Our Favourite Creative Homebodies : Foxs Lane
Each week we’re tracking our favourite creative homebodies. Today we are popping in on Kate from Foxs Lane and getting her take on home, being away from home and what matters most in the homebody department. You can join in with our #homebodies story by tweeting or emailing us a photo of your home. We’ll feature some of our favourites NEXT Friday on our Homebodies post. Now let’s hear what Kate has to say. Over to you Kate-lady!
Last year, after living on our farm for ten years, we packed up our family and spent six months exploring parts of Australia in an old caravan. With thousands of kilometers worth of distance from home we could really see it with perspective.
And what we saw is that we’d gotten into some bad homey habits. That we were taking shortcuts that didn’t make sense, and that we had been so focused on our business that we had forgotten that family and home were more important.
We took stock of our lives and made lots of decisions. Decisions about how we live as a family and run our home. And about how we would change things upon our return.
Before we went away we were exhausted. We spent our daylight hours farming and then we’d come inside at night, eat unthinkingly, and sit down to unwind in front of the television. We would watch program after program for hours. And it was the same with the girls after school and on weekends.
We made a blanket rule: no TV at all during the week. No movies, no recorded shows, no ABC kids. A family movie night on Friday night to celebrate the end of the week. And then selected movies and recorded shows on weekends.
This change has made the world of difference to our home. We read and interact more, we are more productive, and we don’t feel like our lives are being sucked into a vacuum.
Before we went away we were busy growing and supplying Melbourne’s best restaurants with gorgeous organic fruit and vegetables, but we ourselves ended up eating the same few meals over and over. And worse, we were taking food short cuts. We were buying frozen fillets of fish, packets of pasta and tins of vegetables.
Now we menu plan. We sit together once a week with a pile of cookbooks and chart a week’s worth of meals. We focus on what foods are in season, what we are growing, what we can buy from the organic shop. And we try to include at least one new-to-us recipe per week.
Menu planning is fabulous! Who knew? Not only does it minimize wastage and shopping, but it also eliminates the dreaded 4pm ‘what’s for dinner?’ scramble and allows us to be more creative.
We also planted a kitchen garden right outside our front door.
Before, if we needed a lettuce or some herbs for a meal, we would have to drive down to the paddocks where they were growing. And while it was great to have access to that gorgeous organic produce, the drive was ridiculous.
Now we enjoy a ten-step walk to our lettuces, peas, beans, beetroot, garlic, berries, herbs, broccoli, carrots and radishes. If it’s raining we have to put our shoes on, but still, there’s nothing like feeding your kids just picked veggies. That’s some pretty low food miles right there. And there’s nothing like their enthusiasm over washing carrots that they planted, weeded and picked.
And where before we ate our meals in shifts and stops and starts, now we stop whatever we are doing to sit together, to enjoy our meals slowly, to have rituals, to discuss the best parts of our days, to make decisions and to resolve issues.
We no longer take short cuts and the easy way out because while a home certainly consists of physical things, it is also built by the choices we make: how we want our children to grow up and the way we want our family to live.
What sort of homey changes have you made lately?
And what changes would you like to put in place?
Would you like to share the bits of YOUR home that you love the most? Tweet or Instagram a photo with the #homebodies hashtag to share or join in. We’ve got lots of wonderful bloggers posting their thoughts on home and #homebodies over the coming weeks.
This post was written for Harpic’s Clean For A Cause Campaign. Harpic will donate $10 to Save The Children for every hour that you clean. Win! And speaking of winning, you could win a $100 gift voucher here, thanks to Harpic.