I can break the farm stuff into three distinct areas that occupy my thoughts. Things that need doing. Things I would like to have. Things I dream about. The last is important because it keeps the creativity going, and some good ideas come from dreaming about what seems impossible. Some dreams are far off but are good to have in the future as something to work to, like turning Lantanaland into a cooking school.
The need is easy, those jobs that sit in my forebrain, kicking me, telling me that I should be doing them instead of writing. The never ending fencing is the main one. The urgency on that is a little less now I know the guy that owns the 100 acre property behind mine where the cows escape to, and that it is full fenced. They come back eventually. Ideally this year I would fence the last third of Lantanaland that contains the dam. That would mean that I could do much better rotations of the paddocks and start to get some diversity into them, like pigeon pea and pintos peanut that take a little while to establish. At the moment I am just chasing my tail and none of the paddocks really get enough time to re establish good grass. The clover seed has been going into the cows feed regularly so that will get going again.
The other big need is Curtis and The Wife. While he is so small I really want to spend good chunks of time with him, so I am! I'm blessed in that I can spend time with him and I'm really enjoying it. I'm getting a fair bit of stuff done during nap time.
The things I want. There are so many! I'd settle for a decent vegetable garden, more fruit trees and a few more chooks. The chooks will be boosted hopefully by the donation of some fertile eggs and maybe some interesting day olds. A few new ducks wouldn't hurt either. I'd love to have enough surplus eggs to give some to the Herdshare and have that wonderful feeling that you have to have eggs for breakfast just to reduce the surplus. I'd have to do a bit of adjusting of the pens so they had a semi secure day area that had some electric fencing protection from opportunistic foxes, but the idea for that and a way to integrate it into my ideal veg garden is already kicking around. The problem, as always, is infrastructure and money for it.
Some peoples ideal vegetable garden is beautiful neat rows of each variety, order out of chaos. I fell in love with the gardens at Northey St City Farm, where years of plants seeding and growing wild has led to this chaotic wonderland of a garden, where things just spring forth. You plant the things missing in the space and once a year you let the chooks in to clear it all up and turn the soil over. To get to that stage I need to actually get something to grow and seed. I planted some snow peas today, secure behind a sturdy metal trellis. I'll try and get more of a seed raising system going as well, so that I'm planting plants not seeds.
Fruit trees is a matter of preparation and foresight to make sure I establish them in a place where they will get water and enough love to get started and not get eaten by cows. Sounds pretty simple hey! At the moment I have an apple, fig, mango, lime, finger lime, pomegranate, native plum, lemon and passion fruit that have survived the cows and my brownish thumbs. I'm thinking about only asking for fruit trees for birthdays from now on.
I dream of solid fences made of hardwood that could contain a few sheep or milking goats, of terraces cut into the hill, seeded with a variety of pasture for the cows, of a mowable path to the dam, of a series of water catchments in the hill to ensure every drop of rain, of a big stainless kitchen that was easy to make cheese in, of not so much bloody lantana, of a my shipping container shed/workshop/cold room. Dreams are bloody easy. I've got lots of them. I've got more jobs than dreams though.