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During the trip back to the farm, from our last Brisbane stopover (where we again had to marvel at the changes in our Grandson, Riley), I got hit with some sort of virus.
It overcame me all of a sudden when we stopped briefly at Warwick, draining me of all strength, making muscles and head ache, churning my stomach and bringing on a desire to do nothing but sleep.
We stopped at Goondiwindi to pick up Martyn’s chain saw in the anticipation of hacking out more trees and we also bought grass seed to try to repatriate the grass that has died around the camp kitchen. This was a result of one of the workers spraying the whole grassed area with roundup thinking it would kill only the weeds!
We also bought Blood & Bone fertilizer and a heap of seedlings to replant the kitchen garden, which is now looking a bit worse for wear.
Alas, none of this was possible for the next four days as I just couldn’t seem to find the strength.
I was able to strip down the annexe of the caravan and lay the pallets that we’ve borrowed from the farm to make a better floor. It’s now nice and level and any rain that we get won’t dampen the interior of the annexe.
It’s now been 6 days since our return and I’m ready to get into the trees again. The area that we’ve already cleaned up is looking much better than last week when it was a mass of thistles, twisted Saltbush, weeds and overgrown branches; but there’s a lot more to do!
I keep toying with the idea of turning some of the treasure trove of discarded items from “Siberia” (the farm’s rubbish dump) into some simple hydroponics and raised garden beds.
I’m convinced that with a bit of good planning the camp (and probably all the farm houses) could be supplied year round with fresh vegetables for a minimal input after the initial build.
I found myself taking trips to Siberia with pad, pencil and tape measure and I was starting to spend time designing a food producing system built exclusively from the bits and pieces lying discarded around the farm.
I’d love to create another hydroponics garden again.
Although we both still love each day of living on the road, so to speak, there’s a part of us that still yearns to plant things and watch them grow. There’s a fascination in being part of the cycle of sowing and reaping and a realisation that nothing beats the shear beauty and majesty of things growing.
That’s why we like the farm. They’ve learned and understood the cycles of growing cotton and created a system that brings those cycles within their control as much as humans can.
So it was that I found my mind gravitating to the simple pleasures we would obtain from creating some growing spaces.
It was extremely timely that I read an article from one of my all time favourite article writers; Gary North called Putter, Fritter and Guess. This is the part of this fascinating article in which I recognised something of myself;
Puttering is the same as perfectionism in this sense: the putterer does not prioritize his work. Neither does the perfectionist.
The putterer differs from the perfectionist in this sense: he has no overall conception of what needs to be done. The perfectionist knows every nook and cranny. He tries to do it all equally well. But the results are the same as if he were a putterer. The final product never gets done right.
The putterer works on lots of projects. He does a little here, a little there. He is not focused on the one project that needs to have the key 20% operating at 96% efficiency, and the key 1% operating at 99% efficiency.
He does not have a time schedule. He does not have a schedule of priorities. He works a little on a major project, but then gets sidetracked on a minor project. The idea that some things can safely be delayed does not amaze him. He delays lots of things. But he has no sense of “first things first.” The putterer is busy. He is not lazy. He never stops working. But his output is unreliable. He is never sure how long it will take him to complete the most important projects. The putterer understands what needs to be done overall. He just does not know the order of production. He has no schedule of priorities. He is therefore always playing catch-up.
He knows that details are important. He just does not know which details are important in which order.
As much as the attraction to create gardens persists it’s not the reason we’ve been given the time in this great place.
It took me two entire weeks to design some code for one particular function on the programs and that made it easier to once again let my mind wander off the job at hand and onto more simple things like gardening.
So I’m now back at the computer and it feels pretty good to be doing what I know I’m supposed to do at present.
I’ll continue to take substantial breaks from the work to get the camp grounds looking nice. This is a great balance; much needed physical exercise, while at the same time bringing the camp grounds up to a high level of tidiness.
The pleasure of trimming trees and clearing the land of years of neglect will continue till we leave here but it won’t stop the progress I’ve made into the programmes.