It’s been especially nice, recently, to realise that this farming life of ours really is the most wonderful way to live. This was emphasised at 6am a few weeks back, when the alarm went off and the husband offered me a morning off milking and a sleep in-and I refused. On my 30th birthday, I much preferred to get up early and spend time with our goats and cows, outside in the fresh air, than sleep in for the first time in months. Not many people can say they’re so eager to get out of bed every morning.
I feel fitter and healthier than I have in my whole life. I’m outside every day, using my body for meaningful tasks. I have better muscles than I did when going to the gym, and I got them without really noticing. Hauling bales of hay and carting wheelbarrow loads of manure will do that-the husband and I call it ‘farm gym’. We’re eating like peasants, with plenty of vegies straight from the garden, raw dairy, and sourdough bread. The kitchen is a chemistry lab of good things to eat, with ferments bubbling away, preserving jars filling, and of course the magical alchemies of cheese and butter. And really, anyone would be happy when the amount of cream passing through the kitchen can be measured in litres.
Poor confused calves, they think i’m their mother
Most surprising to me is just how much i’m enjoying the animals. I wouldn’t have called myself an animal person before now-although I like chickens I don’t like dogs and i’m indifferent to cats. And I hated the guinea pigs. Now the kids call me the crazy goat lady, because I really like my goats. I regularly wander over to sit down and have a scratch and a chat with them, they follow me around like dogs, and fondly nibble my hair while i’m milking them. I spoil them rotten with warm molasses water and armfuls of organic silverbeet that city folk would pay $30 for at a farmer’s market.
Not sure why they call me the crazy goat lady…….
It’s also been exciting to have our future farm take shape. We’re getting a real picture of what we plan to do and why. While we’ve always known we wanted to have land, we didn’t really know what we planned to do with it, and how we planned to turn it into an income. Which is why we didn’t last at our first acreage-we bought it because we liked it, without the cold hard light of practicality and forethought. Now, with another five years of experience in gardening, animals, and life in general, and many more mistakes under our belt, we’re rather older and wiser (I hope). We’ve started slowly looking for our piece of land, but we’re in no rush. In the meantime we’re concentrating on setting up with our herds and flocks, and continuing to skill ourselves up.
This is not to say we’re perfectly content-the lure of travel still calls, and i’m really not sure if we’re ready to settle down just yet. The thought of more travelling, this time in a caravan (oh, the comparative luxury!) still has some allure. And we like change, and new challenges so much that everyday life can seem a bit……..everyday, sometimes. But we’ll decide all in good time-until then, i’ll keep eating ice-cream every day. It’s a hard life, but i’m up for the challenge.