Tuesday, November 2, 2010

angst... and the future...

Gosh this year is flying by! I can't believe it's November already (how did that happen?) As the year is winding down, things have been hotting up here at Sams Creek (and I'm not just talking about the weather!).... it's been a very (VERY) challenging year - so many changes in the air, so many challenges yet to face.... I've mostly just wished for a big cave to go hide in!

no this beautiful piece is not my work - it's by master calligrapher, and someone I like to call a friend-
Denis Brown - from his
'1000 Wishes' series ....

But yesterday I finished and sent away the first (gulp!) draft chapter of my MFA/PhD..... (phew!) and now I'm feeling (almost) up to giving an abridged run down on some of the juicy stuff from down here by the creek - big changes are afoot ....

After much angst-ridden deliberation, my man (FP) has decided to return his farm and cattle herd to dairy, supplying fresh milk to make Bega Cheese..... so that means, like it or not, I'm about to become a milkmaid..... (and right now it's more NOT).... not only will that mean black and white cows in the paddocks (big, hungry, troublesome beasts if you ask me!), we will also have to embrace monster lifestyle changes (hello 5am), a monster farm overhaul (I've been showing the first pics and hints about this here) and monster (and I do mean MONSTER!) debt (eeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!! run away!!!!!).

I've found the spectre of The Dairy haunting almost every aspect of my life for the last 2 years.... and as the project has moved from idea to physical being, I've moved to ever higher levels of angst.  FP hopes to have his new dairy complete and operational (which also means sourcing a suitable milking herd) by the beginning of the new year... Now there's simply no getting away from the fact that (hi-ho-the-dairy-oh) A Milking We Will Go.....


of course when faced with the mammoth change - I do what I do best...

I started making lists (of my hopes and dreams and wishes and plans),  I started putting my 'house' in order (that's why you got all those 'beginnings' posts),  I ran away to a permaculture course (of course!) and that's why earlier today I was whisking off a note to Denis - asking permission to post his lovely work here... (Denis' wishes series reminded me that if you breathe life into your wishes they can be made real.... I participated in his first call for wishes - mine was 'I wish it would rain" -  so of course I've joked with him about how powerful his wish-writing stuff was!)

Ok folks with that in mind - here's the big wish list I'm sending out into the world.....

I wish to create a sustainable, soulful farm model where success is not measured merely by the dollars made, but by the land saved. I hope that together we can leave a working property for our children that can be sustainably farmed for future generations: with improved biodiversity, improved waterways, improved soils. I hope that our place remains the antithesis of multinational corporate agribusiness with their vile factory farms, hideous feedlots, GMOs and stupid dependency on chemical interventions.  I hope that I can convince my stubborn proud partner that permaculture is the only way to achieve our mutual goals.
I wish my lovely man every success in his great new venture with my whole heart - I hope we can stay on our farm and grow really really really old together - I'll still love you phil... even when you've got no teeth...

********  now it's time to take up the challenge and make it happen  *****


  1. Wow! That's a huge change in your lifestyle, all those early mornings... but I'm sure you'll learn to love those big black & white animals. You'll make a gorgeous dairy maid. May all your (and FP's) dreams and wishes come true. xx

  2. Aaahhh, I was wondering about that there building... It sounds scary and (potentially) wonderful and probably grindingly busy, all at the same time and I'm not surprised you feel 'mixed' about it. I should think I would, too. I don't envy you the early starts and the upheaval, but if anyone can do it Ronnie, you can! I too hope your dreams come true. Sara x

  3. I'm always up 'ere the sparrow breaketh wind and I know how to milk a cow (by hand and machine)so I could sub for you once in a while.Payment? Well, I wouldn't mind playing with your toys!

    Oh...that "wishie" looks like Sea Holly.I love it!

  4. Oh Glory Ronnie - I read this this morning and have been thinking about it thru the day. Investing in a dairy is a massive effort and I totally get the 'geez' scary factor. Working with and for Bega Cheese is probably a good thing - they are strong and viable and always need milk. I hope you continue to find ways to balance it all - to keep creating and exploring and I am sure you will. I love that you got that dirty big piece of writing off and out of the way - a huge step forward - so big congratulations. Continue to celebrate the moments- I hope your wish comes true. Best to you.


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx