Coastal farming seems like the ultimate lifestyle to me. Living inland means the closest we get to a beach breeze is a fan on the opposite side of the dam bank! So I asked WA farmer, Fleur McDonald to chat a little about her coastal farming life.

Fleur has a new book out this month as well, so if you like fiesty heroines and bush mysteries grab yourself a copy now. Purple Roads is hot off the press.

“We live about 10 kilometres from the coast as the crow flies. It’s the best place in the world to live, in summer! Most afternoons the sea breeze pushes up country and cools the steaming land every afternoon and brings relief to the animals (and humans). What I love about farming on the coast is the ever-changing weather it brings. One moment it can be 46 degrees, but that will drop by 15 degrees in seconds, when the change sweeps through. The wild weather in winter; the way strong southerly’s throw rain against the window and whips right through you, while you’re working in the yards. I love the soft misty rain the doesn’t quite fall, but hangs in the air – this rain is pure coastal and helps increase our average rainfall no end.

It’s quite the relief living in a softer environment after the harshness of the mid-north of South Australia. The searing heat there is enough to make the strongest person wilt!

Of course there are always challenges in whatever environment you farm in and probably our biggest one is flies. Humid conditions are just perfect for those gross little green backed creatures!

The air is full of salt and so fencing never lasts as long as it should and all machinery and vehicles need to be kept in the sheds. Coming from a twelve inch (approx. 300mm) rainfall country in South Australia, the amount of rain here is just beautiful. There are times which rain is wanted more than others (if you get too much rain just as you’ve planted a crop, the seed will burst and you’ll have to re-seed – extra cost, time and just a pain in the neck.) Our 520mm (approx. 20 inches) is a joy and as I say to my husband: ‘Coming from the ‘desert’, I don’t care when it rains, just so long as it does!’ and it does on the coast!”