Connect, Give, Take notice, Keep learning and Be active

These are the Farmstrong five ways to wellbeing and I’m am writing this in the middle of Mental Health Week, so it’s a good time to refocus on keeping yourself mentally well.

Whether you are locked up in the Auckland Level 3 bubble or head down, bum up on the farm, it’s important to fit some of the above into your life.

I remember reading how Barack Obama always worked an hour’s exercise into his day when he was the POTUS. I reckon if he could find the time, most of us should be able to.

With that in mind, I have just signed up for the Wilderness magazine Walk1200km campaign where you commit to trying to walk 1200km over a year – just 100km each month and 3.3km a day. (Check it out at or on Facebook, search walk1200km)

That will tick a few boxes – Take notice (get outside in the fresh air and walk in nature) and Be active – and I figure even if I don’t quite make it to 1200km, I will be getting fitter, sleeping better and feeling happier from all those walking-induced endorphins flooding my brain, supposedly stimulating relaxation and improving the mood. Hopefully the dog will thank me for it too!

Jordyn Crouch’s Kellogg study identified a great suite of ideas for leading and retaining staff and a couple of them resonate with the Connect and Take notice pillars for keeping people healthy as well. She suggests holding ‘Getting to know you’ workshops at the start of the season and ‘Digging deep’ to really get to know new staff so that conversations can be more than just about work (page 41).

Glen Herud has spent the last few years developing the Happy Cow milk factory in a box, and Chris Falconer is one of his first farmers to sign up to supply locally produced milk, without the plastic. Glen says local consumers are hanging out to Connect with local dairy farmers who can keep more of the profit from selling their milk by using the Happy Cow system automating compliance, processing and e-commerce (pages 28 & 31).

Keep learning is a life-long journey, I’ve mastered a pretty decent sourdough bread loaf in the latest Lockdown Level 4 and now I am working on a decent sponge cake to rival Google’s from the Never-Fail Sponge cake recipe from the October 1971 Dairy Exporter magazine (page 90). My first one resembles a flying saucer…and might be best repurposed as trifle, but hey, if I Give it to my family for dessert I don’t think they will complain!