August 31, 2015
Away from the farm
On Monday we fly to the States for a five week visit. Guy was there last October but I haven’t left Brazil since July 2013, a long time for me, the erstwhile traveler. I look forward to seeing family and friends - perhaps you who are reading this post.
|A June photo of Sofia with Polly, the goat, and Lolita.|
Leaving a small homestead with chickens and goats, a beloved dog, trees and other plants that need attention requires a tough examination of one’s priorities. The unending demands that preclude the family’s absence rank high among the hardships of the working farmer. A co-housing or other cooperative situation, where two or more households live within shouting distance and can fill in for each other, would help solve this dilemma.
|Our nine chickens spend the night in this enclosure.|
|They're out and about during the day - free range for the time being.|
|Polly and Nina.|
|At 7 weeks Nellie love to explore her world and thinks |
the new feed box was just made for her.
We do have neighbors, half a mile from us, who will help out by feeding the animals twice a day and watering the plants once a week, as well as keeping an eye on the place, but things will be unattended for long hours including every night. I worry but we trust the neighbors and, on the other hand, we’re not dependent on the plants and animals for our livelihood. If accidents happen while we’re away they might have happened even with us here – like the ants stripping our trees.
|Nina doesn't show very much yet so she may not have her kid(s) until late September or early October.|
Nina, our pregnant goat, may give birth while we’re away. Fortunately goats are very self-sufficient, accostumed as a species to live in wandering herds. When Polly gave birth to Nellie all we had to do was clean up after her. In the wild she would have wandered on leaving the after-birth behind. Our neighbors more knowledgeable about farm life than we are so Nina and her kid(s) will be in good hands.
|Guy and Marli, the neighbor who saved the day for us|
when I had to stop working.
|The first bedroom is full height.|
|The second bedroom and bathroom have started going up.|
The rainy season should only get serious in November or December, so when we return work on the cob house will continue. With a roof on the first bedroom we’ll be able do inside work in preparation for visitors we hope to accommodate later in the year. If we’re lucky two rooms and the bathroom will be useable – safe, dry and comfortable.
|Guy dreamed up this covering at night while he worried about the rain.|
|All the cob covered up while we're away.|
|The arched bamboo will keep the rain from pooling or collapsing the cover.|
|A porthole in our new cob bedroom.|