Winter Is Coming


Its been a big time for us at Strigidae Farm – with a lot going on.
So strap in – this might end up being a long one!!

Firstly – it has been an incredibly difficult time emotionally for us both, and as some of you already know – but many of you won’t – we finally made the extremely difficult decision that we had been procrastinating on for some time – and have rehomed our darling daggy Digby dog.

Whilst we know that he has gone to a lovely family whom will no doubt love him as much as we do, its been very very sad, and a lot of tears have been shed.
And being that its still rather for raw for us – we’ll move on to other news…

As y’all know, we’ve had a guest post from our eldest daughter who came to visit, bringing our grandson and our son-in-law along for the trip.
It was the first time any of them had seen the Farm, other than photos, so it was pretty wonderful being able to show them around and fly all our plans over them.
It was wonderful seeing them and getting to spend time catching up and just ‘being together’ – but as an added bonus, they also gave us some awesome help about the place, doing lots of jobs that we super-appreciated getting the extra pairs of hands-on help with.

We’ve been doing some more decluttering at the house in town as well as lots of garden clean-up, and have thrown out so much, that we have had to get the skip-bin emptied and returned!
Thankfully we got word yesterday that our gardener/helper buddy has come back to town after being away for a couple of months – and we’ll be glad to have him back on deck soon.

We’ve also had most of the ‘scrap-crap’ taken away by our friend M and his son, that was in the area behind the Farm-house where our septic will one day be.
There is still garbage and rubble there that needs to be raked up and either mulched or taken to the dump – but the biggest stuff is all gone, and now its a job that we feel we are able to tackle and accomplish.

We got our very first delivery of “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper and paper-towel, and are quite happy with it – and not only is it a much better product for the planet – but it helps to provide toilet facilities for third world folks.
We’d definitely recommend heading on over to their website and putting in an order! (no, we aren’t an affiliate! lol)

A couple of weeks ago, the decision was made on a nice still sunny day – to burn the piles of tree-trunks and dead grass that we had amassed in the middle of the paddock – as there was definitely enough for a decent sized bon-fire by this point.

Ohhhh no, no, no, no….
Lets just say that we are never EVER going to be arrested for arson.
Even following the addition of an accelerant, despite everything being nice and dry; for the following hour there was what can only be described as a meagre flicker, trying to work its way pitifully through the pile.
It was really quite comical and we’re glad we didn’t buy marshmallows to roast – ‘cos we think they probably would have gone mouldy waiting to get enough heat to cook.

The up-side of it was that at least the neighbours didn’t complain about the smoke!
(ok, so it never actually got big enough to generate smoke – but thats irrelevant!!)

It seems like only a few short weeks ago that we were filling and mulching the big garden beds and getting them ready for planting.
Today when we went down there because we had to stake the tomatoes, beans and peas, we realised just how much it has grown!

We have finished the papering and mulching on the back side of the wanna-be food forest hill, and its looking lovely and lush and the comfrey growing there has done soooo well, that it is already in need of lifting and separating, so we can get a pile of pups off it to put elsewhere in the garden, and to make liquid-gold fertiliser with.

We have another big garden that our eldest daughter put together for us, which we have been filling up with garden ‘rubbish’ whilst we wait until we can manage to bring in some soil to top it off.
Its going to be a sort of ‘contained’ hügelkultur bed.

Its been a bit windy and rainy for the last couple of days, so we took advantage of the soft ground, and have planted a row of bottle-brush along one of the fence-lines, and a flowering ash over by the western fence line.

The property next door on the western side, has recently sold, and work had already commenced on a raised pad where their home will one day be – so we want to make sure that due consideration is given to the plants and trees we put in now – so that they will not only fit in with the permaculture-type design we’re long-term planning for the Farm, but will also give us the light and shade that we want into the future – and also the privacy and “lushness” that we love so much.

As an aside – its such a lovely sight, and makes us both pretty darn happy in knowing that our little patch of earth is soooo healthy, when each time we dig down into the ground, we get to see just how many worms are in residence!

And speaking of worms – we managed to score three worm farms a few weeks back.
We haven’t set them up yet, but we have chosen where their ‘hotels’ are going to be located – and once its all set up, and running – we’ll no doubt think up a snazzy name for the area. (as we do!)

This week we have both taken most of the week off work.
It was time for some down-time, and time for some US time – both of which we haven’t had much of this year…
As a result of this, we came out to the Farm 10 days ago, and have slept here every night since.

We had a little discussion about whether or not this meant we had now officially moved here full-time, but couldn’t really come to a definite decision about that. lol

The ‘puppies’ are also loving being out here for such an extended time, and they pretty much think of themselves as ‘Farm Dogs’ now, and strut around the perimeter of the house-yard after they’re let out each morning, checking that all is right in the world of Strigidae Farm.
(we haven’t told them that they are smaller than the average decent-sized rooster – don’t want to burst their bubbles quite yet!)

We hadn’t bought out their night-crate, which they are used to sleeping in, but have an old wooden play-pen that we set up each night for them, and they have settled in to that routine reallllllly happily.
They also very much like the fact that the house and yard are all one level (no stairs) and that they can go in and out as they please, and especially like that there is no idiotic neighbour up the back, barking at them and riling then up!!

However, as wonderful as getting to spend all this time at the Farm is, we still have sooo much at the house in town that needs to come out to the Farm, and there is still so much work to do before we can put the house on the market, that we need to get organised and have a plan of how to achieve this, because so far we haven’t had any luck finding a Personal Assistant that we can delegate all the lists of jobs to! dammit… (any takers??)

With all this cherished uninterrupted time at the Farm, we’ve been better able to envision what our daily routine would ‘look like’ once we’re here full-time.
Interestingly – one of the things that is high on the list of things we feel like we need to do, is to have the sink in the kitchen sorted.

At present, we do all our dishes out in the under-cover area, which we love (and which will stay!) as its a really nice spot to be, and it’s very enjoyable being able to look out across the garden, watch the birds, and just relax whilst doing a chore that needs doing regularly.
The down side of it is though, is that at present we don’t do our evening dishes until the next morning – which is fine when it isn’t a work day, but on work-days the dishes just aren’t a priority in the morning – so they tend to not get done until after work.

Not ideal. ~shudder~ 😐

If we had a sink inside, then we could and would do them after dinner, and they wouldn’t then sit all grotty, until the next afternoon.
So that will be bumped up the priority agenda a bit.
And noooo – thus far we aren’t planning on installing a dish-washer. lol

Oh, and did we mention we got a bit of sisal slapped on the front of the Farmhouse around the doors and window?
Now to decide on what cladding we’re going to use and and it won’t be long before the front is allll done!

So – thats about it for this update.
Seems like we have done more, and are no doubt forgetting stuff – but if we have, its sure to come up in a future blog!
(or we’re holding off for the next one. lol)

Until next time – look after you!

[ps: these will be the last photos we’ll be posting of Digby..]

Sisal goes up on the front of the Farmhouse
Carrots in tubs – yum!
The ‘scrap-crap’ pile is now a LOT more manageable!
Raspberries are coming on!
Four freshly planted bottle-brush.
The big garden is roaring along!
Very happy winter vegies 🙂
And more of the big beds – just in case you haven’t seen enough yet!!
Who takes up the most room on the bed: The Puppies?
Or is it Mr Digby?
What about on the banquette?
or Digby?
Blaze gives his seal-of-approval on the “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper.
The initial makings of our ‘contained’ hügelkultur bed
Pitiful fire-making 101
From the Farmhouse view, it didn’t look like anything had burnt, but at least it made a LIL progress….!
And in closing – after a bit of a rough trot, we decided to splash out and spoil ourselves with a home-made seafood dinner of a lobster-tail, bugs, prawns and home-made bread.
There was even enough left-overs for another meal!!
Wheeeheee!! 🙂


  • Marilyn Ann Krywulycz

    If stuff is too cold it will take a long time to burn – should have hit it with the big guns. (Much more excellerant) hehehe

    • TheWhitbys

      Hi Marilyn.
      At the point that we lit (and we use that term ohhhhh so loosely!!) the fire – we’d still been having nice warm weather, and the cold hadn’t even settled into the nights yet.
      We’re just a “bonfire fail” type gals it seems! lol.
      Indoor fires no problem – just the yard ones don’t much like us.

      And if we’d used any more accelerant, we’d probably be on the terrorism watch-list by now 😐
      Hope you’re having a good weekend 🙂

    • TheWhitbys

      Chad and Linda,
      there were a myriad of reasons, including the fact that the other two dogs had just never ‘jelled’ with Diggy, despite the fact that he adored them.
      The absolute kicker was though, that the back/hip injury was a serious one.
      (serious in that it had/has the potential to mean never being able to walk again, if aggravated the wrong way).
      And trying to wrangle a 50+kg [110lb+] eleven month old, happily exuberant puppy – was close to being a recipe for disaster on more than a couple of occasions… 🙁
      It has been a horrible heart-breaking time, and not a decision that was made at all lightly – so we’ll just leave it at that.

we'd LOVE to hear from you!