It’s funny, last week I read that the 2016 El Niño was officially over, the very next day the cold front hit and it was like summer had leap-frogged autumn and gone straight into winter. Suddenly it’s too cold for Shelley and Craig Heppel to grow lettuce, Coolibah Farm’s roquette got frozen in Monday’s frost and overnight broccoli got scarce and doubled in price. For many farmers the message is clear – time to take stock, rest up, breathe out.

So now his broad beans are up (that’s them above) CERES farmer Vince is leaving the garden to farmer Emily and has gone to visit cousins in Italy, at Hazeldean Forest Farm fruit picking has finished and Marg and Jason are off to see their daughter in the UK and over at Foothills Organics in Colac, Joe Sgro is taking a couple of weeks to sort out a dodgy hip.

For the rest of us city dwellers, apart from it being a little harder to get out of bed these cold dark mornings, there’s not a lot of feedback compelling us to change our routines and rhythms. Beyond the odd long weekend and the start or end of sporting seasons we sort of go about our daily lives the same as ever. There are seasonal clues however; when we can’t find that salad mix for love nor money or it seems like there is a bit more cabbage in our lives than we’d normally care for.  That’s the world whispering to us; a gentle reminder we are here at her pleasure not the other way around.  Just in case we forgot.

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