wow, finally!

How to start this… words almost fail me. Despite how much has happened this week, I’ve managed only a few tweets, and I don’t think they were particularly informative. I’m definitely, *definitely* happy, but also a little stunned and amazed that finally, FINALLY, after five months of waiting, I have managed to buy my woodland with its tumble-down homestead! I think it became officially mine at about 3 PM on Wednesday afternoon. It was a lovely day as well – gorgeous, warm weather for the hour’s drive to the lawyer’s office where the sale was being closed. The closing itself was a happy occasion – not just because I’ve waited so long, but because the lawyer, his paralegal, and the rep from Farm Credit were all friendly, cheerful people, and seemed really happy for me. I mean I know they were making money from the deal, but still, I had a good time while I signed my life away. And then I drove straight back to work.

Now it’s Friday, I’m sitting in front of my wood-burning stove with a glass of fizzy in hand, and it seems like a good time to celebrate a little, and work out what to do next. I plan to go up this weekend, probably on Sunday when it should have stopped raining, and walk around the homestead area, looking for the sunniest places with the best water drainage to begin my vegetable garden. It’s my birthday on Monday, and I am very tempted to pitch a tent and wake up in the forest on Monday morning, but we’ll see… I’ve already signed up for the Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner, and I’m looking forward to playing with that. My dad – who has beautifully arranged, and very prolific, raised beds Versailles would be proud of (see, I do have a genetic predisposition to this gardening thing) – has given me a shopping list of items I’ll need to plan the beds out on the ground. My mum and I like the idea of reusing an old tractor tyre for a raised bed for the herb garden, but dad likes things to have perfectly squared off corners. Hmm… I’ve also been reading about “three sisters” planting – corn, beans and pumpkins all in the same bed, but at different levels. This *really* appeals to me, and not just because it’s from Native American tradition. Will have to see if the Garden Planner can cope with a layered arrangement like that.

But I can’t plant anything till I have a deer fence up. If I had more cash right now, I’d pay someone to fence in the whole homestead area, but I think I’ll start smaller (thanks Eric M., for your wise words there) and fence a smaller, starter garden area only. I’ll work out how to fence that myself, so Eric, you know what you said about borrowing your pick-up…? The two pieces of kit I’d like to buy soon – in addition to the fence – are a rain barrel and a compost container of some kind. When I walk around the old homestead buildings on Sunday, I’m going to look for likely areas to place a rain barrel. The old cow barn may have a sloping roof – if I attach a gutter and down pipe to that, we could be in business!

Phew, and did I mention at any point that I have a day job?? Time for another glass of fizzy…

Posted in Homesteading, Permaculture, vegetable garden | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

uses for grey water 1

Still haven’t bought my low-flow shower filter, because I still haven’t finished re-grouting my shower area (or refinanced for that matter, see previous post, moan, moan…) so I am still taking baths and not showers, which is making me feel a little guilty. Baths use more water, right? Well today, because I’m already collecting water from a dripping pipe (another story), and using that to flush the toilet (the toilet works, I just didn’t want to waste the drip-water), I had the idea that I could use the grey water from my bath to flush the toilet as well. So that’s today’s ecological experiment, and it’s working OK. Wouldn’t want to do this if I had guests or anything, and I *really* hope one of my cats doesn’t jump too enthusiastically onto the bath edge and fall in. But it’s useful in another way too: the old bath water smells incredibly of chlorine. Horrible. And I’m washing in it – well, not the old stuff, but you know what I mean. Need to buy that shower filter soon AND a filter for the bath tap (aka tub faucet) as well.

… Some (embarrassingly small number of) hours later, I have pulled the plug on this one (sorry!). I’d like to say it was the worry of cat drownings, but really I couldn’t bear the scary chlorine smell. Here’s a better thought to help cut down on bath and shower time: “In and out quickly, kids, the water’s poisonous!

Posted in recycle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

refinancing rant

OK, so here’s the thing. My refinancing ought to have closed in November (that was the original projection), and I’d have closed on the land in November too. That would have been simple, and I’d be farming now. Instead, because the processors have been double-checking every last tiny detail on everyone’s files, I’m still waiting. The prospect of closing on Jan 26 had just become possible a couple of days ago (yay!!! etc.), but today I learn that, because I intend to use my cash-out to help buy land, this could actually result in further delay. And this is despite the fact that I have been completely open about that intention from the start. Look guys, if I hadn’t worked it all out, would I be taking all this on??? Let’s close already, or do you just not want to be in the mortgage business??

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment