I am Kate Mirams. I am a dairy farmer with a passion for landscapes, nature and people, and I am currently learning how to rapidly improve soil health and how to sequester carbon into soil. I am the mother of 3 teenage boys, and together, with my husband we farm 300 acres of beautiful Macalister River floodplain soil. I have a degree and a masters in agriculture, and have worked in agriculture in an advisory and community development roles, and these last 17 years I have been dairy farming. I am fascinated to understand how the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, contain our beliefs and aspirations, and inform our everyday choices. If we told ourselves and each other different stories about our place on earth, would we make different choices? What would those stories be?
I awake to the sound of birdsong, the Grey Thrush, calling “good morning sleepy head,” the same birdsong of my childhood. As I become fully awake, I know I am Kate Mirams, an almost 70-year-old woman. A woman of the land, of the bush, of this land – the rich alluvial floodplain of the Thomson, Macalister and Avon Rivers, the traditional lands of the Brayakoolong Clan of the Gunai Kurnai Nation. I am a farmer, a mother, a lover, a friend. These last 20 years since the “great quietening” occurred, I have woken up and come into my power, allowing the gifts of my childhood, my family, my community and my profession to work through me, to create abundance and joy.
When my ancestors first looked at nature, they saw “survival of the fittest” and “competition for resources.” They saw “scarcity, danger, lack,” and out of this we developed a culture of survival, competition and inequality. We held ourselves apart from nature and tried to dominate and control her. Then, over these last 20 years, we opened our eyes, and we started see nature as total and complete abundance. We see everything in nature as an expression of energy flowing through living creatures, and life as a vibrant expression of love. We value every part of the life cycle, everything as belonging and complete. Decay is an expression of life for the decomposers!
We humans now see ourselves as part of and belonging to nature. We are part of the abundant, thriving, birthing, growing, decaying, dancing, evolving life on earth. We feel the flow of the energy of all life, we viscerally feel the life in us, and the connection to everything. In my community when we work, we are consciously aware that we are creating for the greater good of life. When we play we are conscious of how abundant and great life is.
When I step outside my home I see the frost on the ground. I see the multi species crops sown in the autumn, slightly frosted, but strongly grounded into to living earth, and in my imagination I see the millions, no trillions of soil dwelling life forms alive richly feeding my crops. I slip on a warm coat and a beanie. I walk trough the frost to wind up the strip fence and let the cows and calves onto a fresh uneaten strip of crop. Their warm breath creating halos of steam, and their murmurs of appreciation and recognition sending warm feelings of gratitude and abundance through my being. I know every bite of crop taken by the cows is highly nourishing, not just for the cows, but for the soil, and for the earth. With each bite the plant sends carbon rich exudates through its roots into the web of fungal mycohorriza in the soil, giving energy and requesting water and nutrients in return. Giving what it has in abundance as a photosynthesising being, and asking for what it needs from the abundant network of soil life. And in a way I have come to find the greatest joy in abundantly giving my gifts to the earth, and receiving what I need in return.