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One door shuts, another one opens...

Sunday, 20 Nov 11 Cloudy 22°C / 72°F

  • 35
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  • Very Happy

and that also applies to garden gates.

It’s the end of this house and garden, at least for us anyway.

We’re taking the bold step and moving on, and hopefully the proverbial “greener pastures” will truly be greener – they are definitely pastures anyway. The fences will be lower and you can see through them, rather than over them. Their target is to contain livestock rather than trying to attain privacy, as the suburban fences here are so purposefully built for.

Astute :-) observers may have noticed that I’ve been far less active and chatty than in previous times, and the search for another abode along with a change in surroundings can be revealed as the very good reason why that has been so. Getting to this point in the process has been a long and involved one and our attention has been concentrated on achieving this rather important goal.

Call it a “tree change”, a move “back to the land”, a sign of madness, or a delayed dose of common sense. None of the names or phrases really do it justice – it’s the next stage in our lives and it’s been a long time coming.
We’ve found a place and committed ourselves to it and while we haven’t actually settled in there yet, ( taken possession as the lawyers put it) we are past the point of no return, and barring the proverbial wayward bus, that part will happen soon enough. That’s the first step taken, with many more to follow before the shift becomes permanent and we can relax again.

It’s very much a new beginning, and while we have plans it’s really an unknown future, but it is well founded as it’s based firmly on the lifestyle we’ve always led and we know that it works well for us. We trust that we can make that base broader as it is, after all, a large part of why we are headed this way.

It’s been very much an unknown as to ‘how’. The ‘when’ was originally a vague hand-wavish point in the future. The ‘where’ was picked out years ago, and the ‘why’ has been obvious to us for a long while. It’s in our blood, we never really did fit into the city mould. We have survived more by bringing a bit of the country here rather than by conforming to the city lifestyle.

When we originally moved here 30 years ago from the country, we were only going to stay for maybe 5 years. Children arrived and plans were changed – funny about that. ;-)
Time turns them into adults and their boundaries are not set, and neither are ours anymore. That means we can resurrect our plans to go back to the country, and also take it one step further with some acreage.
So, the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ were all that was keeping us here. While we kept the possibility of a move high in our plans, it was always at arms length, it was a decision that could be made another day. Well, that day has arrived and the future is now.

There is a huge amount to do before this move is completed and all the loose ends are tidied up. While I have a time-line for it all in my head, and believe that there will be a nice tidy end point to it, reality has never failed in asserting its influence. I’ll just say that sometime in the future, I’ll attempt to pick it all up and start again on Folia. In the meantime I can be certain that my participation levels here will decrease significantly.

I will have access to the internet for quite a while so I am contactable and I’ll endeavour to continue reading all the journals and group postings that makes Folia such a great place, both educational and recreational.
What I won’t be doing is contributing as I often did in the past, and that’s still much less than I’m doing now. I’ve become very much the lurker despite so many interesting journals from both old and new Folians. It’s going to be hard to stay quiet, but time will be extra precious now.

For those who may be interested in our new location. Central Victoria, north of Ballarat.

The photo is a shot looking east, towards the house paddock. Lovely trees, a very nice home, and a terrific shed!
DW is happy, so am I.

Comments

  • Armorel

    Armorel wrote:

    Ah … so that explains your decrease in activity ;-)
    What a wonderful project and dream to achieve. You are going to be incredibly busy (and obviously HAVE been already). It’s going to be a wrench for you to leave your garden and I hope you manage to take as many plants with you as you want.
    Good luck and I hope all goes smoothly for your move XXXX

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • AnneTanne

    AnneTanne wrote:

    Wishing you all the best…
    Yes, it’s going to be busy… (we moved from a house in a small town to what we call ‘the country’ here in Belgium years ago), but someday, you will go outside, sit down, and… you’ll just ‘be’.

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • anelson

    anelson wrote:

    Wow! That sounds exciting. Enjoy your new adventure! I hope you will find some time to update us now and then on how things are going.

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    That is so exciting, and explains the lack of journalling. I look forward to when you start retelling your adventures in your new place. You know a journal would make a very good record to look back on even if you are frantically busy. Very best wishes to DW and yourself.

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Loratika

    Loratika wrote:

    I can so relate. We’ve been living in our present home 30 years too. Luckily, we originally bought a house that was bigger than we needed and as the children came, we thought about selling it and moving into a larger home, but instead just kept building on to this one. Then my daughter at 18 decided she wanted to buy her own house and she did. Her older brother decided he couldn’t be out done by his little sister, so he got his own condo downtown where he works. The middle son is still here, but was touring for months at a time with his band. So my husband and I found ourself rarely even going near many parts of our house and only using a few rooms. While it’s nice to have the extra rooms in case someone comes for a visit or moves back (our daughter rented out her house while she was studying in Japan and moved back to Miami to finish her degree here only to go back to Japan to work), it occured to me that we could live in a smaller house (or the same size), but have a larger yard to better accomodate my growing garden.

    My husband and I are in our 50’s (even though my mind finds it hard to accept), so we are very much thinking of our future and retirement, as I’m sure you did. Since we never really know what the future economy may hold for us, the best retirement plan I can think of is to live in a house that is paid for and grow as much home grown food as possible. Right now I only live on a 1/4 acre suburban lot, which can grow a lot, but a 1/2 acre or larger lot would be more suitable for the amount of fruit trees I’d like to grow.

    I’ve grown up as a suburban girl all of my life, but there really is a bit of a country girl in me too. When we first got married, we thought about moving out to the country, but the kids and their scholling kept us where we are. I’m tempted to go a little more into the country, but with gas prices the way they are and probably will be, I’m a little bit hesitant to move too far out, since I like to see my children (and hopefully one day grandchildren) and have them and friends over for big meals. Although I have thought of finding a way to convert my Jeep Commander Hemi to a biofuel system’ if possible. Ironically, I bought it because I really like the car and thought that it would be the perfect car to see me through all types of situations and terrain and the hemi would be good if I have to tow something, so I convinced myself that it would be a perfect car for a sustainable lifestyle- some how I forgot about the mpg gas issue. Talk about seeing what you want to see.

    Right now, I like the area that I’m in, because it’s so close to the main highways and it’s so close to the bay. My husband and I go for walks just about ever day out to the bay or kayak to some of the small islands out there, and we’d miss that if we moved too far out. So it’s a little bit of a hard decision to make. But once you’ve made the decision, it seems to get a little easier, even though there may still may be a little uncertainty. I’m thinking it will be within a year or so before we officially move, because we are hoping to save up as much as possible for the new house and we want to find a really good deal, which will probably mean a lot of remodeling before we are even ready to move in, but if we want to meet our goals of being mortgage free before we retire, that’s the only way we can do it. I know I could stay in this house that we have so many roots planted in, but I also know that sometimes your better off digging up those roots and replanting them somewhere else.

    Obviously you are a few steps ahead of me in this life changing process and I know that when the time comes to finally move out it will be hard, no matter how ready I think I am for it. For now, I keep planting my garden, planting my citrus, mango avocado, etc. seeds and trees (in pots) to prepare for my eventual home. That’s why I prefer to plant polyembronic (thanks for teaching me about that) fruit trees from seeds and into pots and I’m not worried about how long it may take for them to bare fruit, because I’m not really ready for them to be put in the ground yet, at least not here.

    It’s true that there is so much uncertainty in life and we’d like to think that we are in control by making plans (as we should), but even with our plans, we still will always have a degree of uncertainty. And as you said, the future may always seem at arms length until it’s finally here. I’m glad for you that your future is here and hope as Anne Tanne says soon “you’ll just be”. Many happy times, memories and harvests to come to my brother and his family in Central Victoria!

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • cristina

    cristina wrote:

    ohh…now I see why you have been so ‘inactive’ (I was rather concerned)! Well, I’m happy to know that this is the reason why! Best wishes to you and DW! E’ fantastico!!

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • laurieann

    laurieann wrote:

    Congratulations on the new home and the opportunity to pursue the next dream. I’m hoping to be writing a similar journal entry myself sometime soon! We’ve been spending our weekends for the last two years hiking rural properties from northwest Washington down to the southwest Oregon – hopefully we will land one soon.
    Best of luck on the new endeavor – hoping to read about your progress soon.

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Bernieh

    Bernieh wrote:

    I had wondered why you were so quiet lately and now it’s all very clear. I think it’s fantastic that you finally have the opportunity to make the life change. Best of luck with the move. Your new spot sounds ideal and I’m sure it will feel like home very quickly.

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Sue_McMuffin09

    Sue_McMuffin09 wrote:

    ah the big move looming, no wonder you have been so quite. all the best with it and look forward to hearing your adventures with the place once your settled. all the best with it

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Pink_Lady

    Pink_Lady wrote:

    Guess you will be keeping more than chickens now, eh?! Can’t wait to hear all about it, as soon as you have the time. Congratulations and best of luck with the new place :))

    Posted on 21 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • TeresaGreen

    TeresaGreen wrote:

    how very exciting, and a lovely place for your tree change – what a wonderful adventure for you

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Orenda

    Orenda wrote:

    My very best wishes for you and yours in your new endeavours. We Folians are cheering you on :-)

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • LeslieintheGarden

    LeslieintheGarden wrote:

    Lucky you! Best of luck going through this gate … may the sun and rain be kind to you.

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • seeingreen

    seeingreen wrote:

    How exciting for you both – better dust off your John Seymour!
    Hope all goes well with the move and I look forward to hearing of your adventure here on folia when you are settled – I’ll need something for the nostalgia you’ve just stirred up!

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Bdapy2

    Bdapy2 wrote:

    Best wishes on your move. I’m sure that you will find it very rewarding to have more space to enjoy yourselves. Apart from more room for gardening, there’s also that shed to keep you busy.

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Dogs

    Dogs wrote:

    Congratulations on your move. I hope the move goes smooth for you, well as smooth as moving can go. Enjoy your acerage and look forward to reading about your progress on the property.

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Good news for you, Bristled Buddy, though bad news for me- I have always enjoyed your posts in the past.. A move in the summer means no garden this year; but all the same, I hope you are comfortable in your new digs by next spring, and begin to disclose your new gardening plans. Hang onto the carrot seeds in case of the apocalypse.
    .
    In the meantime I offer you a bit of wisdom I gleaned from straight from God (as played by George Burns in Oh God): (double parentheses: wisdom is where you find it, when you can find it) When you are faced with a situation where everything is changing so fast you can’t cope, do something normal, such as you do every day. His example was shaving, but in your case I will suggest brushing your teeth, or making coffee, or whatever you do without thinking every day. Get your feet on the ground, get some perspective, and then make some decisions.
    .
    God prosper your new home, and make it a place of peace for you who live there and all those who enter.
    .
    That grizzled gardener,
    .
    Hal

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    Thank you all for sharing the excitement ;-) and for the encouragement and best wishes.
    It is a very good feeling, even with the few unknowns that still loom – uncertainties is probably the better word.

    @Armorel, It is a great position to have arrived at, even if it’s only the start. With the plants, I’m planning to take as much as possible from here, but timing will be a critical issue for many of them. I have a lot of potted seedlings already, but the larger plants like Queensland arrowroot (if it grows there) herbs, and the Comfrey will be more delicate moves. The rescued lemon tree will hopefully not suffer with yet another move. ;-)

    @AnneTanne, We are truly looking forward to that moment – to be in the moment – absolutely.

    @anelson, @rainymountain. It is exciting, but hasn’t quite hit of course. Journalling the move does makes sense. I guess there will be a few backdated journals on the subject as there shouldn’t be any shortage of photos to prompt the memory. Hmmm, providing I remember to take the before shots, I seem to recall that’s often a failure in my planning!

    @Loratika, Yes indeed, very similar and driven by the same events and concerns. There’s no reason why a city girl can’t make the transition, it just requires an acceptance of the changes that need to be made. Travel and communication is a large part of that, thankfully the communication issue is not really a problem these days, but as you say, the physical can be a challenge depending on where you end up.
    It sounds like you have a few constraints, we are lucky in that respect as we can find all we want in the country – our present location doesn’t really offer any advantages any more. When the kids were young it did, but not now. We will be fairly close to a larger city, but far enough removed that it is still distinctly rural and it should remain so for our time there.
    It does become easier once the decision is made as you can then start to identify and focus on the must haves, the maybes and see just what the boundaries and restraints may be – if any. We spent a lot of time running through scenarios, so many that at times it seemed nearly impossible. In fact in one case I pulled out at the 11th hour as reality hit home ie: – I couldn’t be in 3 places at once, there was going to be too much to do and logistically it was near impossible. Thankfully, it all becomes clearer as you progress, and in our case, going right up to the wire on a couple of occasions helped define and clarify the process and made it a lot easier the next time around. It was rather intense but ultimately satisfying.
    While 30 years is a lot to leave behind, the memories go with you. They are no weight to carry.
    p.s. My citrus – the grapefruit – are up too. That is very satisfying.

    @cristina, E’ fantastico? Absolutely!

    @laurieann, When I came across your journals a month or so ago, mentioning chooks, goats and a change, I recognized a kindred spirit. I hope you tramp across your fields very soon. ;-)


    @Bernieh, It certainly will be a life change, and a good one as we’ve been able to do it at our pace. The timing is certainly well before push came to shove for which I’m thankful.


    @Sue_McMuffin09, It is a HUGE move, bigger than most would think (excepting those who have visited here!) I must remember to take those photos, and tally the number of trips!

    @Pink_Lady, Ah, the chooks! Indeed they will be happy, very happy. The current owner had a small flock when we visited (plus rooster) and they were very content wandering around the house paddock, it was a peep into the future for ours, and Yes, a rooster will be introduced to the girls, :-) and will hopefully stop the alpha hen from crowing. :-(
    As for the rest of the menagerie, it will be varied and large – starting with a goat or 3, some Dexter cattle when time permits, an alpaca or 5, and a donkey or 2. I’ll stop there! (well, listing them anyway)

    @TeresaGreen, It certainly is a tree change. The Southern Blue Gums? (I believe, but yet to be confirmed) are magnificent specimens. Sadly the drought has had an effect on them but they should recover so long as the winds stay away.

    @Orenda, Thank you, and the cheer squad is appreciated. ;-)

    @LeslieintheGarden, In this climate – especially the rain. Hmm, then again – the sun can be a beast too. Thank you on both counts!

    @seeingreen, I do believe I have a John Seymour here, not too dusty either! Ah, nostalgia. Hmm, I hope there’s more joy than sadness amongst that mix. There will be plenty of the good here I’m sure.

    @Bdapy2, The shed will indeed keep me busy as there is a small engineering workshop to fill it with, one that’s been crammed into a quarter of the size up to now. No longer should there be small cramped aisle-ways, and high frustration levels when attempting projects, instead there too will be… acreage!

    @Dogs, A smooth move is indeed hoped for. It will be long, involved, and logistically challenging. Some of the machines I mention above would easily tip the scales at 2 tonnes each. The rest are heavy enough that they dictate the pace, not I!

    @halhurst, Hi Grizzly. :-) Indeed the garden here is on hold, it has become a wilderness now (already I’m losing chooks amongst the comfrey. :-) It will be tamed on the last day.
    As for some essential grounding when the change seems too rapid? That’s good advice and we’ll do that with coffee grounds, and rather than waste all that liquid that’s produced in the process, we’ll drink it — whilst waiting for the sun to rise/set. Amen to that!

    Posted on 22 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    This is such an exciting development for you, and I can hardly wait to see you back on Folia as your new adventure unfolds! It seems you’ve been preparing for this moment for a long, long time. When I first saw how you farmed every inch of your city lot I thought you must be headed in this direction. I’m just excited to see the dream has materialized and wish you and your family a smooth relocation and much happiness there. KOKO!

    Posted on 23 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Russell

    Russell wrote:

    Hey congrats. Our tree change was 4 years ago, and we haven’t regretted a thing. At least you have some shade there, we’re still trying to get trees established. Make sure you budget some funds for soil mprovement, in case you have the topsoil erosion issues we’re having.

    May I ask how big it is? We though 8 acres was too small for us, but now the cows have moved on, keeping the back 4 acres clean & tidy is a big job!

    Good luck on the move, don’t stress, just enjoy leaving the rate race and finding the peaceful life :)

    Posted on 23 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Lauriej

    Lauriej wrote:

    Hi graibeard, what a wonderful looking place. I’m sure that your ingenuity will put to the test and all your projects will be successful. Best wishes to DW, yourself and family.

    Posted on 23 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • hops

    hops wrote:

    How exciting! All the best for your new start Graibead. I’m sure it will keep you very busy – hopefully we’ll see you back here on folia before too long.

    Posted on 23 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Scottys2

    Scottys2 wrote:

    How exciting! I’m jealous – would love to take the plung myself but not able to. Hope all goes well and you’ll be back to tell us all about it.

    Posted on 24 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Scottys2

    Scottys2 wrote:

    oops! plunge :O)

    Posted on 24 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • nickyn

    nickyn wrote:

    Congrats! Sounds like it will suit your family perfectly. I am very happy for you! Hope it all goes smooth & easy!

    Posted on 24 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • digfrance

    digfrance wrote:

    wow looks great going to be a very nice adventure . May the garden gods follow you .

    Posted on 24 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • SneIrish

    SneIrish wrote:

    @graibeard – my friend, I am so excited for you. How wonderful for you! Of course, I wish you all the best, that goes without saying. My most positive thoughts are headed your way. I will miss you, but eagerly await your return and hear all about it!
    My wish for you in an old Irish blessing:
    May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
    May the sun warm the land,
    May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
    And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.

    Posted on 25 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • Hypo_Mix

    Hypo_Mix wrote:

    Central Victoria, north of Ballarat? thats the gold fields region, i did my masters project on property revegitation there. Let me know if i can be of assistance. (i would recommend doing the “master tree growers” course if you get a chance)

    currently doing my PhD (hence why i have been inactive) on natural enermies and shelterbelts to promote property revegetation.

    Only thing I havent done is actully practically applyed this knowledge!

    Posted on 27 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    A quiet patch, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts…

    @flowerweaver, Yes it was wall to wall (and with no gardener to tend it all it is climbing the walls). I don’t think I’ll be quite so restricted at this place – probably more the opposite where I risk biting off more than I can chew. KOKO :-)

    @Russell, It certainly is nice to have established trees and especially ones of this character. I’m curious as to their age as they aren’t young ones. One downside is that they are of the limb dropping variety, and their size means hard hats are of no use! Still, we grew up with that aspect, it’s the visitors we’ll need to educate (no parking or sheltering – especially on hot days).
    The block size? Hmmm, What if I said I was going to be very busy? Very very very busy? Okay, 100+ acres and while it means I’m going to be mowing again (for hay) it also means animals are going to be a large part of our life, if not friends.
    I am, we are, really looking forward to it, and while we’ve bitten off a huge chunk it’s going to be worth every minute – this is still a lifestyle choice but with hopefully enough independence that a small income can be generated. We’ll give it one hell of a go and we intend to succeed even though it’s a huge challenge. But if we are given the opportunity then I feel we should take it. That opportunity was there, it will take a short while to confirm its feasibility, but after that it’s down to us.
    I do like stress free too, that really appeals to me!
    As for the rats, they ate my chilis last season so we don’t talk to each other anymore – good riddance to them I say! :-)

    @Lauriej, The projects will no doubt bloom. In fact, it’s going to be great to allow them free reign (I have many more on the list now).

    @hops, Thank you, and I hope so too. I was thinking during a quiet moment that there is a good chance I’ll be putting in a winter crop soon enough. Hopefully things do go smoothly and I get that chance. It would be the “farm warming” planting ;-)

    @Scottys2, Thanks and I appreciate how you feel. I’ve had my heart strings plucked on many an occasion when reading about other people ventures.

    @nickyn, While it will only be the two of us now, we have strong indications that there will be plenty of visitors, and not just family either. A lot of people will enjoy this and at many levels, we’re happy to share a good thing.

    @digfrance, Thanks, They are welcome to pop along (and expert help will always be appreciated!)

    @SneIrish, I thank you indeed, as do the ancestors. That blessing reads perfectly, and if we experience that we will be very content.
    Would you smile if I told you that there is already a comfrey patch there? Would you chortle if I told you I’d be taking mine anyway? I guess I didn’t have to tell you that last bit, you knew anyway. ;-)

    @Hypo_Mix, Indeed it is – there’s actually an old mine on part of it. I’ll be in touch that’s for certain as one paddock is earmarked for a bit of ‘agroforestry’ and I have a few seedlings to start it with (although it needs a lot more thought yet.) The Master Tree Growers site looks interesting, I’ll have to follow up on that.

    Posted on 27 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • PaulP

    PaulP wrote:

    I remember my move – wow, 12 years ago now. I envy your adventure.

    Congratulations on the soon-to-be move. :-)

    Posted on 28 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • dianelouv

    dianelouv wrote:

    Congrats! We know where you’re going, as we’ve been walking that path ourselves. Fun, tiring, thrilling, surprising… Wishing you the best.

    Posted on 28 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • LillyPilly

    LillyPilly wrote:

    How did I miss this post? What a wonderful adventure you are setting out on. I look forward to reading all about this new property. Queensland Arrowroot? Who cares, when you can grow PISTACHIOS! I recently found an address for another place that sells cuttings of many interesting varieties of pomegranates and thought of you. I had no idea that you would soon have enough room to have all the varieties you want! Best wishes, and keep us posted.

    Posted on 29 Nov 11 (over 2 years ago)

  • HollyBee

    HollyBee wrote:

    I’m just now catching up on 11 months of reading journals(half through, thankfully). Congratulations on your move! It will be so exciting and I’m looking forward to hearing all about the new place. And yes, I did notice a distinct absence of Graibeard postings!

    Posted on 15 Feb 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • poppyde

    poppyde wrote:

    Good on you.
    I have just retired (Nov 2011) and have so many things to do I don’t know where to start. Unfortunately nothing seems to be the one that’s taken over. Updating Folia was going to be near the top but getting 27 years of backyard bird observations, now on paper, on to Excel spreadsheets has sort of taken over.
    So it has just been now that I read that you have taken the big move back to the bush. Another good part of your life is about to begin, enjoy it, I will follow with interest.

    Posted on 02 Apr 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • epiphany

    epiphany wrote:

    Congrats on the move!!!! I’m so jealous :) And no doubt the next phase of your adventure will be hugely exciting & rewarding.

    Posted on 15 Jul 12 (about 2 years ago)

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