Friday, January 7, 2011

2010, 2011 and beyond

2010 was a very short year for us, well it felt short, like we could have blinked and missed it.  I think that is because of the preparation for building the house, you know how time flies if you have a deadline....  We have been pretty busy with the building stuff now, and its nice to actually be able to do something, instead of just waiting for paperwork etc.  You can read more about it here.

As far as general life on the farm 2010 was a bittersweet year.  We lost quite a few animals, our goat gyspy, an alpaca, but by far the most abundant losses were in our hens.  We started spring with 13 hens, and now we have 5 left.  But typical of the way nature works, one of the hens is sitting on a few eggs, so new life may replenish the losses. This quote pretty much sums it up, and keeps coming back to me, as it seems so 'real'.

"Earth brings us into life and nourishes us. Earth takes us back again.  Birth and death are present in every moment"

Since we left town, I feel that we have come closer to nature and the cycles of life and seasons.  Its easy in town to disconnect, it doesn't matter what the weather is like because you have the same temperature year round due to the wonders of heating/cooling systems, you don't eat seasonally as farmers will run heated hothouses to provide tomatoes year round or we import from warmer climates, so we can eat watermelon in winter.  Out here, the seasons are 'in your face', if its cold its hard to not notice it.  When you grow any vegetables, you become aware of when the naturally would grow in your area.

2011 is promising to be another full year for us, which will probably pass by far too quickly (considering we almost half way through january already - how did that happen??).  The house building will be a dominant part of our lives for the next few years.  We will also focus our efforts on establishing good infrastructure such as fencing, water pipes and additional tanks and catchments, more protection for trees and gardens and setting up yards etc for animal management.  Due to our sagas with our hens, we will also be looking at setting up a portable house that can be moved around the paddocks with a herd guardian of some sort.  We will also try and inrease our food production, and reduce our reliance on outside sources of food for us and the animals.  We will see how far we will get with that this year.

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