RURAL LIFE HAS APPEAL
I grew up on the beach, but this is the lifestyle we’ve chosen and my idea was to share it with the community.
FIONA May thought she had all her ducks in a row when she decided to start a small business to enable her to maximise time with her children.
But she was not prepared for the immediate and sustained popularity of From Paddock to Potager.
If you have never heard of it, think one part petting zoo, one part food education and one part exhibition farm for the tree-change, natural living lifestyle.
The little business on the Old Goombungee Rd soon got out of hand – and life with it.
And after finding she had less time than ever for her kids and husband, more responsibilities, late nights, early mornings and plenty of stress, Mrs May took a two-week holiday in New South Wales and came back with a plan.
“I left my full-time position to take this on board and the reason for that was I wanted to stay at home with my two boys, Heath and Ollie,” she said.
“I grew up on the beach, but this is the lifestyle we’ve chosen and my idea was to share it with the community.
“There is a lot of stuff happening in the food industry, with people becoming more aware of what they eat – and I have an early childhood background, so it seemed perfect.
“But it was crazy how much demand there was.
“It overwhelmed me to the point where my head was spinning.”
Mrs May said instead of spending more time with the kids, life began to revolve around marketing, budgeting and organisation.
She said this meant late nights, followed by early starts to look after all the farm animals.
And with hubby working long hours as a carpenter, Mrs May said they were not seeing much of each other.
“I was trying to make everyone happy and the business started to take over my family,” she said. “I wasn’t proud of that. “I got in a little over my head and had to take a step back and close the whole thing down.”
But city-living lovers of farm life need not despair because there will still be the odd open day on offer, as Mrs May pursues her next venture – breeding pigs for meat, in conjunction with local paddock to plate producers Bannock Brae.
Mrs May said there would also be a steady supply of chooks and chicks for the backyard, as well as beautiful handmade soaps, produced with milk fresh from their dairy cows and herbs from the garden.
To keep up with events at From Paddock to Potager, search for it on Facebook, where you can sign up for the newsletter, buy soaps and receive updates.
ONTO A GOOD THING: Fiona May and son Oliver with the animals at From Paddock to Potager.