Had I known

by | Dec 14, 2016 | Gardeners & Farmers, In the Garden

I’m  so glad I didn’t know… about Mara & Mic,  Tammi and Stuart. About Rod, Alan, Maurice and Danny. I had not met Carol, Andy, Sammy and Sady, Peter and Claire.

When we looked we looked for acreage, we looked at 40, 20 and 10.

Forty was too big, how would we manage? We looked at 20, it was too far, on roads too distant from community.

Ten  was boggy and wet and wild with power lines, framed by roads on all sides.

And then we found 15.

Fifteen was perfect, up high with a view of the mountains, no trees were towering, no fences lurking.

The dirt road a dusty pink.

Imagine if there was a neighbour.com.au instead of realestate.com… and instead of bedrooms, price minimums and maximums, brick veneer or Californian Bungalow you could enter:

  • working towards sustainability
  • striving for a more ethical practice
  • children are well socialised and say hello to you when you see them
  • so pleasant you’ll want to invite them over for dinner
  • willing to drive your daughter home on hot summers days when your deeply engaged in planting trees and just don’t want to stop
  • can provide 60% to 80% of your food requirements; meat, vegetables, milk, and Portuguese tarts, while you get your farm up and running
  • will love having play dates with your five year old daughter
  • into bartering, sharing, and having a really good chat
  • willing to lend you a tractor on first meeting
  • will come and help you set up for your singing performance even though they have a huge performance of their own to do

Imagine if instead of looking for property we looked for neighbours.

But  I am kind of glad we didn’t have access to a neighbour.com.au because had it existed, then all of the above criteria would have been fulfilled and we would have ended up spending so very, very much more on our block of land, instead of bargaining with the real-estate agent.

This fortnight I asked some of the people I regularly see and others who I am just getting to know if I could take a portrait of their hands.

One portrait shows the hands of a farmer who raises ducks to sell at market.

Then there is the portrait of the hands of a bread baker/marimba designer/horticulturalist.

And the hands of a market gardener/circus performer.

A butcher/writer/ethics philosopher.

A weaver.

A knitter.

These hands are only a tiny sample of the many hands that I have had the pleasure to meet in our first year living in Blampied. These hands directly raise my quality of life through the healthy food they provide, or the care they give, the conversation shared…

I feel so very, very lucky to live here.

I do not take this peace for granted.

May you have a very, very good end of the year…thank you heaps for sharing it with me.

Tanti baci, mara.



Portrait 1


Portrait 2


Portrait 3


Portrait 4


Portrait 5


Portrait 6





  1. Kirti

    Dear Mara what sweet truth!
    Happy New Year to you all and your farm and may you, it and all those gorgeous neighbours flourish!! xxx

    • Mara

      My wonderful Kirti, a very, very happy new year to you. I can’t wait to share it with you. love heaps, mara


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