School holidays: birthday, horses and granola madness

One week of school holidays has passed. Although it feels like we have spend most of our time in our pyjamas, taking a well needed break from the many responsibilities. Looking back on my photo’s from the last week, it’s telling a different story....
 My granola is now for sale at 2Be Nourished and GoVita in Grafton.
2Be Nourished has the full range: granola, nuts and tikka paste. Also using it in their kitchen.
At Govita, you’ll find me as a local and plastic free alternative. 

 The nights have been cold. But once the sun comes through, the days are gorgeous. Perfect for playing outside.
An interview and photo shoot with the local newspaper. 
A promotion for our soccer club, where I share the role of Treasurer and Registrar with Sally.
Time is ticking for the upcoming carnival, 3 more weeks and its all wrapped up. Just getting through the next couple of weeks.

My first ride on Chester, he was a total gentleman. 

Since he has come of his racing food, he has turned into a whole new horse, cruzely plodding along. Nothing fazes him, quite the “bomb-proof-pony”. And since he was so calm and well behaved, the kids got to have a little ride on him, with the lead rope.
He’s like this big, fluffy teddy bear, who loves his cuddles.
School holidays are perfect for sleeping-in, even when the kids didn’t get the memo.
Happily playing Lego together, on my bed.
 David turning 4, he was as surprised as we were...
He organised a party for his friends, which we found out when the parents started ringing!
So we made good on it. Crackers, cheese and wine for the parents, while the kids played outside, easy! And a walk trough our forest, where the kids decided it was time for a swim...

 I on the other hand, prefer to sit by the wood fire, with a book.
Home made crackers and pumpkin soup sweeten the deal...
Peach blossoms, hearing all the bees buzz is a wonderfull start to the day.
Lemons, limes and chillies are still growing like mad. Which is awesome, with the tikka paste so popular nothing is going to waste.
 Playing chess with Alex, our 5 year old.
He’s very competitive...
Rebranding my line of nuts.
“Going Nuts” is rather accurate and fits well alongside my “Nuts! Granola”.
These cinnamon roasted macadamias are totally addictive.
The first meeting for Clarence Valley Food Inc, a group set up to promote regional growers and producers. Held at the gallery in Ulmarra, we had a lovely evening with an enormous variety of food, producers, foodies and a very interesting guest speaker.
We are so lucky with the wide variety of food that we can grow in our beautiful valley: sea food, to prime beef, dairy, sugar, olives, nuts, fruit, including massive blueberry growers, native foods, edible flowers and vegetables. And then of course all those that create foods and drinks, sourdough bakers, ice-cream, granola, cheese, wine, beer and cured meats. Turns out that the Clarence Valley is one of the major national producers, but is hardly know as such. But that is about to change, it spotlight has been turned on...

Find me on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marijke_amongstgumtrees/



Where normally the winter months get a little bit more quiet,
it didn’t happen this month...
Enjoying the very mild weather that is an Australian winter, which means being outside a lot. Soaking up the sun, instead of hiding in the shade.
Crisp nights and 20 degree days, with mostly blue and sunny skies. I love this time of year...
Going for an afternoon walk along the dam with the kids,
while convincing them it might be a little too cold to swim.
Mulching the veggie garden
Collecting horse manure for the strawberry plants.
 chocolate & pecan brioche
Player of the match, Alex is a bit of a loose cannon.
But coach him well and he’s an awesome little player, running his heart out.
Halfway, fixing up the stairs.
Celebrating the end of pecan harvest, at a friends organic pecan farm.
Mates, space and kayaks. A kids paradise...
Seeing my sister win gold at the World Cup.
Wanting to finish my quilt that I started last year. But I’m not satisfied how it’s coming together.
I have taken out the bits that I dislike and are slowly changing them over with fabrics I love.
And since there are so many beautiful fabrics, it might turn into a king size quilt after all...
My babies.
David learned to ride his peddle bike independently.
So proud of himself... You often find him outside practicing skids on the gravel on an early morning. The three degree mornings don’t seem to bother him (or his flannel pj’s)!
Truck parade,
noisy machines, right up their alley...
Loving how the gully turns yellow with wattle blossoms this year.
The first time we actually managed to catch it!
There are literally hundreds of wattle trees lining the gully. 
Hence we all calling it Wattle Lane.
Wattle trees are also awesome, when you have an itch you can’t reach...
I keep working with Laura, but we’re still not friends. Chester on the other hand has become a great friend. He has settled down, you see him plodding along in the paddock and wonder how he ever raced for a living. I’m keen to put the saddle on him this weekend. 
With Laura I’ll stick to groundwork a little longer.
Enjoying the setting sun at soccer training.
Work as treasurer and registrar has slowed right down, enabling me to actually see some of the training sessions these days...
Our club is organising an annual soccer tournament, flyers have been send out.
Last year we had 700 players.
With only 4 active members on the committee, I see a busy couple of months coming up...
Sophie is seeing stars.
Athletics carnival.
They all did well, but I was super proud of Sophie, giving the 800meters run a go.
Taking a break after a soccer morning.
Maple Pecans.
I’ve found myself a local supplier of nuts. Pecans are being the main ingredient in my Autumn Nuts granola. Customers like them so much that I’m now also selling them by themselves.
Selling like mad, just the perfect time of year for them.
Highly addictive...
Saturday afternoon reality.
Loving the new display at Blueberries Health Food Bar in Maclean.
Australia ends it’s financial year on the 30th of June, so I’m right in the middle of stocktake and changing over all my documents to a new year, for both businesses!
That also included a tally on the Second Chance Jar program, with $2.50 for every jar and $2 for every bottle sold being donated to the local Womens shelter.
Another $750 dollar for this year, making the total amount raised for this project $2100!

For this project, I also saw myself invited to have a little talk at the local Rotary Club.
With my laptop crashing, I had to totally wing it! But it worked out great, turns out I actually do quite well a public speaking. I did not see that one coming! The things you learn when you step out of your comfort zone...
I’ve now found myself invited to become a Rotary Club Member. I’m honoured, because they do so many great things locally and globally. Making a difference on a large scale.
Just not sure if this is the right timing for me, right now.
I’m going nuts. Woodford Island Nuts, putting local products in the spotlight.
Secretly, it’s all about providing me with new experiments.
Cinnamon roasted macadamias. An outback dukkah and lots of other savoury options are being experimented with. Yes, I love my job.
I’ve also decided to expand my granola business. 
Seeing where it’s going to take me, instead of always wondering. 
Two coffee vans have taken on the maple pecans. Two local health food stores, who had been showing interest before, approached me again after one of my other cafes closed.  I will be stocking the granola, curry paste and nuts from next week onwards.  Besides, 2Be Nourished will also use it in their kitchen, which is quite the compliment!
With a good friend now helping me with packaging, it has given me the option to take on more.
Nerissa is a great cook in her own right and knows her way around a commercial kitchen, we make great partners and it’s a lot more fun having company.
A weekend of salsa dancing.
Our usual lesson on Thursday and the Ay Pachanga concert and workshop this weekend.
It’s great fun to go on dancing dates with my hubby, I even “splurged” on a new dress. Seeing that I’m rather hopeless in the clothes department, that is quite an accomplishment...


May, in photo’s

Our annual photo shoot for Mothers Day.
The second shot had to do, already a week late. The battery ran out and there’s no way I can get them all lined up (and dressed!) again.
Harvesting the first batch of our wild pumpkins.
Which got me here...
Teamed up with a local nut grower, who keeps me in fresh pecans and macadamia’s.
My new Autumn granola: chockerblock with pumkin and maple roasted pecans.
For sale now, customers are raving about it.
 My cave man Tim, in charge of the fire.
Saturday morning soccer games, finding warmth wherever you can.
Tim’s team, such focus.
Alex, burning off some of that wild energy...
Help-coaching David’s Little Champion program.
It took me awhile to find my feet with it, but if there’s no-one else, you make the most of it.
Nowadays, I’m having heaps of fun and actually look forward to get all these kids having a very fun morning.
 My lone rider.
 Watermelon tastes so much better in a...
 Friday afternoon fun.
A pancake afterparty.
We still very much enjoy hosting our Full Moon gatherings.
Loving the hand-me-downs from friends.
 Little brothers rule!
Adding a piano to the madness. Sophie has been doing lessons for the last couple of months, but all of us are keen to learn, adults included. Tim still plays guitar, but gets a real kick of being able to play his practice songs on the piano too. David often plays me make-up songs to keep me company while cooking.
Even in death, this tree was very stubborn... Thankfully, Sander is too.
This will keep us warm for many more months, Winter is near.
Loving life.
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