Monday morning, we were feeling a tad despondent about life on the Homestead. The courgettes are past their prime, the beans verging on too stringy, the remaining lettuces have bolted, and our beloved Homestead staple, the New Zealand spinach, is starting to sport the Keith Richards look. Oh woe, the end of summer’s bounty is nigh and all that. Sometimes it pays to calm, as they say, the farm and take a moment just to breathe…
A conciliatory stroll around the estate was called for. Morning coffee in hand, we soon discovered that while some crops are easing off, there’s a whole new troop poised to take centre stage:
The Brussels spouts did much to lift our mood; in a Homestead first we’ve managed to coax them past the bolt and flower stage. As for the lemons…our hearts began, if not singing, certainly humming a little.
While focussing on what to put on the table each evening, in our inexperience we’d stopped looking at the big picture.
It’s easier to keep an eye on the livestock; they’re pretty quick to point out any oversight. We’re down to milking Geraldine once a day now, but that’s more to do with fitting into the time constraints of the new school term, and she’s giving us about a litre a day despite only allowing us to milk from “our side”. Yes, we’re over indulgent, but we reckon it’s a mother’s right to feed for as long as she wants
In The Meadow, all are thriving which is a little bittersweet. Princess N, the Homestead chicken connoisseur, ran her expert eye over our first batch of “babies” recently and announced that we had got a big fat tick in the “raising birds for meat” column. Four of the five surviving chicks are indeed roosters. In truth, we’d been watching their wattles and tail feathers grow (and grow…) for a while now so it came as no surprise. It’s hard to step up the treat food for only four birds in a flock, but we’re giving it our best shot.
Deciding that, on balance, our lot was looking rather positive we ripped into our week. Top of the “spare time” list is the brick clean-up.
Any worries that the noise was upsetting our neighbours was quickly dispelled by the over-the-fence presentation of some very rock’n roll cinnamon scrolls.
But even the most tolerant of neighbours shouldn’t have to put up with early morning rooster yodelling and one of our blokes has The Bean Counter reaching for the black hood.