It has finally happened. After three years of searching, looking, walking over blocks, thinking about what’s important, setting criteria and reviewing possible purchases against that criteria, we have finally become the proud owners of our very own farm. Well, its really a bit of land that will become a farm. It has a rusty old farm gate, good fencing around the perimeter and some cattle yards which need a bit of TLC. And it might just look like a big open paddock and a bit of scrub to some people, but to us it is a farm. This is the patch of land where we will build our more sustainable life, reduce our carbon footprint and become a bit more self sufficient.
We have tossed around names for months and finally settled on Jagged Crow Farm. Both parts of the name have local significance. We first offered to buy the land 4 months ago – it seems to have been a long 4 months while we have waited to be able to walk across the paddock not feeling like we are trespassing. And now when we walk across the paddock I say to myself “this is ours – this Jagged Crow Farm”!
There is so much to plan and do now after all this waiting and dreaming. But I’m looking forward to the fun and challenge of it as we start to create our sustainable life.
I haven’t blogged for a while – we’ve been moving house. Our large unsustainable house has been sold and we are now renters again. I haven’t rented for over 15 years and it’s lovely to have found a house which suits us for now. This is our in-between house. With a much smaller footprint, this house will become our home as we start to develop an even more sustainable way of life. We chose this house because it met many of our needs even though it is quite small – especially compared to our old house. It has room for me to grow almost enough veggies for us and a place for us to put our cut down rain water tanks for additional garden space without ruining anyone’s lawn or garden. It came with a compost bin and a lemon tree. It has an aviary in the back corner which is perfect for our two chooks, it has a north facing back verandah and back yard – again perfect for growing veggies and warming the house in winter. The main bedroom is on the south side of the house which means it will be cool in summer, supplemented by a ceiling fan. It has an original 1940s bathroom – an art deco tribute to the early 20th century cars, including the 1904 Mercedes Benz and the 1903 Buick.
I like that this house has been maintained and not modernised. It has what I can only think would be the original kitchen, but it is all in good condition. A house that has been lovingly maintained and cared for and not trashed or stripped down when it became out of date or off-trend. It is a short bike ride for the Gorgeous One to get to his work and a short 15 minute commute for me in the car. It is within walking distance of a supermarket which is not part of the Australian Food Duopoly as well as an old fashioned butcher shop and the post office. All our needs are really within walking distance. Even our favourite pizza shop isn’t too much of a hike!
Amongst the mess and the turmoil of moving, the exhaustion and the aching muscles, we have talked a lot about how our lifestyle will have a smaller environmental foot print now and we are planning an even more sustainable future when we will plant our orchard, feed the soil on our land, and build a strawbale home
Meanwhile, there are still plenty of boxes which need unpacking! Its amazing how much stuff we gather over the years. And we lug it around from place to place to place. Some of it has memories attached to it and is an important reminder of who we are, who we were or who we dream of being. Some of it is just junk and will be re-purposed or recycled or donated for someone else to find useful. Some of it is just functional stuff that we need to live.
It is quite satisfying sorting through ‘stuff’, finding a new purpose for it, or agreeing that we really can live without it after all.
At the moment we are playing the “have you seen the ………?” game – fill in the blank. The key to this game is you are not allowed to answer with “it’s in a box” – that is stating the bleeding obvious. It’s much more helpful it someone says, yes it’s in a box in the shed up near the back on the second shelf. I still can’t get to it, but at least I know it is accounted for somewhere. Moving gives me a great sense that most of my possessions are not that important, its just stuff. Some stuff we need, some stuff we no longer need, some stuff we like just because it is beautiful or functional or has a happy association. The most important things we moved were ourselves and the animals who have settled in well now and are happily exploring the garden and smelling everything, just because they can! The adventure continues and so we begin to settle into a new way of living and dreaming…