Today I would like to introduce you to Michelle Thompson. Even though I have never met Michelle in person I have heard a lot about her through her parents-in-law, Malcolm and Christina who live across the road from us. When Malcolm told me about the exciting things Michelle and her family have been doing on their property at Goombungee, I just knew I would love to have her as a guest on my blog.
Thanks so much for being my guest today, Michelle!
Living simply looks different for different people. What does living simply look like for you?
Living simply to me means being less reliant on the supermarket. I do this by growing and raising my own food, preserving food, and making foods from scratch, such as bread and yoghurt. It also means being mindful of my impact on the environment.
Do you have a specific interest that you like to focus on in the area of simple living?
I love growing fruit and vegies, especially unusual/heirloom varieties. I’m also really getting into breeding my own chooks. I love a colourful egg basket, so I’ve been focusing on breeding easter and olive eggers. I have just bought some fertile French Wheaten Maran eggs, and I am hoping I get enough hens from these that I can breed from them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey toward living a simple life. Was there a catalyst that led you to follow this path?
Growing up I was always interested in homesteading – before I even knew it had a name! I loved growing unusual vegies, and was always pouring through seed catalogues and reading Grass Roots magazine. We also occasionally raised our own pigs, sheep and chooks for meat.
I went on to complete an Agricultural Science degree at the University of Queensland, and this opened my eyes to different farming methods and the science behind it.
Seven years ago my husband and I bought a block of land at Goombungee. Since then we have built a house, and have planted a small orchard, and a large vegie garden. We have lots of chooks and ducks for both eggs and meat, and we have stocked our dam with yellow belly and silver perch.
What do you find challenging about trying to live simply?
My most challenging thing with living this lifestyle is time! I have three young children and work part time, and I just can’t seem to get out in the garden as much as I would like!
What are some of the benefits of this way of life for you?
A major benefit is knowing where my food has come from, and what is in it. I know exactly what has gone into my yoghurt or my loaf of bread, and the vegies, fruit and herbs I grow have zero food miles.
What simple pleasures bring you joy and help you to slow down?
I love to wake up early before the kids, and enjoy my cup of coffee in silence. An introvert in a family of five needs to grab whatever silence they can get!
I also find that wandering through my gardens helps to ground me.
Are there any podcasts, books, documentaries or websites that you have found helpful?
There are a few homesteading blogs/vlogs that I follow.
My favourite blog is https://theelliotthomestead.com/ (they also have a YouTube channel).
I also follow the YouTube channels Roots and Refuge Farm and The Hollar Homestead.
What is something new that you have done or learnt about in the last year?
I have started making more jams. Last summer I grew jam melons with the intent of making melon jam. They were super easy to grow, and the jam I have made so far is delicious, however they do take a fair bit of time in removing the seeds. I’ve managed to rope other people into helping me so far!
What would you like to learn about or do in the future?
I would love to make sourdough bread. I haven’t had the time to give it a go yet, however I think it would be lots of fun!
If money or time were no option what would you like to do?
If money and time were no issue I would own a bigger block of land so I could keep a house cow! Imagine all the cheeses I could learn to make! It would also be nice to have enough land where we could raise sheep and cattle for our freezer, without relying on buying in feed during dry periods.
If people would like to learn more about you and what you do, how can people follow you online or get in contact with you?
I don’t have an online presence; however I can be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello! My name is Margy. I enjoy living simply, I am trying to slow down and I am learning how to be still. I would love you to join me on this exciting adventure.