"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, 2 October 2010


We've had family visiting from up country for the past 10 days.  Last weekend we managed to get way to the farm for 4 days, much to the delight of our grandson.  He was facinated with the Dover stove and kept himself busy (with constant adult supervision, naturally) topping up the wood, as well as preparing and lighting our evening braai (barbecue).

We lit the Dover stove in the evenings when it turned chilly, and the one evening after our meal, we all sat around it, with our daughter reading to our grandson from the Jungle Book by candle light / parrafin lamp.  There was no TV, no radio, just the crackle of the wood burning in the stove and the wind rushing through the trees outside.  And the gentle light provided by the candles / lamps.  Very snug we were.

It was such a perfect evening, with our entertainment being provided, as it was in days of yore, through the reading of a book.  Each time my daughter stopped for a moment, our grandson said, "Please carry on, Mom".  What more reward could a storyteller receive than that?  And my grandson has discovered that an evening can be enjoyed without the necessity of a modern convenience - the dreaded television.

Days, too, were filled with being outdoors - even if the wind was howling and the temperature wasn't that comfortable - another jersey soon sorted that out!

And I realised that our dream is within reach. In fact, not only is it within reach, but it is rapidly coming to fruition.

What we are trying to do is let the next generation (or two) experience a different kind of life - one that is different from what their everyday lives consist of, and to realise that this other side of life really is OK - especially in this world filled with rush, stress, noise / light and industrial pollution, and the latest gadgets / modern conveniences.

In fact, not only is visiting the farm OK in their book, but they all want to visit and are loathe to leave.

And that is a place where there are few creature comforts - just the bare necessities.

I love it when a plan comes together :-)

All too soon, though, work called us back to town.

But that gave me the opportunity of keeping my eye on all my seedlings which are all peeping above ground.

We have already got a bunch of grapes forming on the grape vine...

My beetroot is coming along very nicely - I had to give it a shadecloth fence - firstly, it was too hot a spot, and secondly, our dog kept digging them up.

And my tomatoes in the east facing retainer blocks, together with the sweetcorn to the right and the little lemon trees I've grown from seed at the top of the photo...

More tomatoes and parsley in the west facing retainer wall - catching their last sun rays for the day...

Capsicum - grown from seeds which I saved when we used one in a salad ...

And, finally, a (slightly) raised veggie patch tunnel, with shadecloth, to protect it from the snails, insects and the south easter, which blows a gale here in summer.  I have seedling trays in the bed with broccoli, turnips, cauliflower and cabbage all sown in empty loo roll holders...

It looks rickety, but it works, and the wind hasn't managed to blow it over ...yet!
There are also peas, baby spinach, onions, lettuce, chives and rocket which we've been munching on for a few weeks.  And, hopefully, the plants above will provide a good harvest in the months to come :-)


African Bliss said...

Magic moments,I am sure that little dover is growing on you and family.It provides just the right magic ingredient doesnt it.

Dani said...

Couldn't have put it better myself :-)

Michelle UluOla said...

I love that your plan is coming together! Well done! Everything looks wonderful. Now where oh where is that new transmogrifier part that I ordered for my teleportator...I want to visit!!