Sunday, November 28, 2010


If you've visited koolaman designs at one of our exhibitions around the country you might have spied this classic sterling silver bangle. It's a very special piece for us at koolaman having named it after our beautiful friend Liesel who passed away from breast cancer in 2008.
Liesel was the type of person who everyone loved. It's difficult to find the words to describe the beautiful woman she was. A wonderful friend, Liesel and her daughter Kate were very supportive in the early days of koolaman designs, with plenty of encouragement and helping us package our silver pendants.
Like it's namesake Liesel bangle is a classic, stunning piece and will be  loved by everyone.
Never forgotten and always missed. L xx

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life down on the farm

koolaman wool
Stacey and I grew up on a farm, and although it was a small distance from town, and we sometimes felt isolated, it's nothing in comparison to living at Koolaman. Koolaman is 50km from the nearest town and 70km from Balranald.  Today, as I negotiated (I wouldn't say drove - because that would infer I was in control)  the 40km stretch of dirt road into town, I wished that we lived a little closer to town, that we had a bitumen road from our front door which led us there. The deep boggy muddy stretch that in dry times would be described as a road took us twice as long as normal to negotiate. I also then thought of some of the things that we've done in the past week and how fortunate our children are growing up on a farm and the things they are able to experience.

It's been shearing time at Koolaman this week. The culmination of a years hard work, nurturing the sheep to grow a fine wool, to have it shorn off the sheep and sold at auction. It's a rewarding time and it's also one which creates a buzz around the property. There are ten staff on the shearing team who stay in the quarters at Koolaman during shearing, consisting of the cook, shearers, rouseabouts, wool roller, classer and a presser.

The kids have loved interacting with these visitors and dare I say the team have enjoyed having young kids interested in what they're doing. I love that our kids know where the wool for their jumpers come from as well as their roast lamb!


And, as well as one of the busiest times of the year with shearing we had a visitor in the form of a 'crop duster'.  A most unusual sight in this Mallee/Riverina area. This year due to the substantial rainfall that has fallen, the crops at koolaman are looking the best they ever have. With high yields, (provided the locusts are contained - that's another blog to come) predicted, robust grain prices this year is something farmers have been hoping for ever since the drought began.

The reason for the visit from the crop duster is that although the rains have created these monster crops, it's also created problems with stripe rust which is a fungal disease and it loves this wet rainy weather. There is only way to remove it and that's to spray it with a fungicide and to do so by ground would mean that we'd knock down too much of the crop. The only option was to call in the 'crop duster'. If you've never seen these pilots in action you're missing out.... dodging trees and powerlines all the time spraying the crop from a few metres above it. Here is a photo of the plane negotiating a tree in the paddock.
Crop duster spraying fungicide on the koolaman wheat crop