Life goes on

If I didn’t have the internet then I doubt I would know what was going on in the world, true I may question why I have to wear a mask and gloves to go and do the shopping, I might even wonder why the roads are so quiet and the skies above clear of vapour trails, for all I know the kids are just on holiday and Gosia has found a way to make soaps super fast and has more free time on her hands. So far I can only see positives in the current situation and thats when I realise how fortunate we are to live the life we do. The memories of living in a flat and working the nine to five are best left in the past as I try and imagine what it must be like for so many people now. I hope for their sakes that a solution is found sooner rather than later, although I secretly hope that it changes people and ‘the system’ for the better on the other side. This could be a real opportunity for humanity to improve.

Phew, that was close, I nearly got caught up in the brave new world ramble, instead I thought it was about time for an update, fill in a few gaps from the last year or two.

Eleven & Twelve

I’ll start with the goats who seem to be multiplying at the moment, if only because it’s a great photo opportunity. Eleven and twelve (names to be confirmed) were born yesterday, joining Sunday Monday, Minka, Meggy, Rougeka, Baba, Chocolada, Dushek, Daisy and Socks, both destined to join the herd as long term members. There are more still to come, possibly another six, so I’m reminded that I must extend the stable to make room for more and\or get an advert on the local web gazette.

All these extra mouths to feed mean that we now collect hay from a neighbours field as well as our own, and I’m becoming a dab hand at setting up an electric fence as I try and find new grazing land to keep the herd interested enough to leave other farmers crops alone. A bored and hungry goat can jump close to 6 foot and is quite happy to reason that an electric shock is a small price to pay for a lush crop of wheat or oats, so I try and keep the fence moving and occasionally dress up as Heidi and take them for walks 🙂

Window house
Window house

And its not just the goats that seem to want feeding a wide variety of food, the wife and kids are quite demanding too 🙂 Luckily I built a green house out of old windows and some wood left over from the house build (yes I still have some left) which has helped me get off to a flying start with the veg this year. Radish, lettuce, rocket, cucumber, gherkins, melons, strawberries, pumpkins, peas, onions, broccoli … get the idea, all starting off well and slowly planted out as the weather improves and the last frost nears. My biggest problem at the moment is water as we had such a mild winter with hardly any snow, coupled with only one notable rainfall so far this month, my IBC’s (1000 litre tanks) are empty and I’m having to transport water from the house in cans. Dont get me wrong, I’m not complaining, this climate suites me fine as It keeps me outdoors getting on with the multitude of jobs that have waited multiple years to get done 🙂

Growing fast
Growing fast

Talking of kids, I guess they should get a mention, at six and two they are the life and soul of the house and everything revolves around them, which is a good thing as they keep us on our toes and stop me from taking it too easy. I just wish we could get more sleep 🙂

Foraging ahead

Mind you if things gets too much I can always escape on a walk with the dogs, I love to see all the blossoming trees at this time of the year, making a mental note of where to go foraging for wild cherries, damsons, sloes and a wide variety of other plunder from abandoned small holdings. I wonder if this pandemic will bring people back to the country?

Ready for a load of

One final note, as I know Pete will be eager to know how the composting toilets are coming along, I actually replaced the wooden sides on one on my many piles after liberating the sweet smelling compost (vintage 2018) The original wood finally rotted after six years, but as it was free of any preservatives and went straight into he compost. Just what I like to see, no waste 🙂

Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog

42 thoughts on “Life goes on”

    1. I shouldn’t have worried so much, we have had rain almost everyday for close to a month now, certainly no prolonged dry spells and everyone’s new concern is when will we get the hay in 🙂

  1. Great read of both your post and your friends replies too. Love the world you all surround yourself with. Gentle, but with the need for grit determination also. The goats? Numbers and Stranger Things? There are a few numbers I’d pass on. 11 is pretty cool though. I remember helping a friend to build a fence for some goats surrounding a very large area that they were housed in. Seem to remember we went for height so they couldn’t jump over. But that was 20 plus years ago, so a bit foggy. Here on the Welsh coastline? Glorious Month of May, but little rain. Hottest on record, ever!, for May. So understand your weather worries. Once again. Pleasure to read your experiences. Good fortune.

    1. Yes I was thinking Stranger Things 🙂
      You are right about the height, I have seen goats go over close to 6 foot in the past, although I have found that 4ft will keep them mostly at bay, my biggest problem is the smallest (goats) that always find a gap underneath 🙂

  2. ghrrr.. U mentioned only Pete to be eager to know how compost piles are doing and how about me 😉 ?
    I even thought how you were doing – without any entries on the roster -a few times.

    Btw.. do you know IVth edition of humanure handbook has been released ?.

    All the best !

    1. That must be Raf? I hope you are well? Yes indeed a new edition of The Humanure Handbook, but then I thought what else can he put in it that would help me, surely seven plus years of experience is enough 🙂

      1. Ouch! sorry! I forgot whether I used JUra or Raf.. nick in here.

        Thanks we are getting by somehow…and do not suffer much the quarantine period.
        In fact not much has changed. My lady is even happier to work from home.

        as to humanure practice U ‘ d probably gain nothing .
        I only enjoyed the bibliography and the chapter about antibiotics and other chem compounds decomposition mechanism.

        HUgs to you

        btw. wondering what could speed up the soap production process so much..

  3. WP has unfollowed me from your site the buggers! Thank **** for Facebook! Lovely to see Eleven and Twelve, so cute. I often think I bet Eddy is just carrying on as normal whilst the rest of us are housebound, so I’m glad that’s more or less true. Fab post and give my love to all XX

    1. You know I think I’m going to keep the names, especially with Stranger Thing in mind, although I better be extra nice to Eleven, just in case 🙂
      When you get the parcel, hopefully tomorrow, the jar of honey is in fact a jar of Gosias latest formula liquid soap, let me know what you think, love and hugs coming back to you from us all 🙂

  4. Great to see you. I agree; the current situation has many advantages, even confined to our flat as we are, as I’ve said in some of my most recent posts. I understand that many people in the UK feel the same way, perhaps even wider afield. But I’m pretty sure the god ‘Money’ will quickly take over again and we’ll return to destroying the planet pdq!

    1. I had just read your post, before doing the milking, and meant to comment, which I will do soon. I fear you are right that money will become the driving force again. Mind you I was heartened to read the comments on the story of the oils price crashing (o the BBC website) The most popular comments seemed to echo the hope that things may change for the better because of the crisis, we can hope 🙂

  5. These kids! We can’t wait to see the first fawns of the year with all the deer (sarna) hanging around our village.
    We’re also just so lucky to be in the countryside at the moment, to have a place to escape the flat in the town and the masks and gloves come about only once a week when we go grocery shopping. Silver lining – we have never spent so much time in spring here, what with the school and having to pop in to the office every time and again (not now of course). So back to your old posts for some inspiration to keep us busy once the laptops switch off in the afternoons -#glasshouse envy but for now it’s some small fencing to stop the (new in the house) dog running over veggie patch when he does his crazy rounds around the garden.

    1. Good to hear you have an escape from the city, I have a feeling more people will be looking for a permanent move in the future as they realise what life is actually about 🙂 Dogs, children, goats, all pose a serious threat to the garden, a sturdy fence is a must 🙂

  6. Well, I for one want to see cute kid pics! 🙂 So glad you are all doing good in this weird and crazy time. As usual, our nut case in the White House is dividing us, name calling, spreading lies, etc. etc. so getting through this awful virus thing is made even more challenging and frightening than it should be.
    Now, let’s see the kiddos! We need some more smiles!

  7. Great to hear from you again Eddy as well as your regular commenting gang. Agree with sentiments that this might be our wake up call to start taking more care of the gifts we have on this beautiful planet. We too are still in the starting blocks of the house building so very very busy with preparations and garden upkeep. Hope everyone stays well and happy.

    1. Nice to hear from you and know that you are still on track with the house. Yes I think the planet needs a chance and I think this may well be a warning to us to stop and think.

    1. Nice to see you here, thanks for popping in and commenting, I keep meaning to catch up on so many of your top toons to keep my spirits up, so I’m reminded to do so 🙂

  8. Hi, Eddy, we wondered ho wall this was affecting Poland. For us as well, this interesting interval could just be a blessed bit of extra time — to get the garden in and mulched, plant new fruit trees, berries, and hazelnuts, and tear down and rebuild the old barn that got knocked off its foundations fifteen years ago when five inches of rain pulled part of the hill down. Economic uncertainties in the greater world just make dependence on soil, sunlight, grass, and grazing, look even more secure — and people around here are buying up garden seeds and baby chicks like never before, so maybe other folks think so, too. Wouldn’t it be nice if we came out of this a little more commited to our place and our people?

  9. “I try and keep the fence moving and occasionally dress up as Heidi…” / …”they keep us on our toes…”

    So, I was expecting to see you dressed up as Heidi, standing on tiptoes. In spite of that minor disappointment, this was blog post was definitely the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).

  10. See, I told you baby goats was a good idea for a post! 🙂
    I can imagine that the wooden sides of that pile did rot! Have you ever considered Breeze Blocks instead?
    Thanks for the udates, and the photos. More of the same please.
    Best wishes, and love to all. Pete. x

  11. There are some aspects of your life I envy (but not all).

    I like goats, and I like the open country. And, I like not having neighbors right on top of us.

    But, for now, we’ll hunker down and stay put.

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