There’s no doubt about it, farm life is pretty amazing! My husband and I went out to the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon for a 60th birthday and it almost made us sick. Not the birthday – but the traffic, the noise, the cars, the people…it was just too much. We have become so accustomed to farm life and the lack of noise and cars and people that when we do have to go out into the world, it can be very overwhelming.
It made me think about the things I love about farm life and living in the bush, and I wanted to share it with the world.
1. There are horses, chickens and cows as far as the eye can see!
I have loved animals my whole life. Horses particularly. So when we moved out to our little farmlet and I got chooks first, then some ducks, then geese, then my horse, (and of course we always had dogs and cats!), I felt like life was kinda complete. I’d still like to have a cow or two, some goats, maybe even alpacas! (but that’s for when we move to the big farm!)
Looking out the window as I sit at my office desk, I can hear the kookaburras calling, my horse whinnying to the other horses next door, or my farm fowl making any array of squeaks and chirps. It’s joyous to be in an area where the birds and animals live alongside us, and where we can enjoy each others company daily.
2. The smell of fresh cut hay.
I am allergic to grass, specifically freshly mowed grass. But there is something very #farmlife like about fresh hay, especially fresh cut hay. We often have at least a couple of bales for the big boy, and when it gets delivered it has that particuarly musky, farm scent which I adore. It’s like my husbands friend that came over and said “Gee, I love the smell of horses”. It reminded him of his country town in New Zealand where he was born and the farms he grew up around. There’s just a distinctive, reminiscent, familiar scent about hay and horses that really makes you feel as if you are far away.
Come to think of it, the smell of freshly-worked dirt is pretty good, too. A lot of folks have vegetable or flower gardens where we are, and so there is always that smell of fresh dirt. I love the feeling and scent of fresh dirt, and feeling it between your fingers.
3. Living in the middle of nowhere.
While we are not exactly as remote as we’d like to be, we’re still a good 1hr+ drive to the city or the Gold Coast. To get to the nearest town with at least a K-Mart is a 30 minute drive, so we are pretty country, but not overtly rural. But still, we drive on country roads that are not illuminated by road lights, and have animal crossing signs in our surrounds. We take a 5 minute drive south west and we’re already in a totally rural ‘township’ and then after that it’s more bush, more country, more farms. So being out in the middle of nowhere, whilst not for everyone, is definitely not for the faint hearted. Making the decision to live out of town, even a country town, is a huge choice and has many ramifications along the way in terms of how you live, how you prepare, etc. There is no greater joy though, in waking up after a long deep night of sleep, sitting on your verandah in your uggies drinking coffee, and listening to kookaburras waking everyone up. It’s a joy like no other.
4. Farm life is hard yakka, but oh so worth it!
Farm life is tough. Noone will debate that. There is always fence to be fixed, equipment to repair, or a project to do. Even when it isn’t “farming season,” there is always something to do.
But there is no greater feeling or accomplishment of a hard days work, and knowing you have totally physically exhausted yourself. As someone who has been a desk/office worker for many years and who has had to use the power of an analytical mind all the time, I find getting outside to do physical work is a way for me to get my body to slow down, and relax. Even recently, after taking 10 days off just prior to my husbands surgery, I told my dad that no matter how hard I was working outside, my brain was still going a million miles an hour. I think that when I am totally exhausted physically, it actually gives my brain a break, but I just need to allocate more time to do that. Once we move out onto the big farm though, that will become much easier!
5. Flexible schedules
We still have schedules of work for when things get done throughout the year. We are not connected to town water or sewerage, and have to manage the safety and cleanliness of our own water. So there is always a raft of maintenance type jobs that occur at different times of the year. Anything from spraying pests, cleaning gutters, managing the fire break, burning off – all those jobs need to be done to keep the homestead functional. And of course, living in SEQ means we have a wet season, which is sometimes late. So being flexible and on top of maintenance definitely helps.
With more opportunity to work from home now though, I’m finding managing property maintenance overall much easier. Because it isn’t just house chores inside like washing dishes or clothes – that stuff is kinda not negotiable because it has to be done. But these extended or intermittent tasks that come along still need attention, and its about having the ability to do it when it works best for you.
Everybody’s lifestyle has something to celebrate. What do you love most about your life?
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