Cattle,  Chooks,  Fauna,  Flora,  Hard Lessons,  Land,  Month in Review,  Permaculture,  Sheep

A Year in Review 2020-2021

And just like that, a year has traveled by. My last post was nearly to the day one year ago, and it’s amazing the amount of things that have happened in our lives since. It marked about the time when I started working from home building websites, meaning to be just part time on the side, but as those things tend to do, it demanded ever more. The garden lapsed. Our meals became quicker, less nutritious. My health continued to plummet into the ground, and stress in the household was at an all-time high. It simply wasn’t worth it, and by the end of November I quit. It was such an amazing relief. My body must have felt it too, as after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for two and a half years, we learned the best news that we are having a little baby due in August!

Baby BirdCat due August!

A baby on the way has changed our priorities quite a bit! The garden continued to grow wilder as I experienced severe all day sickness for the entire first trimester and moving into the second as well. Mr BirdCat has had his hands full with his work, looking after me, and trying to finish our house renovations (including an extension which will become our kitchen, dining, and living room…can’t wait until it’s all finished and we no longer have to work out of a camp-style kitchen with no running water anywhere in the house but the bathtub taps!). I’ve done what I can to help, but now have been told to sit on my hands and not lift anything, just focus on growing our baby girl. It’s driving me stir-crazy, but hip and rib pain are good reminders as soon as I start doing things that I shouldn’t. Three months to go!

Our livestock has changed somewhat over the past year. Our two ewes, Freya, and Merida, have grown up, but won’t be having lambs until next year, as the timing we were planning for this year would have landed them right around the time when our baby would be on her way…not ideal!

Our steer has been processed, which has calmed the entire property right down. He became more cantankerous as he aged, kicking me, escaping and knocking me down twice as I tried to get him back in, and challenging Mr BirdCat with threatened headbutts. He also became a bully to the sheep, and for the last months they had to sleep in makeshift shelters in the yard as they didn’t want to be anywhere near him — I don’t blame them!

We tried our hand at hatching more chicks, but the incubator we borrowed was faulty (decided to try and boil the eggs in the middle of the night) and we only managed to get four out of a batch of forty! One was a rooster, but three hens have been a much needed addition to our little flock. Our Light Sussex, Ros, did a great job at hatching out seven chicks (switched out the eggs she was sitting on with fertilized ones) and caring for them, but all seven ended up roosters! We can’t have roosters at all in town, so Mr BirdCat learned how to process them, and they all ended up in the pot. Unfortunately the wily fox seems to have learned our schedule and taken a couple of chooks while we’ve been out, so things have become much stricter here for locking the chickens down and not letting them free-range while we’re gone.

One thing that I can do productively with my time these days is learn. I’ve just finished a six week online PDC at PermEco Inc and can’t recommend it enough! I’m so thankful I read David Holmgren’s Retrosuburbia book before moving onto the property as that steered us in the right direction, but I’ve never fully grasped Permaculture until completing the PDC. There has been lots of planning in the last weeks, and I can’t wait to put it into action. That being said, many of the design changes can happen over time, and baby and I will be able to do them at our pace once she’s here, with Mr BirdCat eager to give a hand wherever he has time too (very happy for him to keep focusing on the house renovations until those are done!) 🙂 I’m looking forward to exploring the new designs with you and incorporating more of the Permaculture mindset into future posts.

There is so much more I could say, but I think that is enough for one post. Better to ease back into the blog than try everything at once 🙂 I’m looking forward to sharing more of our journey, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us with baby on the way and our little Permaculture homestead to grow!

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