"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Self Sufficiency 4

Thanks to all who have read and commented on this republished series, there

was a dual reason for doing this, I hoped that some newer readers would enjoy

it, and secondly, it was much easier to copy and paste these than to write new

posts while away from home, with limited time available.

The previous posts have raised a few queries, I’ll try to give a blanket answer

here, with reference the peas that never made it into the pot, anyone who has

ever tasted fresh picked peas direct from the bush will understand them not

getting cooked, too good to wait!

Photos have been mentioned, I’ll have to look into that when I get home.

With regard those of you who have commented about the work, it was 20 plus

years ago, I was much more enamoured with work then, and found the whole

exercise very satisfying.

Crazy; now I think this could be a blog in itself, for those among you who felt

pangs of sympathy for her, let me assure you after you had chased her around a

paddock, (field?) for a couple of hours it probably would have evaporated!!

A possible moral to her story would be, “behave or be eaten!!”

The concept of a film had never crossed my mind, thanks for the seed Cliff.

Marcus, your tackle was executed to perfection on “Rebel” a close relative to

Crazy but without quite the same determination factor.

This is the final episode in the “Self Sufficiency” series, I’ve finished it with the

poem I wrote about this adventure, hope you all enjoy it, BTW, Dalgety’s and

Elders are two very large farm supply/wool broking company’s.

First Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Self Sufficiency Pt. 4

We stuck fairly closely to our original plan, we would run Merino ewes with

Border Lester rams for good wool and very saleable lambs, then the price of

wool took a substantial dive so we went looking for an alternative.

We heard good reports about sheep that grew wool for use in carpet making,

there were several breeds, we decided to give this a try as the wool prices were

very stable, so we bought a flock of Tukidale sheep.

These were the exact opposite to what we had been striving for in the past;

they had very coarse wool which grew about 6 inches every 6 months, so

they needed to be shorn twice a year instead of once.

Our winter shearing, when there was green grass was very good but the

summer shearing dropped off in both quality and length, Tukidales are a

“green grass” sheep! not really suited to our area.

So once more we bought Merinos, this time buying a new flock each year,

we usually managed to make a profit when we sold them and we were

getting the better wool again. (wool prices had picked up a bit too.)

This update is about half way mark, after we had been here for 7 years, our

herd of cattle now had grown to about 25 so were also taking up a little more

time, the hundreds of trees we had planted, mainly in the first couple of years,

were all growing well, (I went back for a look this year (2005) when I was in

Victoria, they are now quite substantial groves of trees)

Over the years we built several sheds and did substantial repairs to others, we

extended the house and put a new roof on it, we upgraded our water system

again, put in sprinkler systems to keep everything damped down if we were

threatened by bush-fire, we had always kept about a dozen hens so always had

fresh eggs, life was good.

We spent about 14 years at “Tanderra” (an aboriginal name meaning

“place of rest” that was a joke!) for about 10 of those years we also took

School photos.

Life on the Land.

You’d reckon he would have known better

Than to settle for “life on the land”

With all of the cautions and warnings

But he just had to try his hand.

Where to settle’s the question

That starts uppermost in his mind

Australia’s a bloody big country

But most of the climate’s unkind.

Victoria’s rainfall is steady

No thought of droughts down there

But with two or three real dry seasons

The threat of his ruin is near.

His sheep just fall by the wayside

They simply don’t get enough feeds

The bit of rain that he’s getting

Won’t promote any growth but the weeds.

In the evenings the dark clouds gather

As though the heavens will burst

But each morning’s light shows

His land is still dying of thirst.

The hay that was stacked in the hayshed

Is nearly all used up now

There are only the scraps that the mice left

To show for the sweat from his brow.

The frosts have settled in earnest

The white landscape can look very nice

But it burns of any new grass shoots

Well at least it kills of the mice.

In between there have been times of plenty

Plenty of locusts and plenty of mites

To chew off the pasture he’s put in

And cause him more sleepless nights.

For all the setbacks and heartaches

He says, “The life’s not that bad”

But despite the brave front he puts on

He ain’t got the cash that he had.

Right now the farms looking pretty

There’s a tinge of green showing through

But it’s short, and now it’s stopped growing

And there’s not a dammed thing he can do.

The garden looks neat and tidy

The sheds all look straight and true

The fences are in good condition

There’s a crop in the ground, growing too.

Sounds like everything’s rosy

It’s just there’s no rain, or cash flow

To meet the bills as they come in

That’s dealing the crippling blow.

Who’s helped him through all of his hardships?

Was it Dalgety’s? Or Elder’s? The Bank?

No, the girl that he married

Is the one he really must thank.

These are the trials of farming

To be weathered and beaten in time

Have enough patience to hang on

And everything works out just fine.

Peter Holt

# First posted by Peter @ Wednesday, September 14, 2005


JunieRose2005 said...


I liked your poem very much!


OldHorsetailSnake said...

This has been a fascinating series, Peter. Thanks for the re-run, as I didn't find you in time to see it the first time through.

kenju said...

I have enjoyed it too, Peter, and joke or not - I love the name Tanderra.

bornfool said...

I echo the above sentiments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences. I've often thought I'd like to give it a go at self-sufficiency, but I wondered if I had what it takes. Now I'm pretty sure I don't.

Karen said...

I've enjoyed reading these, for the first time. Thanks for reposting them. I hope you're having a great time! :-D

Jamie Dawn said...

Well done! The poem is a goodie.
You just need a guitar in hand & put it to music.

Hale McKay said...

I was confused at first with the HTML codes intermingled. Great poem.
...Like Hoss, I enjoy the reprises too as I wan't reading you the 1st time around.

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