Clearing Out; Cleaning Up

It’s been a week of clearing out and cleaning up.

It started with one of those walking-the-walk moments and the arrival of Pete from Malvern Homekill and his professional, quick, respectful approach to the business of controlling our flock and filling our freezer. This part of our chosen lifestyle is never easy but it is, for us, a responsibility we take seriously

The Homestead is a little quieter now without the pigs and Neville the ram, whose rammy ways were making it impossible to walk the paddocks safely. We’ve now got plenty to keep us busy; the pig pen, particularly the house, needs a little TLC before it opens it’s doors to the next residents, and the amalgamation of ewes and lambs gave us all quite the workout, but it did allow Farm Girl to finally top the paddock they had vacated. It’s a big job, but she’s in her happy place sitting on the mower.

The vegetable garden got a little more attention this week (enough to make me happy for it to be photographed anyway) but, although Colin was sent to his room to tidy up, it simply resulted in more messing. As fast as I make “beds” for him (old feedsacks stuffed with wool), he rips them apart…but with such joy!

Inside we’ve been pottering on a project, caused by necessity, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, such was the devastation we all felt at the time. On New Years Eve the source of the musty smell downstairs was discovered: an undetected leak in the downstairs bathroom that had crept under the wall adjoining The Farmer’s bedroom, and wrecked havoc on the skirtings and carpet hidden under his wardrobe. Now it is dried out, we’ve repainting in a cheerier colour (practically undetectable in my appalling photograph), and have attached new skirtingboards (waincoting/baseboards/floormolding, call them what you will), all that is left to do is source a brighter coloured blind and new carpet (gulp!). We’re all looking forward to having our living room back although Melody the cat will miss her cosy 10am to midday place in the sun.

The Bean Counter has a project of his own. Inspired by the outdoor movie scene in the Richard Curtis movie About Time, he has set about turning our gradiosely named but under-utilised Circular Garden into a movie watching, marshmallow toasting, triple f (forced family fun) arena. The firepit has arrived and, with Colin’s (who really should have been cleaning his room) help, now sits sturdily and safely, on a cobbled square.

So this week has been sad, happy, mundane, exciting, treading-water and surfing-the-wave; Pretty much run of the mill for us at Union Homestead.

17 thoughts on “Clearing Out; Cleaning Up

  1. Full freezers and less chores for a wee while…lovely feeling. First glimpse of the veg garden in a long while – do you use the bales year round or are they there for insulation over winter? Looks like lovely soil – bet you get some good harvests out of that. Curious about the tubs – were they growing potatoes? We have ambitions for a fire pit ourselves – but keep dithering about where to place it, so in true SSF fashion, are nowhere close to establishing one. Bet Farmer is happy to have some personal space again, sans mold too!

    • In true UH style, pea straw bales were used to set out the garden because they were around when we needed something to border the garden. I had visions of beautiful rustic timber raised beds…one day maybe. The soil is getting better and, after 3 full years here, I now have a better handle on what will and won’t flourish. Ive used the tubs for various things but the best have been yams and parsnips. Not 100% sure why they were so successful – particularly the parsnips. The Farmer is looking forward to having his belongings close at hand again rather than scattered around the house but hes going to miss having the woodburner in his room 😁

  2. Full freezer, so great you have found a respectful meat harvester. The garden started, movie fun firepit, tripping around on the mower revamping sounds like a most satisfying fun time on the homestead.

  3. My mother’s downstairs rooms are at about the same stage as the Farmer’s bedroom. She was inundated by floodwater on Christmas Eve and the house has been drying out since then. Fortunately no skirting boards in her 250 year-old cottage but most other repairs have been done and we are thinking about carpets now.
    It must be quiet without the pigs and calmer without Neville. A full freezer is a good thing to have at the start of winter and very traditional. It’s nice to see Farm Girl on the mower!

    • I would think a 250 year old cottage would be up to withstanding a few floods. Todays building materials are a bit less robust. I hope your Mum’s house is back to normal very soon. Yes, its a lot quieter and the chores take way less time when you don’t have to keep one eye open for the charging ram! Farm Girl loves the mower…she fires it up at the hint of a chance 😁

      • My husband loves his mower, too. We are supposed to be taking part in No Mow May to help out the insects but somehow most of the grass appears to have been mown recently!

      • Goodness! Are the insects in need of that? Here we are encouraged to grow bee friendly and butterfly friendly plants, even grow vege instead of lawn, but not mowing is a new one to me. Not easy for those who love to see those proud stripes across their greenery 😊

  4. I can see what you mean about May being dry with the paddock being mown so brown. I just expect the grass in New Zealand to be emerald green all year. We have had enough rain for the paddocks to regreen but not enough to fill the seasonal waterholes and creeks.

    • The only year round emerald green paddocks in our neck of the woods are those under irrigation. Our experiment of not getting the goat paddock mowed at haying time really didnt pay off. Ah well, you live and learn.

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