Thursday, November 22, 2012

Actual farm living is not necessarily farm life

This month I am up to my elbows in other people's business! Not by my choosing because firstly, it has nothing to do with me and secondly, I already have 3 full-time jobs! Farm living is not strictly about farm life.

I ended up catering a friend's birthday picnic as the only other options were ridiculously expensive or grocery store platters of sausage rolls and oily samoosas. I am not a caterer by a long shot but I learnt (read stole) plenty from my business neighbours in Jo'burg who are first class caterers. ( It took me a week of squeezing things between planting, mowing, doing school and all the other jobs, to prepare everything for the 50 guests. For once, I was grateful when Casanova began crowing at 4.30am so I could cook everything fresh and deliver on time. We were half an hour late but since the birthday boy only rocked up an hour after us, we were on time!

Isn't Casanova a beauty? Actually Romeo was even prettier but more aggresive. Romeo took a bite of Granny and Pepper (the lab) so of the 2, he had to go. It was so intense to watch the 2 roosters fight over the hens and on one day, poor old Mimi had both of them on top of her every time she turned her back. Let's hope Casanova lives up to his name and gives us some chicks.

Other than the solar geyser installers coming to wrong farm, things are a little quiet around here. Right now, we don't have any wwoofers with us and so the pace is different. Things have to be done as they are done. Doesn't make a stitch of difference whether I want them done quicker either. The last couple of volunteers helped fix our road a bit, filled a hole in the dam, cleared planting land, made compost and pulled lots of weeds. The next couple will be here during a maintenance week- mowing and collecting hay, cutting edges, collecting manure etc. You only realise how essential these tasks are when you can't see the night adder being pointed out to you by the cat, in the grass next to the path.

We have had some nice wildlife encounters recently. We saw the baby owl at the dam twice- and that is really difficult as it is so well camouflaged. We caught a brown house snake, red-lipped herald, night adders and saw 2 skaapsteekers. They are too fast to catch but so pretty with their stripe down their back. Kingfishers, blue cranes, Egyptian geese, spurwings, swallows and swifts, weavers, kori bustard, bateleur, hawks- just so many birds!
Heralds are not poisonous but can give a nasty bite and until we have identified a snake we always use extreme caution- and gloves.

The onions and blue congo potatoes are doing very well in this weather. We are fending off the snails and have fenced everything in so the duiker and bushbuck don't eat all the tops. Our strawberries have been wonderful. We pick around 3kgs every second day and 1kg in between. Everything else is just taking too long to fruit for my liking. More Bach please! Obviously, my singing is not working.
 How's that for anti-oxidants!

This last pic is an unusual view for us from our neighbours fence line back towards the house. From the day we drove onto this farm to view it, it has felt like home for me. Today Max said he loves living here and that just makes it even more so.

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