Farm Girl’s choice of words were entirely apt this week; there’s a certain amount of strength to be gained in just giving up the fight for orderly and letting life scoop you up. Just for a while, we mean. This isn’t a long-term deal because, sooner or later, someone is going to have to do more than wave the vacuum cleaner at the floors and run their shirt sleeve along the dustier surfaces. Tolerant beings that we are, Homesteaders will surely be driven to rebel the predictability of every Monday being pasta, Tuesday: chilli, Wednesday sausages – you get the idea, the vegetable seedlings will submit to the weeds, the animals will dust off their copies of George Orwell’s famous fairy story, and Farm Girl will refuse to engage in lessons hurriedly conducted in unlikely places. But just for now, as we join with The Dees in the split custody of Nana and the rigours of maintaining Open Home cleanliness at The Elder’s soon-to-be-former abode, going with the flow is a survival method.
Thankfully, the Homestead has been incredibly tolerant of our lack of involvement. The chickens continue to greet us enthusiastically each morning as we gallop through, dispensing grain and rudimentary housekeeping at the double. They have not missed a beat in their laying schedule. The ducks, while not laying, continue to keep everyone in line and the vermin in check. In the paddock, Geraldine in particular has been battling her hormones screaming of the need to ketch herself a fella before winter sets in. This year she and Leia are heading off-Homestead for a well-chosen week of wooing but choosing the week and getting them ready (milk free, feet trimmed, and vet visited) is just a little too regimented for our current drop-and-dash lifestyle. Despite our haphazard tending, they are still happy to sit in the sun, chewing their cud, until we have a moment to focus on them. Some of this may have to do with our wonderful neighbours who, well aware of our temporary change in lifestyle, have upped the goat treats being fired over the fence.
Even the gardens maintain some semblance of order if you peer carefully through the weeds. We had our first ever crop of carrots you’d be willing to claim as your own, the Granny Smith apple tree more than delivered, and currently the feijoas are thudding to the ground in a very percussive and prodigious manner. At least we won’t get scurvy.
Going with the flow has been made easier by adding another vehicle to the Homestead fleet. Truth be told, our much beloved car had been earmarked to depart the Homestead in August (when it’s insurance and registration runs out) but it’s replacement was sourced a little earlier than planned due to the increased travel needs of those of us who usually remain within biking distance of the Homestead.
This is our intermediary mode of transport – a way of ensuring all seven of us (including the lovely Princess Nikita) arrive at a destination together and negating the need to split the herd while not impacting on our 2017 Homestead World Tour savings. And it really does seat the seven of us, if strategically seated.
So, despite it feeling like we have strayed into someone else’s life for a moment, we’re trying to relax and enjoy the ride, sure in the knowledge that our old life is still intact and waiting until we are free to step into our farm boots again.