I was/am a teacher and have always been fascinated with the genetic diversity of growing things, learning and teaching these things too.
A single parent with four great kids, I live here with my 15 year old daughter and I do all the farm work. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter loves the life here too, thank goodness and is supportive, but the last year has seen her want to be more and more in town with her friends.
This stage will pass I think- she appreciates the chance life in the country gives her to just step back from the expectation of dress, technology and peer pressure in town. She is a very balanced girl, mature for her age (I guess it’s the big age gap with her siblings.)
My older daughter and son are married with families of their own, and do admit we have a farm if someone says they think its great- otherwise they avoid the whole topic of their mother going through a complete change of life and doing this ‘mad’ living off the land thing. I had a fairly serious accident last September and my second son moved home from Melbourne. He loves the farm and is a terrific support. A very accomplished chef, he had been in Melbourne for about 18months after 2 years in London and six months cooking in Hong Kong. Canberra is his home town, and unbeknowns to me he had made the decision to come back, and had been negotiating work quite close by in Gundaroo, so he works 3 and a half days off farm and spends the rest of the week here. He is building up a sustainable firewood business and learning to fence on his ‘days off’. My car accident just pushed him along quicker, and I must admit-its great having him home.
Presenting the farm as a ‘family business’ is actually one of the strategies I have used to fend off some really aggressive men in the area- who have rather a lot to say about a single woman trying to farm here. Originally part of a much larger holding, this block was considered the ‘rubbish’ block because of it’s forest, steep areas and native grasses- too hard to plough.
Lucky for me.
No warm country welcome-locals gave me a hard time when I first bought it as a foolish city woman without common sense- fancy a useless block like that and no man. And I don’t run merinos so clearly I must be stupid.
Yes, it is hard to win acceptance in some of these rural communities, but I have enough on my plate that I don’t really care right now.