One Year On…….

15 03 2016

After publishing yesterday’s apple harvesting post, it suddenly struck me that it was about a year ago that we settled on the property I now call the Fanny Farm.  Rashly, we did so sight unseen, and before selling Mon Abri in Queensland…… it was a risky thing to do, but boy has it paid off!

2015 was a very stressful year for us, because I was still finishing Mon Abri, madly restoring ancient wooden windows, fixing a worse for wear AGA, while still trying to run everything else, in the heat, and me fighting my still unresolved chronic fatigue. Not to mention two 2700km trips to Tasmania with a fully laden ute! Sometimes, I just don’t know how I did it all….

I often feel like I’m getting nowhere fast here, but in fact, having looked back on the matter, I have achieved quite a lot, even though I am literally on my lonesome….

Just cutting down all those trees is quite an achievement, for me at least. I decided to do it myself, because we simply could not afford to pay someone to do it for us. Next week, the sawmill is arriving, and we will soon have a huge pile of timber to build the house with, air stacked in the shed to dry.

I ordered the building blocks yesterday, and out of the blue, through my post about the longevity of NiFe batteries, someone in the solar business in Sydney offered me a brand new 5kW Victron inverter/charger for about 25% off the normal price, so I bought it.  The bank account is taking a hit this week, but that’s what it’s for after all.  Better spent than lost in a banking collapse black hole!

While Glenda was down here for my 64th birthday, we were invited to lunch at a couple of locals’, and met Bernie who at first glance could be easily identified as an old hippy, but who turned out to be a town planner…. and he’s offered to assist with our development application which he reckons will go straight through, when one knows what one is doing. I tell you, the locals here are just amazing…..

DSC_2221On the gardening/self sufficiency side, very little has happened. Having to do things like rewiring the lighting in the shed so it’s safe with conveniently positioned switches, before winter’s long nights arrive was a priority, and I spent far too long building the goose tractor as it was. Especially as it’s turned into a waste of time anyway, that night when we had winds gusting to almost 100km/h, the bloody things escaped, and now live on the dam.  Happy as Larry they are, joined by a single swan at the moment, and numerous water hens that spectacularly run at high speed on top of the dam…..

I have a crop of Dutch Cream Potatoes to harvest soon, and my first tomato was picked yesterday. It’s become very obvious to me that a lot of things will have to be grown in poly tunnels if I’m going to eat things other than apples and blackberries on the Fanny Farm…. at least I’ll have my own cider to drink when temperatures rise again the other side of winter!

The neighbours’ rooster adopted my hens and moved in with them, and he’s done the deed, fathering thirteen chicks….. so my source of protein over winter is now secure! Plus I may well get some Muscovies from Trev and Linda over the next few weeks.

Once I’m done with the sawmilling, the plan is to get an excavator to the house site, and start digging. More than anything, that will seem like real progress.  Patience, patience…. and now, I have to take the ute back to the house site and clean up the rest of the branches still lying around, pull down a fence so Matt can drag the logs to a more appropriate place for the sawmilling, and and and……………………..

Oh and almost forgot……  my flow hive arrived.  I’ve put it together and coated it with tung oil, but I still haven’t got the flow frames for the super, as they must come from somewhere different to the wooden bits. It might be getting just a little too late and cold to buy bees for a brand new hive, so that might have to wait for some time as well……

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