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.
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.