Angela's Goode life

AS idyllic as it might appear to someone looking in from the outside, Angela Goode quickly realised farm life wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

The former journalist entered the world of farming a few years after she married cattleman and soul mate Charlie in 1981.

She currently lives on a property just out of Naracoorte and has personally experienced the true challenges associated with living on the land.

Her new novel "Through the Farm Gate" is a behind the scenes look at the hardships she, and many others, have faced while trying to make ends meet in the farming industry.

"It's not all as pretty as it looks," she told the Herald.

"It's a very tough life and the farm always comes first. There are things that always have to be done - it's demanding."

Through anecdotes and prose, she tells her story of moving from the city to the country and exposes all the misconceptions.

"Very often I find city people come visit and say how beautiful it is and how lucky we are but it's not about lifestyle. My blood boils when people say that. 

"We do it for business...the book is a voyage of peeling away the layers."

"Through the Farm Gate" is a memoir of her life and looks at the effects of the droughts of the late '80s, which combined with high interest rates and the wool price crashing in the early '90s, were a very hard time for many in the SE and all over the country.

The droughts in 2006 and 2008 were also a struggle and Mrs Goode explores the changing role of women as they became a lot more than just "a farmer's wife".

"We've been through some very interesting times, not just agriculturally but sociologically as well," she said.

"I moved of course to a world where women on farms had not been given a voice. 'I'm just a farmers wife' was something I would hear all the time.

"Women, so many of them, were forced to work...it was a really awful time but women came out strong and fighting.

"As an observer, journalist, and a woman who has studied social behaviour I saw how they emerged...they stood tall." 

Mrs Goode first started writing about farm life in a column published weekly in The Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide.

"I wrote for my city colleagues originally," she said.

"They kept telling me that all my talent would be lost moving to the country so I started writing about farms and that was the beginning.

"I wanted to show I was an aware, liberated and modern woman living on the land."

For more than 20 years she shared her own daily struggles and the wider issues affecting regional Australia to people who had little understanding of life on a working farm.

She also wrote three books: "Great Working Dog Stories", "Great Working Horse Stories " and "For the Love of the Land".

"Through the Farm Gate" was in the works for about four or five years and, while it is mainly aimed at a city audience, it also strikes a chord with a lot of people who live rurally.

Mrs Goode is now working on her next book which will be a work of historic fiction.

"It's looking at mateship, aristocrats and convicts."

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