A new adventure.
If you had told me a couple of years ago, I'd be hanging up my Gorman shorts and Swedish Hasbeens and swapping them for (the BEST) vintage $4 Millers jeans, a flannelette shirt and secondhand Blundstones, I probably would have taken a moment to ponder the idea of Farmer Linsey, but not thought it was possible.
However, slowly the idea of leaving the confines of a desk and an office job, and spending days growing edibles in the sunshine inhabited my thoughts and infiltrated my dreams until I could ignore them no longer.
I'd pondered starting publications in Brooklyn and Tokyo – chugging along a similar strain to my work at The Weekend Edition, but in a bigger, vibrant, seductive setting – writing books about farmers and producers locally and afar, or simply positioning myself back behind a coffee machine so I could relearn the bean to cup process I now love writing about so much.
But opportunity had not presented itself in that serendipitous way that I'd come to trust when approaching an eventual fork in the road. Until, Grown and Gathered needed a new intern.
I'd been following the farm's journey on Instagram and Facebook, and I loved everything it stood for and believed in what the team is trying to achieve. And here was the opportunity to join them – to learn from Matt and Lentil a couple of days per week.
A friend and I had already been in the process of plotting an urban farm, something similar to The Little Veggie Patch Co's Pop Up Patch in Melbourne. But while our plans kept our minds excited and stimulated, and our sleep patterns jolted by garden workshop ideas, architectural decisions and what to plant in our plot, we had little time surrounding our full-time jobs to turn ideas into actions.
I also felt like I needed to learn more – to read more into permaculture, companion planting, soil health and beekeeping, and to get more hands on in the field as well – before I felt confident turning the topics that I wrote about each week, into a physical, thriving reality.
So when Grown and Gathered posted on Instagram that they needed an intern, I applied without hesitation, but also not believing I would be chosen. Very swiftly, Matt and Lentil replied, and within days I was resigning from the publication I'd spent almost three years building, and packing up my pretty Art Deco apartment in New Farm to move to Tabilk, Victoria.
Within my work as a writer and photographer, my focus is with food, farmers and local producers and encouraging readers to embrace a certain way of living, and expanding their knowledge set. But I'd felt a growing sense that I couldn't really encourage choosing organic, seasonal produce from local growers and makers over commercial store-bought goods if I wasn't also hands on in the field.
So now I'm a farmer. At Grown and Gathered, I milk our cow Peaches, tend to Pippy (Peaches' beautiful calf), raise chickens (for eggs), plant and pick organic fruit, vegetables and flowers, make 30-hour fermented sourdough (and gluten-free!) bread, turn dairy into yoghurt and cheese, and (soon – the season is beginning) prepare preserves and pickles.
This is the beginning of my new adventure.
A new adventure.