Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Winter 2012 was our first season at our little farm.
It was the season we started Little eco's natural playground. First we made the mud kitchen and now there's a rope swing. There's plans for more.
It was the season I realised that being 'closer to nature' also means experiencing more often the heartbreaking impact that we have on her. This is a dead threatened Squirrel Glider stuck on our barbed wire fence. It happens so often that getting caught on barbed wire fences is listed as a threat to the species' survival. (more)
I also experienced just how bad mange in wombats is. I'd noticed this wombat grazing by the road a few times and was contemplating phoning WIRES. But then we spotted him dead with a bullet hole in his head. Presumably someone put him out of his misery. Mange is a disease that causes deep skin fissures that become flyblown and septic and results in a long, slow and painful death. At least we don't yet have the horendous liver disease that is wiping out wombats in South Australia.
I spent hours and hours mowing the front paddock (before fire season) in an effort to convince Daddy Eco that we don't need a ride on mower. I'm trying to look on the mowing as an opportunity to exercise rather than a huge chore. We won't be getting any grazing animals for a while yet so I'm guessing I'll be spending many hours behind a mower this Spring.
We also started planning our veggie garden. Little Eco drew up her own garden plans and captured the swales we plan to install on the slope above the dams.
We spent many hours this Winter huddled in front of this pot belly stove. Daddy Eco is living in the shed during the week (without power) so this is how he spent most of his Winter evenings. Alone and in the dark! Bring on Summer - when we'll all be together again.
At least we now have hot water. A friend was horrified by my plans to create a compost heated bath so gave us this mini hot water system as a house-warming gift. It heats only 30 litres - but that is more than enough to do the dishes and give Little Eco a bath. (More shortly).
Winter was also the season we started sharing our city home with a treasured friend and her son. (More shortly).
It was also the season I started doing some serious de-cluttering. We're planning on 'editing' our belongings before we move at the end of the year. I tried to decrease my fabric stash so that it would fit into these four cases. I failed but I'm hoping I can decrease my stash further on my second attempt. Despite saying that I could never be a minimalist - I'm now ready to embrace minimalism. (More shortly).
There was also more than half a dozen gifts of home-made playdough. Playdough has been our preferred birthday gift this year. The year before it was bird wings refashioned from old t-shirts or a reinvention skirt. I wonder what it will be next year?
Winter was also the season that I had a small farm real life reality check and learnt how to milk a cow.
I also started working full-time despite saying I'd never do so again.
I appreciate more than ever that living a dream involves plenty of short-term pain. Living apart from Daddy Eco and carrying two mortgages has been hard. But I'm certain it will be worth it in the long-term.
How was Winter for you? I hope you are enjoying the first days of Spring as much as I am.