Tansley Farm: Part 0.5

Good lord, I’ve been here over a week, uploaded photos and videos, and have yet to actually post anything. Based on the numbering of this post, feel free to assume this won’t be a proper entry, either.

Just wanted to say I’m alive, and terrifically busy, and enjoying every bit of it. Big posts to come soon, including the final summary of Villa Marti, as well as a discussion of what I’ve been up to. I’ve also been sketching out an explanation of just what my goals are, with this whole taking-off-to-explore thing.

Lots going on, really, and I’ve gotta get up early to milk a goat and take care of animals before going bottle cider. So many good things happening!

In Transit

I’m sitting at the Sydney Domestic airport, drinking a couple of beers and reading a rather excellent book I just bought. Met another interesting person on the train from Wingham, but for now I’m reading and eating cheese, waiting for my flight. Adelaide tonight, and onto Tansley Farm. On the flight I’ll write my reference for Chris and Graham, and finally draft my accommodations post. Just wanted to drop a line for those who may be in the water, so to speak.

Villa Marti: Part 3

[Note: Corrections and additions made in bold, about eight hours after the original post– I had to check my work log and spend forever uploading pictures.]

It’s been a whole week since my last post, and we’ve been busy as all out! I’ll have a massive photo drop here soon, as soon as the 6 dozen or so photos upload, but I’ll do a quick rundown of the things I’ve been up to, and go a bit more in-depth about the things I wasn’t able to get photos of. (I probably won’t get to the accommodations post until just before I leave, but I’ll get there!)

Let’s see, last you heard, we’d hung the roof frame on the shade house, so that was last Monday. I’ll do a quick rundown of what we’ve accomplished on each day since, and I’ll follow up in the next post with photos where I note they’ll be attached. [Pictures have been added to this post, instead! NOTE: IT IS VERY PICTURE-HEAVY BELOW THE FOLD.]

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Villa Marti: Part 1

(Note: This will be a short post, as I’m updating from my phone. More photos and stories to follow.)

I arrived at my first WWOOF host farm, Villa Marti in Mt. George, on Thursday afternoon. Tucked up in the Manning Valley, roughly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, my hosts Chris and Graham have spent the past five or so years establishing a 125-acre homestead with bees, fruits, veggies, a polydactyl handful of chooks (Australian for chicken), and plenty of pastureland and projects.

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Sleeping in Sydney

I landed about an hour late yesterday, getting through customs and baggage claim at around noon local time, and headed straight to The Big Hostel. The fellow at the front desk was kind enough to check me in a bit early so I could head to my dorm room, and after calling my mum (brief plug for the loveliness that is Google Voice and the Hangouts Dialer) I hopped in the shower, hoping to feel human again shortly. I chatted with one of my roommates, a Brit who’s been in Oz for over a year now, and when she heard I was a beekeeper she tried to relate to me some place I should visit… which, as it turns out, were the Flow Hive people, who I’ve already arranged to stay with later in this journey.

Sydney Big Hostel ViewView from my room

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An Interlude

Merely popping in here to say that the Australian adventure is underway, or at least in its larval stage. I’m currently sitting in the LAX airport, just under four hours from taking off for Sydney, via New Zealand. I’ve just uploaded the final batch of photos from the last two days of the honey harvest, so those will be published shortly.

I spent yesterday frantically selling everything I owned (at least, that which I possibly could) and was packing my bags until nearly 3am. Yes, I was had to head to the airport at 4am. I’m a sucker for fun-with-deadlines, and I’m taking preemptive action against jet lag by thoroughly exhausting myself prior to my flight. I arrive at 1030am local Sydney time, so I want to hit the ground running as much as possible.

Since this blog will be migrating themes a bit, allowing for more of the travel around the bee-talk, I’d just like to note that I’ve had a long, lovely conversation with a media studies professor from New Zealand. My mind’s now sparking with even more excitement about this current endeavour, not just from a beekeeping or adventuring perspective, but also from a sociological one. One of my favorite things about traveling– and about people in general, honestly– it witnessing how everyday people interact with their environment. This includes the ground on which we walk, and the resources that come from it; the water in our environment (or lack thereof); and natural disasters and how we prepare and react. I love seeing how people live around a world that they, ultimately, can’t control.

This does, in fact, tie into my love of and fascination with bees. The human-bee relationship isn’t one of domestication, but more of a symbiosis between an insect we can only hope to cater to correctly, so that we can be graced by the fruits of its labor. What other species do we interact with such that we strive to keep them happy, so that they won’t leave us? The power, with bees as with natural disasters, is with nature, and we can only hope to appease– or in the case of natural disasters, skirt the edge of danger just enough to survive.

Already this post is too long– more honey harvest shortly!