5 little lessons I’ve learnt from blogging

apples || cityhippyfarmgirl

This little blog is now five years old. I’ve been writing, musing, dropping kitchen crumbs, taking pictures and sitting under the name cityhippyfarmgirl for five years now. Now how did half a decade zip by while I sat next to my computer? Well to be honest, I’m not really sure. What I do know though, is that five years is a wonderful amount of time to have learnt lots of bloggy lessons…Lots of them!

If you would like to pull up a chair, grab an apple or perhaps a slice of shortcake and linger awhile, I’ll share with you five lessons I’ve learnt in that time.

1/ Always write down your thoughts or recipes as you go along.

For recipes, I will never, ever remember the quantities and cooking times of what ever I am making. For thoughts, that seem so clear and unforgettable, they seem to disappear without even an audible “poofff” (despite all the very best intentions.) Five years on, you think I would have had this one firmly embedded in my brain. Nope, it isn’t though, I still occasionally forget and think that my memory can’t honestly be that bad, and of course I will remember. (It is that bad, and I do forget.)

Note to self, don’t forget, that I…well, forget.

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

2/ There is always more to learn with bread baking.

What an amazing thing bread baking can be. To be always learning from and tweaking something as simple as flour, water, salt. I still get bubbles of excitement bringing a loaf out of the oven. What will it look like, how much of a spring will it have? No loaf is ever the same. Never. Not a one.

Life gives different loaves. In ways of weather, timing, distractions, commitments, forgetfulness, ingredients, new flour- they all play a part in my sourdough being different every single time. And really, how awesome is that!

3/ Photography, another big lesson.

I look back on photos I thought were pretty much ok, and can’t help but chuckle. Cameras have been and gone, techniques have changed along with them and knowledge is still to be gained in abundance with my photography. What I do know is that I get a kick out of taking photos and I can’t imagine that changing for a long time. I don’t think this photo from my first month of blogging back in 2010 would have been pinned too often. I do know it was a delicious pie though (recipe here) and remember all of us eating it with much gusto.

cityhippyfarmgirl

1st edition Jan 2010

cityhippyfarmgirl

2nd edition Jan 2013

apple shortcake pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

3rd edition Feb 2015

4/ Which leads me to my next lesson. Remembering.

Now I’ve already established at times, I’m not so good at remembering things. This is where having a blog is truly wonderful. It does the remembering for you. It’s my online diary of a sort. It stores many more day to day things, words, pictures, memories than I would have ever thought to remember.

Not to mention my recipes. I cook and bake a lot. Before having a blog I would have countless scrappy bits of paper dotted about the place, usually being lost between other bits of paper. Now I have them all here. Sure It’s a little weird having to go to the internet for your own recipes but hey it seems to work. I usually put a lot of time and effort into my recipes, bringing a concept to life, tweaking, changing, experimenting until I’ve got it just right. Sometimes they can be months and months in the making. I still feel slightly uneasy about other people using those recipes and putting them up on their own site without any reference, words or thanks given, a recipe now it’s their very own- it seems a murky copyright world, with well pretty much everything these days. So all I can do is know that what I’m doing sits right with me, and that’s what matters right?

Another wonderful thing about having a blog to help you remember is the feelings and emotions that might have slipped between the metaphorical pages. Tiny moments captured, which in another time would have been swept away to live only in my own memory bank…or to simply slip between the cracks altogether.

community || cityhippyfarmgirl

5/ Community.

I’ve waxed lyrical about the online community many, many times before. It will never get old speaking enthusiastically of all the people who make up this always evolving digital community. It’s pretty wonderful to be a part of that. When digital names spill over to lovely long emails, or names on the backs of envelopes, plump packages from people half a world away. Or coffee and picnics with people who were once just a gravatar. That’s pretty darn wonderful.

Through the online community I’ve also discovered more and more small businesses and people who I want to support with my careful dollar. Conscious shopping the way it should be- Instead of those coins going to a blank face that means nothing to me. I will repeat these words a thousand times, as it really is incredibly important to me.

apple pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

6/ Evolve and make your own rules up.

Now wait a second, didn’t I say this was to be five? Yes, I did but this is the beauty of lesson number six. If I want to put six up I can, I can do that, I can make my own rules up here. Yes I can.

I’ve also learnt to roll with it all. If something is bugging me I’ll change it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. I’ve learnt over these five years that for a blog to evolve you really have to ride with it, social media is an ever evolving thing and with that, well you have to be as well.

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How about you, if you have a blog what lessons have you learnt as a blogger. Or, if you are a reader what lessons have you learnt from reading blogs?

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three years on

apple shortcake

apple shortcake1

Funny to think this little blog is now three years old. It’s also funny to look back on some of the things I’ve posted about in that three years. Somethings I feel exactly the same about them as I did then, and others, well not so much. I’ve moved on a little, and things have changed round a bit.

I was looking back on my first month of blogging in 2010 and was considering what I had to say back then. I had to chuckle. It was a funny way to start, and while I cringe at some of those first photos I put up, I do like them being there, if even just for my own comedy value.

I also still stand by that very first paragraph I wrote.

“New to the blogging world. I thought I might start one, just to watch my own progression on living as sustainably as possible in an urban environment.  Finding out what works for me and my family and maybe achievable by others also living in a city environment.”

The blog has dipped and weaved a little over that time with topics and content, but living as sustainably as possible for my family and I, is still top priority for me. It’s just as important now as it was then, maybe even more so.

Knowing where my food comes from and what goes into my family’s mouth is just as important.

Being mindful of the choices we make as consumers is also just as important.

Trying to make as many things as possible rather than relying on someone else to do it for me (and is usually a whole lot of fun) is also still really important to me.

Looking back over the last three years, I thought I might revisit one of the first few dishes that I blogged about in my first month. Matthew Evans’ Apple and Blackberry Shortcake. The recipe is here if you are interested in trying it, and I’m hoping my second time picture gives it a bit more credit than the first time I did it. 

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Still thinking on the last three years of blogging- if I hadn’t continued with my blog, I probably wouldn’t…

1/ Have made my sourdough starter

2/ Have continued on the always amazing bread journey that is sourdough

3/ Taken as many photos as I do these days

4/ Have one particular spot to put all my ramblings and musings. Instead there would still be lots of scrappy bits of paper filled with recipes, thoughts, quotes and ideas about the place.

5/ (and best of all…and I know there are still oodles more) I probably wouldn’t have been a part of the wonderful community that blogland can be.

heart

Three years on it was also time for a little shake up on the look of my blog. My theme I had stuck by had long since been retired from the theme options and it seemed there weren’t too may of his clinging on to the blix theme these days. We’ll see how this one works for a bit….

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Now, I was trying to think of something little I could do celebrate that fact that it’s been three years flitting about in the land of blog. So what to do?

Send you all a piece of the Apple and Blackberry Shortcake?…but it probably wouldn’t arrive in the same condition that I sent it.

Put together an awesome sponsor given hamper full of all things groovy and gifty….damn, it’s not that kind of blog.

Something beautiful and whimsically handmade?…hmmm, most of my stuff is still kind of on the learning end.

Still thinking, I thought about a card. Most people still like getting a letter, a card or a post card, and I thought, well I can do that!

So if you would like a card or postcard sent from me to you (or to your little people-if you have them- as they loooove getting mail too!…well mine do anyway.) I would love to send you one. Where ever you may be….Alaska, Argentina, Italy or Dubbo. Doesn’t matter where. Just drop me a line at cityhippyfarmgirl at gmail dot com, leave me an address and a card will be on it’s way. (say first five-ish?)

So a big thank you from me to you- the readers and commentators, as without you…well this blog just wouldn’t be the same.

Gourmet Farmer

This is one of my favourite shows to watch at the moment. His life is what I would love to achieve down the track. After watching the show I am always enthusiastically re-telling my husband what happened. An episode ends and I have a sigh and a smile on my lips…

For anyone that wants to be inspired to grow their own food, rear their own animals for eating, live in Tasmania, or after a great recipe that will look and taste great- watch it or read the blog.  http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/gourmetfarmer/blog/page/i/1/h/Blog/

I am hoping to make the Apple and Blackberry Shortcake this afternoon. Fingers crossed I get time…

Apple Shortcake

….. and I did! It was deeelicious.