Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Round Up

not the glyphosate product. The anthology type thing.

Another very busy day rounded off with a valiant attempt to get back into attending the local Sustainability Network's meetings, so not a lot to share and thought I'd go for a round up of sorts.

My lovely Snail friend talks about Small Steps This is so close to my heart and just what I'm trying to put across at the moment.  A thousand small steps are more sustainable than one whacking great unwieldy policy with a catastrophe potential off the scale.

Andrea, my Permaculture Design Cert buddy - boy that seems a long time ago - has new goats and considering her usual prejudices concerning all things caprine, she's got good things to say. 

What's going on at High Heathercombe - how long is it since my Diploma Intensive there? And how far have I got with that Diploma?!  Really must buckle down and get some designs sorted. The Snail of Happiness has volunteered her help on this so as soon as mid winter passes I feel I must get her on board!

Missing all kinds of Permie Gatherings, and wishing I could go ...

That's enough for one night. Tomorrow is a worky, schooly, toily kind of day and the rain is now lashing down in (presumably, judging by the temps in this house) freezing sheets, so it is past bedtime.

Not a stitch sewn for the Folksy store today, nor a diploma project updated or annotated. Did clear out one of the root beds in the house veg garden, and haul a lot of wood.  Another day in paradise. x

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ready for Winter?

Part time Farmers, Smallholders, Homesteaders, call em what you will, are never never ready for winter. In the same way they say you'll never meet a full time Farmer who admits to being either rich or happy, you'll never find a part time one who says, 'Yep, ready for winter.'

Everything seems to build up until there is a list as long as all of our arms and daylight amounts to - not much.

Today, we had day two of Rayburn replacement. It has taken  a while to convince the landlords that our only source of heat, main cooker, water heater and general heart of the household, had died.

IMG-20131118-00740Here it is, breathing its last. It's been here 38 years, since the house was built, and we've been here 6 - for none of those six years has it really been at what you might call its best, but it's been a good deal better than nothing.

Since Neil it now transpires will be without a job, three weeks before Christmas, it hasn't been practical for me to give up my outside work, it simply has to fit in around everything, and I do mean everything, else. So the plumber plumbed while Neil, who had fortuitously taken a few days off to try to catch up on that list, helped out, H, who has broken her foot, sat on the sofa in pain doing homework, and I retreated to my bedroom office to work for a living.

When I came down, our new-to-us recycled Rayburn was in place.

IMG-20131119-00743

Ta da. So excited. It's so pretty and shiny.

This gave us an  hour or two to attempt the day's next task, turning this pile of pallets:

IMG-20131119-00746into an improved and extended shelter for the goats. We have to move the other three down to 'Goat Valley' now urgently, and there just isn't adequate shelter. As usual, there is also inadequate money, so Neil scoured the trading estates and came up with these.

We were already short of time and daylight, but we got this far:

IMG-20131119-00750which was really an achievement, but as Neil goes back to work tomorrow, leaving me with work, farm chores, injured daughters and uninjured ones at school, etc etc ... it may stay like this for a day or two.

After a great deal of toting people hither and yon, Neil was out at a meeting this evening, so I set my hand to finishing up some bits and pieces headed for my Folksy store. Not there yet, but today's task was to complete some small lengths of bunting, happily upcycled from vintage linens.

IMG-20131119-00756I think this is rather festive, with its pretty stars, but H thinks it would look sweet in a baby's room.  Tonight I was hand sewing buttons on the plain flags, while bread baked in my 'new' Rayburn.

It does feel like we are a step closer to being ready for winter. The Rayburn is working, the goats nearly have a roof, and one or two items are closer to being ready for the store.

Are you ready for winter? How do you prepare?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Into the Known

[caption id="attachment_527" align="aligncenter" width="512"]P1000806 Welcome to our home ...[/caption]

TeaPigs Winter Spiced Red, a blank page, an hour of silence.

Work, routines, people’s needs, and the turn of the year mean it will probably no longer be possible for me to work for extra income for some months, now.

Fear and joy mingle as I face the prospect of once again, simply being the keeper of hearth home and farm. Simply? Heh.

I relish the ancient feel of the role. It envelops me, it is what I was born to do. In rare quiet moments when I really, truly, seek God’s face, it is the commission I hear on the wind, it is the verse which leaps out from the page, it is the voice in the dark. Go ahead. You can do it.

I won’t voice the fears that come along behind. I won’t dignify them with a space in this bold step forward.

The time is now. I have to make this isolated little people-scale farm work, and I will need your prayers, your help and your face set into the same wet, west wind as mine.

[caption id="attachment_564" align="aligncenter" width="483"]527779_3679434741732_1082022101_n Importantly, Linnie is on my side.[/caption]