Today, Red Hat Matt, one of the American builders who worked on The Coupe, is coming back to pick up his two piglets. He has bought the gilt (female) and one of the little barrows (castrated male) as company for her. So I am training them to like the Black Mariah that he will borrow for their trip.
Red Hat Matt was inspired by The Farmy when he was working here. He was living in a small town with his wife and children. Every other weekend he has the children from his previous marriage to stay and all winter an idea grew amongst them until they decided to buy a wee farmy of their own. He planted a big vegetable garden around his little house and put it on the market , and they sat in the garden and ate tomatoes with sticky fingers until he had swayed them all to the world fresh food and country living.
Around here the farm houses, often with outbuildings and sheds and even barns are very cheap to buy. Very cheap. Most of them are empty, they stand denuded of trees and gardens and laughter, with the crops planted to their doors and await a new beginning or the ignominious end of being burnt to the ground and then buried in their own basements. The big machines smooth the soil back over the imperceptible mounds that are the only evidence of their existence and plant another couple of rows.
But Red Hat Matt has saved one. He has saved a little white farmhouse. It needs a little attention but he is a builder. That is no problem. He has four acres, a lovely house, an old piggery (which he is going to turn into a glass house) and a solid small barn that he has prepared for his pigs. He has researched raising pigs and chickens and dug 18 inches of old manure out of the stable the pigs will live in (and put it carefully aside to mix with compost for his garden), repaired gates and made an outside run for them. He carries the scars and tattoos of some very hard years but I am so proud of him and his family. Taking this wondrous step to secure their own source of food and their own lifestyle. Taking control. They moved in yesterday but he cannot wait any longer.
The Home Grown September Challenge starts today. My objective is to see how well I can eat using only Home grown ingredients. For the month of September. Every meal every day will be from my own fields and gardens. Don’t worry, I am not going to knit blankets from dog hair, or go without electricity, or grow a beard and sleep under a canvas fly in the garden. I won’t give up my travels or my red lipstick or my heels. I am not going to start shooting rabbits and pheasants for dinner or park up the cooking oil car for the month. Though I could do all those things. I don’t have to lose weight or overcome some terrible health threat by only eating clean food. I just want to try it. And prove that I can.
We have all kinds of meats here and piles of vegetables. Mostly there will be little variety. No chick peas, oatmeal, avocados, or orange juice. No raisins, or flax seed, or yeast. No chicken or fish.
But I have sourdough starter, kefir, eggplant, beans, tomatoes, capsicums, peppers, cabbages, swiss chard, celery, courgettes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apples and pears and more in the garden. I have beef and lamb in the freezer. (Though the beef is almost finished) I will have milk from down the road so I can make fresh cheeses, yoghurt and ice cream. And wine and cider and the peach brandy in the basement.
From my pantry I will allow flour, (for pasta, pastry, bread and pizzas), salt, coffee and Olive oil. And I am going to find the ingredients to learn to make beer (just to jazz my days up a bit!). Though technically this is not part of the challenge!
Thank you all for your most excellent ideas and input yesterday. I wil not bore you with the details but I will keep you up to date. The ingredients will be about the same most every day so maybe you can come up with some exciting new ways to prepare them.
Good morning. The hay is still laid in its rows in the field. I rolled it over again but the Hay Man and I agreed that it was still too wet after the rain. He does not work on Sundays (today). So we will bale on Monday instead. But we avoided the last rash of showers and it will be ready to go on Monday if all goes well. He said if it gets rained on again he will swap my hay for a hay rack full of his own hay that he said is perfect. Isn’t that kind. His offer cranked down the knot in my stomach. One way or the other we will get hay in the barn.
Now off I go to feed the piglets in the Stock trailer again. Then when I load the two travellers today they will come running in without out any problems. It is getting the ones who are staying back out again that might be the problem. I have a plan for separating them in there. Wish me luck. Have a lovely day.
your friend celi