When I first met Holly she was helping out running the Lilydale Market. It was her job to collect the stall fees from us each Sunday as we set up our display of fruit and veg for the day. A few years on and she and her partner Jonathan have welcomed Madeleine into the world and started their own farm, Rumdoodle, which I can see across the paddocks and up the valley from The Nuns’ House. It wasn’t far to go to interview them for Country Style, and I could catch Holly in her lunch hour while Madeleine entertained us pulling video games out of the bookcase.
I love seeing how lives grow by going with the flow.
“We started with five ewes and a ram simply because we had a couple of acres,” says Holly. Now they have 3 rams, 94 ewes, 23 wethers and 73 lambs, plus a flock of Australorp hens – on 20 hectares.
Jonathan’s love of country, I think, is key to living here:
“I really love the fact that I can wake up in the morning when I’m working on the farm, I’m doing things I like doing, and no one is telling me what to do,” says Jonathan. “It gives me an inner peace that I am toiling away and I can see what I’m doing and why I’m doing it – it’s small-scale achievement.”
You can read more of my story on Karoola’s Rumdoodle farmers in the December issue of Country Style magazine – on sale in Australia this week.