The fog sits heavily in our little mini valley

 In Journey

The fog sits heavy in our little mini valley and the whir of the wood fire incessantly churns on indicating the copious amounts of wood we are eating through all in the effort to stay comfortably warm. Winter in Stanley has definitely descended and fortunately we have had the kitchen walls reinstated and the vast majority of the warmth that was whipping through the old woollen blanket which was acting as our false wall is now staying put. Morrie is certainly happy with his new found home in front of the fire. Poor Pippin with her shaggy red mud tinged coat is not so lucky.

The concrete was poured last week into the carefully constructed form walls that Julien and his Canadian friend Ian created…we under-ordered as we didn’t account for the bow that occurred on the back side of the wall leaving us with a lovely intentional looking wave. Charlie popped the marine ply off in the rain this past weekend and it is now strewn all over the drive way and soon to be veggie garden… We are super happy with the sandy colour though it and given a little more time in its red soil bed it will match its surroundings in no time.

Now into my fourth week at home taking it SLOW I spent the day curled in the red chair next to Charlie at his desk who scurried back and forth on his calculator, computer, maps and apple books working out the all important root stock order. It was the most ‘Real’ thing we have done since we arrived here in February. It felt like it was the first step in what will ultimately be the rest of our lives and it perhaps deserved more of a celebration than the kids movie we opted to curl up and watch as a family. Now to decide on the scion varieties that we graft to them and to determine a grafting plan as we have ordered just short of 700 trees for this years planting and we need to get these in the ground before the end of August.

I’m afraid we may have missed our walnut chance this year. In speaking with local experts the franquette is the variety best suited to the heavy Stanley soils and cold frosty conditions but the only two walnut suppliers we have found online are both sold out this year….bugger!!!!! There is still the slight chance that Tom and Erin here in Stanley will get some in but we won’t know for the next three weeks so we again play the waiting game.

The paddock next door was resown with barley last week which delights us as its a three year perennial crop and we will settle on the property in March next year so in theory we ought to be able to cut the first hay off it. We are yet to decide how to go forward with the second little farm as we ultimately don’t need a second house but the subdivision journey is such a job that it might be more efctive to simply hold onto it for longer term planning….who knows perhaps one of the kids will have a burning desire to go into poly orcharding…

The contemplation of the 3 acre chestnut block on the other side of the road continues as well. It is possible that it could be purchased by cultivate who are ever so eager to partner with us but again we can’t settle on a way to make this feel right so we keep avoiding the hard conversation and push on as we are..small and simple.

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Preparing the garden beds for the vegie patchWinter puddles at Black Barn Farm