Monday, 25 May 2015

A Productive Weekend

It was fantastic to have a productive weekend on the farm the last few days. Busy, and my muscles are telling me about it now, but so worth it.
This quote from A Year At Otter Farm sums it up:

'It wasn't meant to turn out like this; I had plans for idleness. If I hadn't been painting the ceiling of a friend's shop when the woman who became my wife walked in, if I hadn't had that first mulberry just before the millennium changed, if the mortgage adviser hadn't given me artistic licence when moving here, there would be no Otter Farm and I would be a whole lot less tired. I'd also be a whole lot less happy.'

I so agree with this. The afternoon I spent splitting firewood with hubby made me so much more happy than going out to a restaurant or shopping or any of the other 'acceptable' forms of leisure. 
I was also reading about this in one of Jenna Woganrich's books, can't remember which one. Basically she was saying that none of her friends or family could understand why she wanted to take on all this work. No one could understand that the work was her leisure, it was enjoyable and how she wanted to spend her time. Does anyone else get this from friends and family? I know I sure do!
Modern society seems to have developed the attitude that work and play are totally separate and never the twain shall meet. Work cannot possibly be fun. I'm very worried that with this attitude, we will not be able to face the multiple problems that we will face in the future.

OK, that got heavy pretty quickly! Went off on a little tangent there! Let's start again!

Anyhow, it was a productive time the last few days.
I am slowly, slowly getting the small veggie garden weeded and mulched, ready for some winter plantings. Whirlwind and I reattached the trellis that had blown down in the wind. 

Slowly weeding and mulching!
Spearmint, ginger mint and curry plant

Under the apple tree, where the daffodils are planted
And the daffodils are shooting already!

The garden out the kitchen window
Hopefully, we will be able to get the fencing in soon, so the sheep can be paddocked separately. Then the real planting can start - orchard and big veggie beds.
It is a bit of a process at the moment. You know the whole scenario of this cannot be done until that is done, but that can't be done until this other thing is done! Slowly, slowly, I keep telling myself! It will all come together in the end.

As I said, hubby and I split firewood. We borrowed a hydraulic log splitter from a friend - and what a blessing that machine was! Firewood that would normally have taken both of us all day to split was done in an hour and a half! We had some huge rounds from a tree that had been damaged and taken down a few years ago that we have both been ignoring since that time. They were always passed over for the easier wood! Now they have all been split and we have a new huge pile of wood. Having lots of wood makes me feel very secure and happy. I am just praying for a wood cookstove now!

My pile - can you tell I am a bit fussy about how I stack firewood?!

Hubby's pile
It really was my perfect afternoon - the sun was shining, we split wood and the boys raced up and down the paddock hill on their bikes or played football, and came to help when needed. To be honest though, with machinery, it is better that they play with Cuddlepie and keep him occupied. 

We collected up more scrap metal that was lying around in the paddock. And Legoman had the pleasure of stepping on a nail - blood everywhere!
I don't understand why some farmers just treat paddocks as rubbish dumps and leave all sorts of stuff everywhere. When we first moved here, we cleaned up old computers, car parts, all sorts of stuff.

I spent about $35 on some new plants. All flowers, which I don't normally buy. I don't know why; I guess I think plants should be productive. But I am determined that this summer, Whirlwind will have his field of sunflowers that he has been asking for. Maybe not a whole field, but enough for him! He wants to have a flower stand at our farm gate - good on him!

Miss Ballerina made the scones for afternoon tea as I was splitting wood. What a sweetie!

Which way do you do it - jam or cream first?! Apparently, a Cornwall cream tea will have the cream on top, but a Devonshire cream tea will have the jam on top. So now you know!
In our family, everyone goes with Cornwall, except for Whirlwind (whose scone you see in the top photo!) 

Today, Monday, was a beautiful day.

Look at that sky! I love sunny autumn days. Summer ones are just too bright - you can't get gorgeous photos like that in summer. You can't even look at the sky.

Banksia in the garden

Cuddlepie and I did some more gardening and I started chipping out some of the thistles in the paddocks. I am happy to do that by hand rather than using some sort of chemical spray, as I bet there are not many farmers around here who have the number of earthworms I found in their paddocks. I will take the earthworms any day!

Lots of plans for the week as I think the weather is holding like this for a few days. So I will get outside while I can!

Have a lovely week!


  1. ooohh great minds think alike, we are attempting to get our veg garden started too :) it doesn't look nearly so neat and tidy as yours though :)

    1. Thank you! The bare bones of the veggie garden have been there for a while. I just let it go as we were unsure whether we would be staying here or selling. So now we are staying, I can go for it!

  2. My woodpile would look much like your woodpile. I should take a picture of it next time we are up at "the land". It is rather neat and tidy (and may or may not also be sorted by size to boot).

    1. Oh yes, I would love to see your land. Tell me more! I am always reorganising wood as the pile gets used up. Crazy, I know! But I just like to see it look neat, and I agree, those funny bits that are the wrong size or shape do my head in! Where can they go? I have to have a separate area, hidden round the corner, for those pieces!

  3. Where do you live Jayne? Your place looks absolutely beautiful to me. My family of seven live in Dubbo NSW and a small parcel of land is my dream but I have to be content homesteading my small backyard for now. I'm so bummed that I don't even have room for some chickens because our 2 labs take up the side garden space. Anyway I'm discovering that there's joy in making do with what you have. I was reading Rhonda's Down to Earth blog the other day and she was discussing how people can't comprehend the joy of staying at home verses being out and about all the time. But there is joy in sitting down at the end of the day and viewing the fruits of your labour (even if it's only a herb garden outside the dinning room window) We are doing something to enrich the life of our family and building a home of character and love not just consuming...By the way I always put the cream on top. Less mess that way in my opinion. God Bless.

  4. I am a cream on top person too! We live in Hamilton Vic on 8 acres. I haven't been to Dubbo in years, since we used to drive up to visit MIL in Queensland. Rhonda is fabulous. isn't she? I agree, but it has taken me a long time to get there, that we have to find the joy and contentment in where we are. I always wanted to build an off-grid home on a big property, but I have finally come to realise that this is not going to happen. I have spent so long wishing for what I could have in the future, that I haven't been present in the moment or focused on what I could do right now. It is hard to give up a dream - believe me, I am still struggling with it - but I am trying to do what I can here. You are right, it is about offering an alternative to the mindless consumption society - being more mindful and thoughtful about our everyday actions.
    I would love to hear more about what you are doing. Do you have a blog? I couldn't seem to find one, but hey, I am not the most tech minded person in the world! If things work on my computer, half of the time it is pure luck!

    1. No I'm not a blogger. Though recently it has crossed my mind. If I did it would be along the lines of a beginner exploring and discovering the lost arts of the home. I'm still very much a beginner. My husband is a Maths teacher and I home school our 5 children which is sometimes challenge enough in itself. We live in a typical 4 bed, 2 lounge house with pool but now I would trade it for a modest home on some acres. We've been looking but on one income with lots of debt we just can't seem to afford to buy anything around here. This year I started a garden in our back courtyard but have very limited space. So soon I plan to become a member of a community garden to grow more invasive plants such as zuchinnis and pumpkins. Over the past year projects I've delved into for the first time have been making pickles and relishes with garden produce. Yougurt in the slow cooker, brew my own Kombucha, making chilli sauce from our habanero bush for hubbie, making my own laundry liquid and hand soap plus trying to get back into sewing and soon I hope to do some embroidery or knitting. With most homesteading blogs being from America I think that there is a need for an Australian perspective about simple living. So glad to have found yours for some more inspiration.

    2. Blogging is fun. I find that it helps me as most people think I am a bit mad and there are so many people in blogland that are doing the things I would love to be doing.
      We have just gone to a smaller house and while it is a challenge, I think it is worth it. We have five children (but my oldest has left home) in a 3 bedroom, one living area house. The kitchen is my biggest challenge as it is a tiny box, all closed off from the rest of the house - no open plan living in the 50s! With no pantry space!
      A community garden would be a great thing to join - a great way to meet other like-minded people. We don't have one here really.
      I used to homeschool, until hubby decided that the kids were to go to school. He never really agreed with it - it was more a matter of him 'letting' me homeschool. And now he has decided against it. Boy, that was, and still is, a major struggle for me. I still cry some days when I send them off to school. I just don't agree with our education system. Anyway, what's done is done and I cannot change it. So I am focusing on my gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, etc. What I would really love is to have a food farm and a farmgate stand selling produce. Now the kids are in school (except for my youngest, but he will be soon) there is a lot of pressure to be doing a 'real' job. And our government certainly tells mothers that being at home isn't a real job, by taking funds from Family Tax Benefit to give to Childcare Benefits. I can't understand that thinking at all.
      I am so looking forward to chatting some more with you. Good luck with all your endeavours. And let me know if you do join the blog world. It is actually really easy to set up, as I am most definitely not a technologically minded person!

  5. Yay for like minded people and your start to living on the land. Even though you want to still home school your children I firmly believe that if you honour your husbands direction (even when it is different from your own) and uphold your children in prayer, they will continue to thrive despite being in the education system. With you and your husband as their primary role models the Lord is bigger and able (even though I absolutely understand your fears).

    1. I know, but it is very hard to let go. I keep praying Jeremiah 29:11. I may never truly know what God's plans were in this, and I am really trying to keep that in my heart. Thank you so much for your kind, supportive words.

  6. Hey Jayne, the garden is looking great and so is your wood pile. Thanks for sharing all your hard work with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings to you all. PS. I actually don't care where my cream goes on my scone, just as long as there is heaps ;-).

    1. Thanks Terri, slowly getting there! That is why scones are a danger to me - they are really just to hold the yummy jam and cream!

  7. Ah, doesn't it feel good to have productive weekends like this!!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

    1. Thanks, Jes. I have been out getting more done this morning - very excited about the progress!