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It's over!!!!! I sat my exam this afternoon and it feels so good to have it behind me. Next semester I'm aiming to devote more time every week and hopefully it won't be as full-on as this one was. I'm thinking that only doing one subject could help as well.
You'd think that right now I'd be relaxing with a good book on the couch, but no, instead I'm trying to work out how we could precisely afford a dream. The dream being a 500 hectare farm in the middle of nowhere near where we honeymooned. (Before anyone starts thinking that we're ultra-wealthy, let me stop that thought right there. We're ok, but not exactly rolling in it.)
So, my "break" is now consisting of doing some financial modeling to ascertain what this purchase would do to our lifestyle. Thus far it's looking like Mick's taste for gourmet cheese could be somewhat curbed and we're going to invest in a freezer to buy bulk meat. I also somehow think that any thought of an overseas holiday to visit friends is being put on the backburner.
So, why would we do it? Seriously, it's about preserving farming in Australia. Apparently the other people interested want to turn the farm into a motocross track. I'm not against motocross, but realistically feeding people should take precedence over people polluting the land even more. I grew up on farms and have a strong belief that a country needs to be, first and foremost, able to feed itself.
All over Australia areas that were once productive strawberry farms or pastoral areas are being abandoned by the farmers and turned into housing estates. Part of it is the drought, but part of it is also developers who just see land as something to be exploited. I know it seems odd for a 20-something to be really passionate about this, but I strongly believe that we need to support our farmers. Even if things are tough in the city, it's bound to be tougher for the farmers. That's why we can't afford to just keep on distancing ourselves from the producers. The big two supermarkets over here are systematically reducing the variety of produce and meat that we have available. They have driven down the price of meat for producers (you can buy producing cows and calves for $300, however due to the fact that they weren't able to get that price, over 500 animals were shot at saleyards to put them out of their misery). It seriously beggars belief that this has happened in a country once well known for primary production.
On the boards, Brigid was talking about her CSA boxes - in Brisbane we had a similar thing where farmers in the Lockyer Valley would get together and provide boxes to people. You could pick them up from key places around the city and were invited to go and see the farmer and, importantly, the farm. In Perth, I haven't found anything that matches that so, I'm supporting them the other way I know - grow my own and buy local and in-season. Hence, I've gotten to know my local greengrocer really well and quiz where things come from. I think they're slightly over my questioning the origin of things, so now they have it clearly displayed as to whether something is WA grown or not.
The meat side is where I really make sure I avoid the supermarket. I have issues with the fact that they charge so much more than they pay the producers. I've found some local farmers that will sell lamb and beef directly to the public, so we're getting a chest freezer and a quarter of a cow. As a bonus, our puppies will have all of the lamb and beef bones. A whole lamb is coming as well which will be nice. Somehow I think stews will be featuring on our meal plan a little more.
Sorry for the long post, I think I'm trying to justify how we'll afford it and why we're doing it to myself as much as anything. I'm taking some rhodiola to counter the stressiness surrounding me at the moment as well as ARA plus and Intrinsia. I'm going to order some proberry this weekend as I really need to knock this chest infection on the head.
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