My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ cattle and gardens don’t mix

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Got home late after work to find that Himself had bought four heifers at the cattle sale today. Each year, we raise a few young beef animals from a weaned stage until they’re about a year old and then we sell them. Usually because animals are a bit nervous when they first arrive, they sprint round their new paddock once or twice, find the water trough, have a drink and then put their heads down and eat the grass. So tonight, things went well as the animals off-loaded from the truck into the stockyard. They stood still while Himself gave them a check-over before opening the gate to the paddock. That’s when the fun began. They were bovine fence hurdlers on steroids! We had to move quickly – running across paddocks in gumboots through long grass – to head the animals off. We’re not twenty any more – but I was impressed by our own turns of speed.       

The heifers crashed an electric fence and charged through our boundary stream into the neighbour’s property. Thank goodness her vegetable garden was spared. Neighbourhood help materialised – that’s what’s good about living in this area. Herding the heifers home was an invitation for more bovine athletic antics. One heifer fence-crashed into a second neighbour’s farm. The three others were last seen sprinting up the local road into the sunset. It could be that Himself’s language offended them. Eventually we were able to herd the three road racers back onto our place. More fence-crashing and galloping – through my vegetable garden this time. At least the sweet corn is still standing. One dived into the stream again and swam across back to the neighbour. Two are in time-out, well secured in the paddock behind our house away from the road and the stream.

Three hours later as I write this, I finally have my cup of coffee and Himself is talking to our neighbour. We’ll herd the other two animals back tomorrow.  They now have names: T-Bone, Sirloin, Fillet and Rump Steak – and all are on borrowed time. And our dinner tonight (cooked by son) was – beef hamburgers with fresh salad vegetables from the garden.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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