What would Dad think of the farm?

It’s at family occasions like Easter that I think of Dad most often.

Dad died at Christmas-time in 2006 when Zoe was just six months old. A new mum with a thriving micro-business and a husband from the city, I had to decide whether I would take on the family farm. Michael, the wise local accountant, advised to sell – I was doing well, farms are far from the most lucrative investment choice and why work so hard, anyhow? After all, my parents had invested in a great education so I didn’t have to be a farmer.

But I love the place. And the cows. And fresh air and the contentment that sore muscles bring. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my career, a working life spent wholly indoors would be unimaginable. When I said I just couldn’t bear to lose the farm, Michael clicked his tongue, shook his head and said, “Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you”.

Michael was right, of course. It’s been a tough few years. The farm was run down and it’s taken a mighty effort to restore it to manageability, so now and then, I like to imagine what Dad would say if he could see it now.

With a lot of help, we’ve removed tonnes of old stuff, repaired kilometres of fencing, renewed kilometres more of the water system, installed 21 new troughs and a couple of water tanks, renovated 200 hectares of pasture and planted 8000 trees.

I thought I’d take a few photos to remind myself how far we’d come and discovered something humbling. For all we have achieved, it was Dad’s accomplishments that stole the show.

Dad planted the tall trees in 1999. The small ones went in two years ago.

Dad planted the tall trees in 1999. The small ones went in two years ago.

Dad built this wildlife haven in 1984 and planted the trees

Dad built this wildlife haven in 1984 and planted the trees

This is what would have taken Dad's breath away

This is what would have taken Dad’s breath away

2 Comments

Filed under Community, Environment, Farm

2 responses to “What would Dad think of the farm?

  1. Andrew

    Well done Marian, the place looks fantastic and I’m sure your father would be very proud with what you have achieved so far, you guys are what makes our country great thankyou..

    Like

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Andrew. It’s so easy to take things for granted, isn’t it?

    Like

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