I hope you've been managing to keep warm this winter. Even though its cold, winter can be a wonderful time, filled with snow trips, cold morning walks, hot chocolate while sitting in a hot tub, sleep ins, long nights by the fire and movies.
For a farmer, winter means more work, but rather than doing it in hot and dry conditions, you are working in cold and wet conditions – at least that’s what it’s like here at Thorpdale. It’s a great time to pack up the kids and get away to a warmer climate for a few days, but this isn't always possible as the farm doesn't take a break.
At Thorpdale, the local kindergarten has a unique way of celebrating winter. It’s the tradition to gather up the kids and their families for the annual Gumboot Throw with a BBQ lunch which is generally enough to attract Dad away from his work, and into the fun and games of the event. Each child gets two attempts to hurl a gumboot as far as they can in front of a crowd of cheering adults. For some, the gumboot throw is a serious business and some will have spent time in the week prior practicing there action. Others are more content with going into this massive event untested.
After all the kids have had their throw, medals are awarded to all participants. It may not be the Olympics, but the competition is fierce and friendly and kids and families get the chance to do something a bit different.
The thing I really like about the Gumboot Throw is that it is a celebration of winter. Winter is not a season we need to dread, but it can be one we all look forward to.
As well as a time for celebration, winter can be a great time to catch up on things you haven't been able to get to during the other times of year. Winter is a time of year you can be more involved in the local community, because when you’re busy on the farm it’s almost impossible to make it down to the local footy club for a fundraiser to go to the end of year trip.
There’s a lot to be said for winter, and when you get up in the morning, while you shake the ice off the bed sheets, I challenge you to embrace and enjoy the chill. If you can’t manage that, it may be time to upgrade your heating, but regardless just remember winter only lasts a few months then the weather will warm up again.
This article appeared originally in the August/September 2017 issue of Potatoes Australia Magazine.