read your article x

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  11. When I talk to friends about your blog I describe you as an Australian farmer but maybe that's because it's the thing that we don't have in common. I don't particularly like the label most people would give me, teacher; but term time it IS me. It engulfs, dominates and often comes way too close to drowning me. I think it's really easy to think that you have it all and your post, finding balance, helped me to realise that a slow way of life isn't necessarily an uncomplicated, less hectic, unladen with mothering/working guilt way of life. I 'm proud of my work but I don't think it defines or describe me. My twitter profile is my best title: Mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend. Teacher. Addicted to making stuff with yarn. Profile pics? Blah. Mine are 2-3 years old.

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  12. I wish I could read the magazine! It seems not to be sold in Germany though :S. Congratulations on getting published though! It seems like a great article which will help people on their way :)

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

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  13. I loved your article. It was why I bought the magazine in the first place.

    I don't have a professional profile pic. I would like one, one day if I start up a little business.

    My title would be: wife, mother, homemaker, grower of food and flowers, knitter, crocheter, maker and baker.

    Definitely starting the year slow. It's been so hot. I am trying to work out some sort of rhythm for these hot summer days. Hopefully we'll get your thunder storm tonight. I've been thinking about you Kate with the heat. Do you work outside early morning and night only when it's hot, or do you work on regardless?

    Take care Kate,
    Much love xxoo

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  14. I have enjoyed a slow start to the new year, but tomorrow - just five days in - I go back to work and the fast starts again. I can't complain, it's a great job and we have a fabulous life that so many others would covet, but a little more time in dirty overalls, and I'd be one SUPER happy girl. A happy new year to you.

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  15. Fantastic article and pics, Kate. The one of you and Bren at the table wins the prize in my humble opinion. Happy 2k15; hope it's a great year for all of you.

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  16. Going to order the magazine ASAP (not sold where I live). My title would be mother, facilitator of dreams, wild women, casual blogger sounds close..

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  17. That pic at the table is so cute! And I love your profile pic with the chook... yes we should have one pic of ourselves that we like... I hate profile pics too, I don't like mine at all but I hate it less than I hate the others :-) I don't really have one title, I think I prob have a few actually but if I had to pick one it would probably be dreamer... I like to dream stuff up and then try to bring the dream into fruition whether it be crafty things or big lifestyle things... and yes I am making a very very slow start to the year, in fact I started a blankie on NY eve and finished it today, that's how 'slow' I've been... fast crocheting but slow days y'know? x

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  18. Go you, getting an article in a mag!
    LOL, my profile pic on google is clearly not of me, well I hope it isn't. My ravelry ravatar is not of me either. (But I did take both pics.) I have a couple of pics I've used of me for work stuff which were okay.
    I've used various titles on my mini Moo cards, currently I'm a maker, walker, seeker and picture taker. I think maker is my best description. I also garden and try to grow food but it is tricky, starting another garden in a colder, damper climate than Melbourne's. We had four nights of below freezing and the top inch or so of ground did not thaw until the weather warmed up and rained.
    If pulling all my fabric stash out and reorganising it is a slow start to the New Year, then yes, I am going slow. I'm dreaming up plans for all this fabric and digging through my yarn stash, trying to find an extra hank for a top I want to make.

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  19. Love your profile pic. Love your pic of you and Bren at the table. Love your article and smiling at your words here.
    My profile pic is different in a handful of places as I still don't have one I feel captures 'me'. When I did Organic Gardener Mag last year I was described as artisan baker. I still giggle at that. It sounded so important, and a title befitting a 'real baker'...then I thought after, nearly five years of sourdough, and more loaves than I could ever, ever count. Maybe, just maybe that title was ok.

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  20. they should have just called you darling lovely girl. wish i could get the mag too, but i did treat myself to your book this christmas! (still waiting on it's arrival). bio's, profile pictures, editors, shudder. xox happy new year dear family!

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  21. Greetings from Oklahoma over in the US! I simply adore your blog. I have been reading it for the last few months, catching up on your old posts and gushing over the new ones. I think I would laugh if I was ever called a farmer, I don't have a green thumb or heck even a green finger! The only plants that really flourish for me are the ones I forget about and don't mess with! But I can make a cupcake that will bring you to your knees :).

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  22. You are just adorable
    I love visiting here
    Xx

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  23. "I hoped that our story is interesting and perhaps even helpful in the way that reading others' stories sometimes is." Your writing is so beautiful, I read this post out loud to my friend and we both agreed that you are the best type of blogger. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  24. Beautiful shots, and i'm sure it's a great article. I also can't read what I've written, for the same reasons. I have to read it cold. You always read what you intended to write, not necessarily what you actually wrote; I have to explain that to kids all the time! You're really asking good questions this year, really making me think...

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  25. Sounds like a great article but sadly its not available in the UK, even digitally!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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