To many my life here on my little farm in NE Victoria appears idyllic. The landscape is picturesque with lush green pasture surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains covered in our native forest. Little goats run around my paddocks and the kids play with me and jump on my back. I can pat and feed the cows by hand. All the animals have names.
I often refer to it here as God’s country. A river runs literally fifteen meters from my house and the water is so clear and full of trout. The hills have Sambar deer and myself and husband often go hunting and hiking in pursuit of venison so we can live more sustainably.
For most people, they often say my lifestyle is their dream, but just like a country song, its not always about the good times. There is hardship and there is heartbreak. I’ve had to get use to death. I’ve had to get use to dangers everywhere, every day. I’ve had to get use to environmental extremes. I’ve had to get use to being prepared for everything without letting my anxiety get on top of me.
I’ve had many animals die this year. I love all my animals so much that losing any one of them is hard. We had the bushfires at the start of the year with a major fire right behind my property. It lurked there for almost two months and it was absolutely terrifying for me. I was evacuated from the property three times and thought I would lose everything. I was blessed it never touched my property. The winters’ here are harsh and it is not uncommon to wake up in the morning and the temperature is well in the minuses. One morning I woke up and did my farm duties in -8 Celsius. During the summer though, I’ve seen it peak at 48 degrees Celsius.
At the moment, the snakes are out and about. We have the worst type here and the most common I see is the deadly brown snake. To be frank, if I get bitten here on the property I will die. That is the reality of where I live. I live too far out of town to make it to hospital in time, even with a snake immobilisation bandage. I keep guinea fowl that I let free range as they help with keeping the snakes away from the house and yard area. I still have to be extremely vigilant during the warmer months.
Now, its starting to all sound like a very depressing country song, but it’s not depressing nor is it all happy-happy, joy-joy. It’s country life. It’s my life and I’m living it like a country song.
Written by Brooke Strahan.Continue reading