Firepit outside

Joyfulgiving366 – Day 85 – country living and social distancing firepit

After visiting my inlaws on their property, I came away with lots of food supplies.

We go out to visit my parents in law every few weeks or so. It is not aimed, as a few people suggested last year, as a way to get free stuff so I could achieve the $50/week budget goal. However, on this occasion, we did, in fact, come back with a lot of food.

After breakfast of poached eggs and bacon (sadly not with sourdough as my bread wasn’t ready yet), we went out to enjoy the beautiful weather.

My eldest son helped Pop collect eggs. He had lots of fun – check out their smiles!

Collecting eggs
Collecting eggs

Then they got on the tractor.

Yep, lots of fun. And not a computer game in sight. Well, to be honest, the youngest was inside playing on his laptop. But at least we got one outside in the sun.

Then we went mushroom foraging.

We got a huge haul.

A note on mushrooms. It’s really important you know what you are doing. People in Canberra have died eating golden cap mushrooms. They look pretty and something that would be super yummy, but they’re not. These are field mushrooms. My father-in-law has been eating mushrooms from these fields for over a decade.


Then my mother-in-law picked me a basket of rhubarb. She said it is one of the best crops she has had in years. Rhubarb is hardy, so it managed to survive the drought.

mother in law and pug
My mother-in-law, and her pug, picking rhubarb for me

She hasn’t got many vegies in, but she does have potatoes and some beetroot as well.


We came home bearing masses of food. It got me thinking about how programmed we are into thinking about how the only source of food is in a supermarket. Yes, times are tough but there is abundance there when you know how to look for it.

In fact, we were so abundant that we don’t quite know what to do with all of this excess. I assumed I would give most of it away to friends. But everyone is self-isolating. I understand that. But it’s odd to think that in a few short days we’ve got to the stage where offering someone some homegrown and foraged vegies is almost socially frowned upon. Isn’t it riskier going into a supermarket?

Thankfully, my inlaws ALSO gave us a food dehydrator, which has come in handy for the mushrooms.

The firepit

When we returned home, Neil got out our fire pit and lit a fire in the courtyard.

I mentioned previously that I started a FB Group for my apartment complex. So far only three units have joined in. And although I invited everyone, it was only us and the numbers at No 5.

But that was enough. It was a lovely evening, and despite having measures in place for social distancing (e.g. hand sanitizer next to the food and spaced seating), we still managed to chat and have fun. We were all just learning about the spike in cases in the ACT, and we were getting news on our phones about borders closing in various states/territories and wondering what it would mean for us all. During that moment of uncertainty, it was lovely to enjoy the warmth of the fire, good conversation and gave out into a starry night. We even got out the toy telescope Santa got my ten-year-old for Christmas that he had never used before.

I did manage to give some of our field mushrooms to our neighbours, so at least one small win in the #joyfulgiving tally.

Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you enjoy foraging?

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