"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 29 June 2013

What's in a name?

We (well, mainly I) have been throwing around various names for our smallholding.  Something friendlier than 'Plot XYZ'.

Amongst them have been 'Fiddlewood Farm", in honour of the five magnificent (well they will be once they've grown a bit) Fiddlewood trees we have planted.

But, RMan obviously wasn't convinced.
The mosaic plot numbers I made earlier this year.
Unobtrusive, but serving their purpose :)
One perfect balmy evening at the end of March, he was sitting daydreaming on the verandah  - beer in hand - when, suddenly, he said, "I've got it".

"Got what"?, I asked in exasperation.  RMan often does that - thinks of something, and shares a bit of inconsequential info on his thought process.  Which causes me to question (and sometimes cross-question) him in order to extract the course of his mental wanderings, so that I can become part of the conversation.

"I've got the name for the farm", he replied, " Wind Hoek  " (Windy Corner)! (honestly, there was an exclamation at the end of his pronouncement.)

How did he come to that name?

Well, his favourite tipple is Windhoek Lager...
There is always a breeze of some sort on
our farm - th
ank goodness,
for I don't do ironing! LOL
...and our farm is situated in a place where there is always a breeze of some sort blowing.

Very apt, RMan.  I think it could be a keeper!  :)
Our smallholding is situated in the foothills
of the Langeberg Mountains
Or so I thought.  But every time I asked if I can go ahead with the name, I got a non-committal response.  There was no finalisation.

So, then, I suggested "Foothills Farm" - because of our location in the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains.

I got a "Hmmmm" as a response.

Ten days ago, RMan suddenly turned to me and said, "I've changed my mind.  Not Foothills Farm...
You remember the two gabions which RMan scored
at the auction ages ago, and which thought they
had been forgotten and have been gathering
... but, in keeping with our ethos here, I think we should call it 'Foothills Organic' - it's more appropriate".
I used old builders scaffolding planks as a
backing, and old broken old tiles for the
mosaics.  There was even some left over tile

grout from the tiling of our bathroom(s). The
gabions, which RMan scored at the auction,
have been put to use at last - filled with a
small portion of the stone which abounds
on this property, we now have an entrance
"pillar"  with the other one yet to be filled LOL
I can live with that :)

So - scratching through the box of old tiles I had schlepped from our town house (I honestly did try and declutter, I did, I did - but maybe now you understand why we moved with 105 boxes of various sizes,), I found the wherewithal to make a mosaic of our chosen farm name to add to the entrance gate which RMan and John installed a few months ago.

RMan installed the name on Wednesday, and we had a naming ceremony, complete with respective favourite tipples...
It is the first time that we have ever named the place
we are living.
Finally, for this post, we have been here exactly one year today - how the time has flown.  Just for info here is a peek at our electricity consumption for this entire period:
1290.3 KwH in exactly one year
We have produced / consumed 1290.3 KwH in a year - that would've cost us ZAR1845.00 in our town house.  If we had not moved to our smallholding and gone off grid, we would've probably continued "recklessly" using electricity in our town house at an average of 550 KwH / month, which would've given us a total consumption on 6600 KwH for the year at a cost of ZAR9438.00 at the current cost rate for the same period of time.

A saving of ZAR9438.00 against the outlay cost of going off grid is more than 15% of the cost of our total solar system.  At this rate our system will have paid for itself within 5 years :)

A sneak teaser for a post next week - I have some stupendously exciting news to share - but give me a little time... :)


  1. Happy one year anniversary! Love the name & your mosaic sign, very clever.

    1. DFW - LOL - thanks. Seriously doesn't seem like a year - 6 - 7 months at most. How time flies when you're havig fun... :)

  2. Congratulations, and happy anniversary! I chuckled at the idea of naming your home for a favorite beer - what a lavish tribute! I love the name you chose. Foothills Organic reflects the roots you have already put down, and I'm sure it will continue to "grow on you" :)
    What a gorgeous job you did on the sign!!

    1. Quinn - Yeah - RMan nearly got that right :)

      Thanks - couldn't find my tile cutter, so I cut my fingers to shreds when it came time to do the grouting LOL

  3. Happy one year anniversary! Love that you've taken time to choose a name that's right instead of just "have to have a name now". And am also seriously impressed with your lovely mosaic. Well done on that.

    1. Moonwaves - Thanks. The name SHOULD reflect who, what and where we are :)

  4. Happy anniversary! Y'all are amazing. And I love love love the name and the sign. I have been contemplating a sign for our farm and I like the idea of mosaic. I might just have to read up on that. Seems like something I could do. Happy Anniversary to you again!! Here's to a whole lifetime of them.

    1. 1st Man - Thanks. Seriouosly, mosaic-ing is not that difficult - I just recommend having the correct tile cutter for the job...

  5. Replies
    1. shirley - Welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Thanks for the wishes - much appreciated.

  6. Happy 1st anniversary! Very fitting that the farm should be named at this time and the entrance will look great with the tiled sign and the two pillars :).
    Cheers, Robyn

    1. Robyn - Thanks. Yup, just need to gather more of the stones to complete the other "pillar"... :)

  7. A naming ceremony for your first anniversary - congratulations!

    1. Diana - Seemed appropriate - thanks :)

  8. Happy Anniversary ! I thought all of the names were very good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and activities there. I have been much less reticent about solar power than I was a year ago. We are slowly beginning to use it for the tasks here for which it is appropriate. Best wishes to you and yours,

    1. Jane - Thanks.

      And thank you for your kind words - if I have helped just one person lose their reticence regarding solar power, then blogging about it has been worth it :)

  9. I've named my place so many times it isn't even funny and still don't have one that's stuck. Probably never will. Oh well... Most of the people I want to visit it can find it as is so I guess all if good. If I ever do come up with a permanent name I'll probably paint it on the side of my storage tank where it can be seen from the highway.

    1. David - Thanks for taking the time to comment under your present circumstances - hope your leg is improving more each day...

      What about "(Ford) Falcon's Rest" :) ?

    2. Dani, I'd thought about TFFN Ranch (TFFN=The Ford Falcon News) and a Falcon logo painted on the tank, but decided against that. I'll figure it out one of these days.

    3. BTW I noticed you removed the word verification. I think that is a big improvement because it was hard to get it right.

    4. David - The Rat suggested I do way with it. I activated it a few months ago, because of all the spam I was getting. The spam has dropped - so WV certainly works. But, if it returns, then I will probably have to go the Comment Moderation route...

  10. Happy anniversary, Dani & Rman. You've come a long way in 12 mos. I have owned 2 homes - and both were named. Previous home was "Shadowhouse" (surrounded by mature trees). Current is "Melissa Majora" (home of the bees). Love the sign for Foothills Organic. :-D

    1. Kris - Thanks. Yeah, we're really pleased with the progress we've made - had to believe in only 12 months.

  11. Dani - the name is perfect and so is the sign! and happy anniversary - can you believe it's already been a year?!?!??! woohoo for you guys! and i can't wait for the exciting news - don't keep us waiting too long ok?

    your friend,

    1. Nope kymber - hard to believe.

      LOL all will hopefully be revealed this coming Saturday... :)

  12. Hooray for the name!!! Love the mosaic. Happy Anniversary and wonderful news about the solar power.

    1. Staci - Thanks and thanks. Yeah, it's amazing how little popwer one can consume if you're willing and you put your mind to it ;)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;)