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Our daughters Flora and Evelyn have been oblivious to the madness that has consumed our country the past few months.
They are vaguely aware there is a ‘‘disease’’ and it has meant they haven’t been able to see some of their favourite people, but for them life has become less hectic and more enjoyable.
They were unaware of the madness to get staff in before the lockdown curfew so we could complete the autumn muster, or the sense of protectiveness when we went into lockdown with two young girls from Germany and England (who were working on farm as part of Helpx).
Even further from their minds was the thought of getting groceries for the muster when the grocery stores had limits on items.
To the girls, the farm was alive with people. There were daily adventures and plenty of spatulas to lick as I prepared the baking and meals for the musters.
We divide the musters up into two blocks. The Otematata (four days) and the Aviemore (six days).
The shepherds camp out for each duration.
For each muster, I prepare the first meal, cold meat for sandwiches, and baking for the lunches. In total, I cooked two kilograms of sausages, two kilograms of mince, two roast beefs, two corned beefs, one corned venison, two fruit cakes, two batches of muesli bars, one rocky road slice, two double batches of chocolate chip cookies, two double batches of chewy Anzac biscuits and two date loaves.
Mai, our English Helpx’er, became the muster cook and prepared the rest of the stores that went out on the modern day pack horse (the Land Cruiser).
For the girls, it was days of joy flights in the helicopter; picking up fallen fruit from the old dam village; and foraging walnuts from under the old tree at the original farm homestead.
- Philippa Cameron