“Stay true to your own nature.” ~ Susan Cain
Just when I think changes have settled down, more big changes seem to pop up! Such is life, so after a shortish absence from A Farm of Your Home, please allow me to bring you up to date.
Bye Bye Bees!
There were a few compounding reasons behind me eventually deciding to give up my hive to a fellow bee buddy. Initially, I was totally against it and tried to find a workable solution. But it wasn’t to “bee”.
Despite being well fed and routinely managed, our bees were hostile and aggressive. To our great concern, our apiary hosts were getting stung, even when minding their own business, away from the apiary.
My bee buddy, who received immunotherapy last year for her anaphylactic bee allergy became (understandably) reluctant to work the angry bees and I simply couldn’t manage them all on my own.
The good news is, I can still visit my hive. I haven’t given up on bees entirely, but I can’t manage them the way I want to right now.
Bye Bye Chickens!
I hosted a number of chickens at the start of the year, my original three, two refugees from a friend, and three feathered ladies holidaying from the kid’s school. It was too much of a good thing.
The chickens from school seemed to arrive with a dose of mites which required a full-scale chemical assault to finally tame their virulence.
The refugee chickens had issues too. Namely, one who thought she was a rooster and got up at 5:30 in the morning to crow and noisily hassle her coop-mates.
My three girls were the only reliable layers to boot. Eight chickens and only three, perhaps four eggs a day was not a good balance. Plus, my new pullets treated their laying box like a roost and every morning, our few precious eggs would be covered in poop. So much poop!
My friend would joke that whenever she called me, I was mucking out the coop. It certainly felt that way. I was over it.
Luckily for me, a friend of my mother’s agreed to take my rowdy lot to her farm.
So now I am chookless and beeless!
At first, it was jarring. The number of times I am referred to as “the bee lady” or “the chicken lady”, was enough to weirdly make them seemingly part of my identity… practically all my friends and family were shocked when they learned that I had decided to give them up.
In the midst of all this, I got a new job. Nothing to do with gardens, chickens or bees. I had so dearly wanted to find work in and around urban agriculture or a community garden but perhaps ironically, it appears my experience blogging and producing websites has the greatest market value.
And I realised another thing…
My attempts to develop A Farm of Your Home into a business robbed me of all my passion for it. Choosing it as my main focus meant all my other interests were ignored like neglected children. It wasn’t long before I missed them.
I became aware of the fine line between offering value, and just making noise. A lot of the promotion I needed to do felt icky to me. I’m a private person, with a small group of trusted friends.
Actively seeking, and garnering attention will always feel incredibly uncomfortable for me, especially around my own home, which I would like to keep as a personal sanctuary.
I’m Still Growing…
Conventional wisdom says,
“Starve your distractions and feed your focus.”
“Follow one course until you are successful”
But, I’m not like that. I’m multipassionate. I have many different interests, but I’m always delighted to discover how they overlap. How permacultural principles can be applied to business. How great project management is fundamentally just good physics. How planning a garden is a much like planning a party. How beehives resemble companies.
And for the first time, instead of fighting my own nature, I’m going to find a way to work with it.
My garden will return to being my hobby, my creative outlet and a source of insight and inspiration.
Our wet and chilly start to the year was followed by a warm and dry March and April that laid most of the garden to waste and I let it go. It was around the same time I was letting the chooks and bees go. Morning glory vine began to creep into my greenhouse.
Then Husband helped me to muck in and I gave it a good clean up and a clean out.
I have less time for it than I used to. But that is essentially remedied with a tweak in design. More perennials. Fewer annuals.
I don’t know when I will post again, I’m aiming for once a week. But I won’t write until I feel like I have something useful to share or say.