Monday, November 17, 2014


Hiya folks. If any of you are still with me, you've noticed I've been away for a while. I could say that life got busy, I was working full time, pregnant, and then a mommy, the whole usual story. It would all be true, but not the true reason I left.

I felt like a bit of a fraud.

I felt like I had no new, meaningful things to talk about. The byline suggesting I was working on acquiring a farm. Lets face it, if I win the lotto tomorrow it's first on my hit list, but otherwise it's gonna be decades at least. I wasn't doing much in the way of using my homesteading skills where I was. I was living way north and nowhere permanent to do anything meaningful, I abandoned 2 sets of gardens, and a beautiful compost bin before getting anything to show for either investment of time, effort and money. Food made me ill, I really didn't want to talk about that. So I left.

Now I'm back. Both on the blog, and back in the city. I've been up to all kinds of good things that I keep thinking would be fun to blog about, and thought it was about time I made a come back, rather than just sighing whimsically while taking pictures of "boot sauce" that will never see the light of day outside of my own camera.

 Cathartica farm sounded misleading. I don't have a farm. And there are no Cathartica or Buckthorn trees growing here, so it was just kinda silly. So, Cu Dona Valley.

Cu Dona is gaelic, it means bad dog. She isn't really a bad dog, but she does have moments of naughtiness. Usually it means I've failed her, she needs more exercise than she's gotten and turned her sharp little mind and boundless energy to other pursuits. I call her my cu dona lovingly. The "valley" part is a bit of self deprecating humour. Through years of neglect, when all the neighbours were studiously adding fill and topsoil to their yards and building them up with soil retaining grasses, the lot at this poor house was growing a smattering of scraggly weeds and gradually becoming the low point in the neighbourhood. It floods in the spring, or really, any good rain. We're working on it.

So, we're in an elderly house in disrepair with a shabby, ill kempt yard, and trying to turn it into something beautiful. Already we've done much cosmetically (painted the kitchen cabinets and given them new hardware, painted.... well, every wall in the house, replaced some of the flooring, totally redone the bathroom, added new window dressings etc) in the house, taken out some old and dangerous trees that were damaged by the ice storms last winter (the sawdust helped sop up some of the lake, and the grass seemed to like to grow in it? Which I wouldn't have guessed, but am happy about). We've temporarily mended the fence and will replace it next year. Built two whole new walls for the leaning, leaky, garage and put a new roof on it. Should be sound and tight through the winter. We've built 3 raised garden beds that are 3x10, and a compost bin, and I've planted red currant, blueberry and rhubarb plants. This year I harvested roughly 50 lbs of produce from my garden. Not a bad start, but not great either. As I sit here shivering and listening to the wind howl through the place, I mentally note that windows and doors are up next on the to-do list.

I could say more, but its late and, well, I'm a mommy now, and Connor likes to wake up at the crack of dawn, so I better shuffle myself off to bed.

If you've stuck with me from Cathartica Farm, bless you, and if you're new to Cu Dona Valley, welcome and I hope I write some stuff that makes you think. I promise not to sound as preachy as those last few posts. Yikes, I blame pregnancy. It's weird man.

1 comment:

small farm girl said...

Welcome back! It sounds like you have had a busy time! I'm glad your back so you can tell us more about it!