This Saturday, the gorgeous Georgie from Sift Produce returns to grace our humble butchery with her fabulous fruit and veg. In other news, Mr Bone has just departed on a 10 day farm tour across NSW so we'll be filing reports from the road as he goes and we've sold out of Cassoulet Kits but we're taking orders for the next batch. (There are a couple of nice Cassoulet posts over on the new Friends of Feather and Bone facebook group.)
But right now there's something much more pressing to discuss. A fire and a series of tragic health problems has left two young members of our extended community orphaned and homeless. As part of the Feather and Bone community, we're asking you to help.
Sarah, Vivien, David and Jake Brown
If you pause to consider, it's extraordinary how differently we all experience the same moment. On the morning of Monday 22 July, our family was setting off for the day - I was making lunches, barking at the ferals to hustle them out the door to school, feeding the chooks, planning the week. But at the same time, three hours drive south west of Sydney near the hamlet of Dalton, a house was on fire and Jake (19) and Sarah (22) Brown were left orphaned and homeless, their lives changed forever. Jake was Vince Heffernan's farm hand at Moorlands Farm so if you've enjoyed Moorlands Texel lamb this year you'll appreciate that Jake had a hand in helping to manage the farm and produce those lambs. Vince described the situation with great pathos on facebook on 23 July.
'Any ordinary day.
Monday was a normal day. Big frost promises a nice still sunny day to follow. Ideal for sheep farming work.
The young (19) lad who works for me has had a tough run of luck. Some little things like an accident that saw his vehicle off the road for months - tough in rural Australia. Bigger thing too, like the death of his Mum when he was 16 from Motor Neurone Disease. Devastating. He struggled and I and others were worried he might not cope.
Monday, at just before 9am, his house caught fire and burnt down. His father, who had been battling cancer, died in the fire. He and his 22 year old sister have lost their father - are orphans - and their house. They stood with me whilst the local RFS watered the curling tin and smouldering timber that was only hours before their home. No photos or keepsakes. Nothing but the clothes on their back.
Just an ordinary day.
They need help...money to rebuild the house and their lives.'
How you can help
As Vince says, these kids need our help and compassion. They (and we) need to believe and know that community works. If you're moved to help, there are two ways to contribute - via a gofundme campaign or directly into a bank account. Gofundme charges 2.2% on all donations so, if you'd prefer that your entire donation goes to Jake and Sarah, you can do a direct transfer. Vince has given us their bank account details so please email us for the details.
Friends of Feather and Bone
Speaking of community, in the spirit of sharing knowledge and building community, we've set up a facebook group called Friends of Feather and Boneand we'd love you all to participate. We moderate it but the rest is up to you.
We've been thinking a lot lately about how food is a wonderful way of binding and strengthening communities, large and small, the more diverse the better. The more we reclaim knowledge and share ideas, the stronger, more tolerant and open-minded we become. The way we see it, we're no different from the networked communities of microbes, fungi, plants, insects and animals on the farms we work with - the more closely we're connected, the more healthy and resilient we are.
We'd love you to post photos of the food you cook, your recipes for eating the whole animal, your successes, your failures, your concerns and anything that you think will improve our collective understanding and make the rest of us weep with laughter (that bit's important). Any useful tips on taming feral children, preferably food-related, are also welcome.
Smug. Which one first?
Malfroys Gold Wild Honey
I get a distinctly unhealthy sense of desperation when our Malfroys Gold honey stocks run low and it's not just because we use it all the time in our marinades and glaze. At the moment, I'm feeling smug and very happy and calm because we're loaded to the gills with booty and, if you don't buy it all up first, I can have my pick. My current favourites are Post Brood (indescribably rich, creamy and complex) and Red Stringybark (spicy, earthy and toffee-like), but I'm embarrassingly loose with my favours. I'll happily tuck into any of them. Find out more and order your honey.
YEAR OF THE PASTURED PIG ~ PORK GIVEAWAY!
To celebrate The Year of the Pastured Pig, for six months from May to October we're giving away one sixth of a whole, NSW pastured pig. Buy a Feather and Bone box to be in the running to win.
We'll draw the August winners on 1 September.
The more boxes you buy the better your chances. Go for it!
BUTCHERY HOURS Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 am ~ 5.00 pm
Saturday: 8.00 am ~ 4.00 pm Parking
If you're planning to come by car, please park in front of Feather and Bone, Unit 8. If there's no room in front of our place, please park on the street just outside the front gate. We and our neighbours thank you for your consideration.
CHEW THE FAT Read our blog for stories from the farms, produce and event news, ruminations on value and trust, a few dodgy jokes and the occasional rant about food labelling. Sometimes we talk about our pets - chickens, children, dog.