Monday Morning Farm

This is what I saw when I began the chores this morning. A cat sleeping in my shopping bags. You know the bags that you pause on the verandah. The plan being  to  stow them back in the car later. Then they never make it to the car, and you end up at the supermarket without your bags, wondering what happened to The Plan!  

The leaves have begun to turn and fall here, we had a frost this morning. I am starting the search for the gloves put away last spring.  The bird houses have been vacated. I have decided that I will not mow the lawn again THIS YEAR! What a  joyful decision.

The Celi Diet is rocking along.  I LOVE it when I make myself eat good food. I have so much more energy. My jeans are fitting much better thank you very much. 

I know that autumn is a beautiful time, we store all our food for the winter, and this means the meat too. To carry extra animals through the winter creates overcrowding in the barn and makes no sense economically. This is  a rather somber reminder of what we are all about. Growing our own food is not only about the freshest hand picked salads and glorious tomatoes, and satiny silverbeet. It is also about growing our own meat in a respectful, sustainable, old fashioned way.

The first reason we started to grow our own meat and vegetables was that we wanted to have control over our own food. The second reason is we are appalled by the cruel and heartless way animals were grown for the mass production of dubious protein. We want no part of that. We could not rail against it unless we did something about it. So we decided to grow our own fresh clean meat.  Using sustainable methods and organic natural feeds. i.e. grass. Tomorrow morning the Murphys (we call all the sheep for the freezer Murphys) – the two wethers are leaving.  And this is why the Paddy Wagon is parked right up against the barn doors. Tonight I will shoo them through the barn, (a feat in itself I think) and up into the stock trailer.

Tomorrow morning when we drive them away it will be tougher. But if I am going to feed my family, friends and extended family members good food, then I need to man up and get the job done.  They have been well treated, well fed, and have spent their lives outside in the fresh country air with a  pure green diet and plenty of room to run.  We will take them to a small abbatoir that is clean and calm and well managed. Enough said.

All our lives we collect all these experiences and put them in our pockets. We polish them as we walk along, take them out and look at them, drop them back in our pockets and one day find another use for them.  Every experience good or bad is useful.

Speaking of experiences: above is a shot of my book planning.  In writers jargon (most of which is gibberish to me) this is now officially a Work In Progress (WIP). Writing a play is about a million times easier, my written language from years in  film and stage is pared right down to dialogue and stage directions. I have to get used to having all this space to write in. And being able to let my characters fly.   I have over 60 little scenes jotted down and arranged into Acts (can’t help myself) and then Chapters.  I am designing the recipe for our book.

Soon I will begin cooking. Just too exciting.


65 Comments on “Monday Morning Farm

  1. Good for you c! I am a meat eater but I don’t think I could man up 😦 I’d prefer not to have associated with my meat and lambs are cute. Still, they are tasty and somebody has to do it. Thank you 🙂 Whatever is in that bowl, I want it! Okay, the wine too.

  2. You will have noticed that that lovely bubbly is in a red wine glass! I just thought.. whatever! I don’t have time to keep traipsing back and forth filling up one of those silly little champers glasses.. I am working! c

    • Well i am still writing. This one is a book. And then i will start the coming out process. As you know the whole thing is a fab uncharted challenge. c

  3. No guessing that I LOVED the pic of the cat in the bag – GORGEOUS!!!
    Kudos to you C, not sure I would be man enough – I really do admire you!
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

  4. Can’t wait to read it!
    The sheeps’s situation is a sad one, but is true you have given them the best environment any animal may want. So, enjoy your meat my friend!
    When I was little my grandma (dad’s mom) gave me a little duckling and it was my pet … until one day after school when I had for lunch the most delicious and juicy “chicken” I ever tasted:(

  5. Once, I had a white kitten jump into my fridge as I unloaded groceries. When I reopened the door, luckily a few minutes later, li’l Ajax hurled itself out of the ice box and onto my pant leg. For the 1st, and only, time of my life, I hit a high C — purrfect pitch, no less. Really glad to see evidence that you have, indeed, started the book and sorry that tomorrow it will be ‘Dead Sheep Walking” You’re right, though, your way is far better than the alternatives and these sheep were lucky to land on your farm.

  6. you will taste the love of feeding the murphy’s, when they feed you! Blessed be 🙂 PS, I remembered the shopping bags this morning, but left the shopping list at home!

  7. Love your shot of the barn–just beautiful. And good luck with your book-in-progress! That’s so exciting.

  8. Your organisational skills put me to shame. Good luck with the book, you’ve left me very intrigued and thanks for the photos too. I have 2 cats myself and love the picture of yours 🙂

    • Oh thank you for dropping by. Actually it is the teacher in me that loves to play with little bits of paper. having the cards motivates me too.. this morning I found myself wishing for more coloured pens and some highlighters! had to laugh at myself.. but there you are.. c

  9. Glad you’re remembering to enjoy the ride despite the diet – I think that’s why so many diets fail. We just think about the sacrifices we’re making, the moment we can go back to the carbs / butter / whatever, instead of detoxing like you are and then going back to a modified version of la vida loca. Cheers! 🙂

    • Oh absolutely, I love to eat, and even if it is only a little meal it can always be a celebration of lovely yummy food.. I think really it is not the diet that matters it is how you eat forever that matters! c

  10. Ah I remember the days growing up on my farm and when it was time to lay the cows and pigs to rest. It was always sad to see them go, but it was always better when they came back. 😉

  11. Love the cat…I have a bench INSIDE the door where the bags sit, and I still manage to occaisionally walk off without them! At least I don’t usually have much to buy!

    How long have you been at this meat-raising thing? Is it any easier after the first time?

    • Well this is the first time I have sent off sheep. We took in a steer last year. He was a brute of a thing. Once they are gone it is ok.. big breath .. and get on with it.. you know. c

  12. I’ve been toying with writing a cook book, but I want it to include my family recipes and memories. That part of the project has lost all energy, I’ve only received a couple recipes from one cousin. Is it too personal a thing to ask? It’s harder since I live so far from everyone, it probably doesn’t sound the way it should over email. The first book (yes, I plan on making plenty!) may just be recipes from my blog interlaced with the growing of my children. Once others see it, maybe they would be more inclined to share? About the sheep, I miss having family raised meat – we had cows and pigs on our farms, plus huge gardens (probably bigger than my house). I’ve written about the old days a few times on my blog, it’s refreshing to see you have raised your own meat in a natural and sustainable way!

    • That is a fantastic project. And if i were you i would get out the cards and just start writing. Are you going to include pictures?. The idea of the old stories and a recipe going together is a really good idea. No stories will be like yours. I understand about living so far from everyone too. Maybe get a big drawing pad and write and paste in as many in as you can and see what you have. Great idea. Don’t worry about the cousins, I bet you have piles of good family recipes i your head already! c

  13. I admire you for sticking to your principles regarding meat production. We aren’t in a position to raise our own, but we are blessed with a large number of family farms in this area. Most of our meals are vegetarian, but when we do purchase meat, we buy organically raised.

    • very lucky to have farms for when you want meat, then you will know where the meal came from.. that is a great thing to do.. I certainly don’t eat meat every night, it slows me down, but John is a meat and three veg kind of person, so it works out.. c

  14. That cat is gorgeous!! I’m a dog lover, but really a pet lover of all. I admire how you your life and feel your bittersweet emotions on your animals. I’m afraid I never caught where you live but I guess with winter coming on, it’s time to get prepared for the long cold winter. Good luck on your book and congrats on those jeans a bit looser!!

  15. I love how you have everything organized and ready to go for the book. It’s going to be wonderful.. I just know it. And the leaves have fallen here as well and it is getting cold. I’ve already started pulling out winter clothes.

    • Thank you so much kay for having such faith in me, the writing is underway. i just wish i could type faster!! c

  16. The first cockerel we killed (5 cockerels, 5 hens out of a batch of ‘sexed’ week-old chicks, so a cull was essential) nearly choked us. Thereafter I buried them in anonymous packets at the bottom of the freezer until the awful deed was just a memory. I enjoyed your post in its variety. Good luck with the book.

    • Oh ViV how awful. You are so brave. I am still quite useless at raising chickens for food..we have a lovely lady down the road who has pasture raised chicken, mine just get old and scratch around for ever.. ! each group has their own rooster so as long as everyone stays on their own Patch it works out.. c

  17. I definitely need the Celi diet as my jeans are fitting too snug. It’s good to practice what we preach, isn’t it (referring to your sheep)? But it doesn’t make it any easier I’m afraid. Take care and continue to “fight the good fight”. I truly respect you for what you are doing.

    • No it doesn’t make it any easier Geni, but I am lucky enough to be in a position where i can put my money where my mouth is! c

  18. My cat used to do the exact same thing! She loved those shopping bags and would always sit on top/inside them.

    Love the glimpse into your writing plans, so very exciting.

  19. I love your pictures C and your organization skills…can’t wait for the book
    Thank you for posting that cat put a smile on my face

    • that is the funniest cat i have ever had, he is always on the verandah, and staring in the kitchen door.. he does not want to come in, he just wants to watch! I open the door and he just moves with the door and keeps staring through the glass! c

  20. This is so exciting; I will be waiting for to read your book with patiently. Oh dear Cecilia, you are really doing great, and I am so happy for this. I loved your cat. You did a nice photographs again, Thank you, be sure, I am excited here as you 🙂 Good Luck, angels and muses BE with you always.
    With my love, nia

  21. I agree with your approach to the animals/eating them etc. We only “grow” chickens for eating, but I am comfortable with it. They have wonderful lives, range free and are slaughtered calmly and with humanity.
    Am so impressed with your approach to your book…stick with it!

    • well I am rather hoping that you will keep me on track with your lovely pep talks so stay onboard i will be needing you!!

  22. You are a far braver woman than I. We had two chickens (chooks) when I was little. They were so old that they didn’t lay eggs, but we kept them to eat table scraps. I don’t think anyone in my family could bring themselves to eat them (especially not after they were named) so they stayed around for years until one cold stormy night when they both fell asleep and never woke up.

    And congrats on your progress with your scene cards! It all looks very exciting. 🙂

    • I am the same with the chickens. Jessica. Some of mine are certainly not laying anymore but they are useful in other ways.. They are my manure spreaders and barn housekeepers! c

  23. Oh what a gorgeous blog! (Visiting your after your visit to mine.) I’m going to poke around some more and see what this “celi diet” is all about.

  24. Well, darling, they’ve all said it already. Keep up the inspired-and-inspiring work, at ALL of these marvels that you do. Wonder-woman indeed.

    I’m looking forward to the book(s) immensely, of course, but also to the post when you *will* have remembered to bring the bags to the grocery but *won’t* have remembered to check for hitchhiking cats. That’ll be the true experience of Letting the Cat out of the Bag worth recording. But then, it’s you that make the stories worth the telling. Onward!

  25. I was just telling a friend of mine about how you’re doing this diet. I may have to try it because I like when diets make you feel like something good is happening to your body by eating better.

  26. Growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, we regularly slaughtered our own meat, and by that I mean, my dad shot the beast, the labourers skinned and butchered it (and scored all the bits they relished, like the head) and then my mom and I and our cook would spend a day, cutting, mincing, making boerewors, and packing meat for the freezer. We were never sentimental, it was just the way it was. That’s farming, C! Well done.

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