My son Owen has just turned 14.
As they say, it’s not long since I was changing his nappies. He was a real brat at nine years old, and in the last year he’s become a fairly impressive young man.
Lately, I’ve often had him working with our wwoofers, partly for some extra manpower and partly because our wwoofers are generally fine young people who set a great example. He’s made a valuable contribution to some of the projects at the Goulburn Club, for instance.
Owen has joined the Air Force Cadets, and very much looks the part. He had an induction camp a few weeks ago, had a great time and fitted right in.
For his birthday, he brought 6 mates out to the farm for a camping weekend. They cooked some of their own food, and ran through some complicated Nerf-gun scenarios. One of them by moonlight. Owen had somehow wangled some night-vision goggles, so I think he had an unfair advantage in that one.
The plan for the big dinner was to kill a goose and some chickens and cook them over the spit. As it turned out, the Saturday turned suddenly cold, so Allison decided to do chicken burgers for them, inside the house, instead. And birthday cake with icecream — so much for military rations! Then they got to watch a horror movie, and sleep in front of the wood fire. Roughing it NOT.
So the goose lives on. We had in mind one that the wwoofers called “Thid”, after the Ice Age sloth. Thid is a runt or failed goose, or possibly a duck/goose hybrid. Who seems to be blind. His goose siblings wouldn’t have him, so he lives with the ducks. We feel a bit mean about intending to eat him, but we certainly don’t want to breed from him. There is a farm logic that we have to follow here. I expect he will be tasty when the time comes.
Speaking of farm livestock, I should report that we have no beef cattle right now. Our pure highland-cattle mother Heather (named after my friend we bought her from, not my past stepmother) got caught and damaged in a fence, and had to be put down. Tasty the calf was due to be eaten then, and we decided to do his half-hereford big sister too. And quite delicious they have been too. Only we’ve eaten far too much of the delectable stewing steaks, and not enough of that boring old rump steak and t-bones.
I’m banned from having any more beef cattle until we fix up our fences. Some were never repaired after the 1984 bushfire, and are now only a voluntary boundary to our livestock. Hopefully, sometime this year I’ll get the materials and a good wwoofer crew and we’ll do something about all that.