Building Community

poaching pears for winter (photo credit - fairweatherpaddler)
poaching pears for winter
(photo credit – fairweatherpaddler)

I have  a love hate relationship with social media. I love being in contact with like-minded people. I hate Big Brother collecting data on me and storing it up. Anyway, that’s a rant for another day. The thing I love about social media is finding people who get you; who won’t necessarily look at you like you have two heads when you mention cloth nappies or chutney making or eating your own livestock. Not a lot to ask for I think.

Recently I have started to find my own little pockets of people. Some I have purposely sought out online through Facebook groups and some I have stumbled across in person at different get-togethers. It’s great. I love seeing the enthusiasm that spills out into the conversation when someone mentions hens or ducks or growing vegetables and you can almost see another person’s ears prick up and their head cock sideways. You start tossing out your thoughts and ideas and dreams. And someone else chimes in to say they are dreaming the same dream or are even doing it. And if you get to do it over a cup of coffee, even better.

lucky duck (photo credit – fairweatherpaddler)

And so I continue to dream but now things are getting a bit more concrete. I am thrashing out plans and picking brains of more experienced people. And while on the surface, it doesn’t look like much has changed here – the weeds march relentlessly on, the ducks have had a stay of execution again, the hens continue to destroy my flowers and the guard dog snores like a freight train – there are changes afoot.

Mr. Fairweather is now gainfully employed once more.

In a full-time job.

That pays.


Pardon me while I do a little dance.


I’m back. It has been a while since there has been a steady paycheck coming in to the house. So this is huge. The mind boggles at things that I might be able to spend money on now.

Boring things like paying off loans and car tax bills.

Wonderful dreamy exciting things like trees for the orchard and fencing for pigs.



We are going to bite the bullet next spring. I have been chatting to other women who are rearing pigs and the more I talk things out, the less daunting it seems. I will never know enough. There will never be a right time to start. But that is so true for much in life. So, we save for fencing and pigs and start another chapter in the spring!

apples galore (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

The orchard was great this year. Some apple trees were generous and laden down with fruit, others stunted and miserly in their offerings. The cherries were a total non event this year and barely put out any leaves. We got one solitary plum. The pears were fantastic. So I am reviewing everything. Out will come the cherries and some of the apples. I’ll give the plums another chance. I think I want to put in a damson tree if I can find one. Maybe some quince and medlars too. And I would love to try greengages.

I fell in love with the idea of a walnut tree. But we just don’t have the space. It would need to be planted way off on it’s own because of sheer scale and the fact that it inhibits the production of fruit on other trees. Almonds don’t really fruit successfully in our climate. So maybe hazelnuts are the way to go. If we fence in the orchard for the pigs, they’ll quite enjoy whatever falls to the ground from the nuts and fruit trees.

but which one will I use? (photo credit – fairweatherpaddler)

I shall be pulling out the old sketch book to doodle up my plans and work out areas needed. And then bring it to consult with my community over coffee – virtual or otherwise. And maybe not spending the first pay check before it’s here. Maybe…..


4 thoughts on “Building Community

  1. Woot! I’m excited for you. You’re doing an amazing job you know. Often it’s difficult to see that when you’re looking out from the inside, but you really are. And WAHOO! Mr Fairweather has a job!!!! I didn’t know he was missing one (did I miss a memo?) but YAY! *joins dance party* 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kate. It’s great to hear it sometimes. I know they place looks like a tip at the minute, but I can see beyond it and am full of hope.
      Mr. Fairweather has been out of a job a while, since well before my blogging started. A part time one here and there kept the wolf from the door. In one way it was lovely to have him home especially when Little Paddler arrived but it got a bit hairy keeping everything afloat.
      Now I have to get used to a whole new dynamic. But I’m sure I’ll manage. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting Paul. Will definitely leave them another year or two. I pruned them this year as well so we’ll see if that has any effect. Funny that yours didn’t have much this year. I must ask people more knowledgeable than myself about that. Let’s hope it’s cyclical or else easily remedied.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s