Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Tyranny of Two Addresses

We have two addresses. Our 'Opportunity Farm' on the edge of the Monaro, up at 900metres above sea level and 'Sennacharib', down in the mountain forests of Far East Gippsland at 300m above sea level.  As far as growing fruit and vegies the two addresses are ideal. Opportunity Farm is in the green tomato pickles belt. That means that inevitably the first frost of the season robs you of  your luscious red tomatoes, so you have to settle for pickles. But up here in the high country you can grow cherries, sweet carrots and your brassicas and lettuce are less likely to bolt prematurely. At Sennacharib we grow citrus, oodles of tomatoes, more zucchini than one family and their pigs will ever devour and pumpkins.  So what is the problem?

Two houses 34km apart, two of everything, constant moving and not appreciating being in just one home. Sennacharib we built ourselves; mud brick, local timber and roofing iron. It is three hundred acres of bush surrounded by Errinundra and Snowy River National Parks. Technology free as you can get. We only have three small solar panels and these do; lights, a car stereo, portable esky fridge and a tiny 120 watt inverter. A generator runs the washing machine and vacuum cleaner.  Despite only missing being burnt in last years 285,000 ha bushfire by eighty metres, it is in a beautiful forested valley out of sight of neighbours and any other signs of civilization. It is the spiritual home Matthew and I built along with our marriage and five children. But I have ties North:

My three children from my previous marriage.A house I owned before Matthew and I married. A community I felt apart of. Access to high school and  proximity to my children's Dad.

There was also the small problem of Logging town versus Greenie town. My three kids wanted to stay where their friends were and where they felt politically comfortable. It was very very hard walking that line when they were younger and my extended family also had their prejudices and have not been supportive.

But now the last of my oldest three children have flown the coop. The timber industry is all but dead and both communities have diminished in population to such an extent that they 'almost' huddle together for support. Times change, but we still have the conundrum. Two homes we love. We spend more time on Opportunity Farm because we have animals that need care. Sennacharib has only wild wombats, wallabies, roos and an increasing population of deer. They do not require any support from us. The garden does require tending, and watering can be a challenge but can be managed with the support of wonderful neighbours. When we are on Sennacharib we are loathe to leave and ditto when we return to Opportunity Farm.  This will remain an ongoing saga.

No comments:

Post a Comment