What’s in a name?

I have let it slowly sink in. The knowledge that the farm is now ours. We have title. Its been such a long journey. Since 2010 when I first saw the place and made contact with the seller’s agent.

The feeling I have is not relief, its more like feeling of contentment, or a sense that things are as they should be. The last year especially, has been quite intense. In March last year I secured an “option” to buy the property, since then I have been in a kind of purgatory, a “no man’s land”. In this time, the answer has been not quite yes and not quite no. If it had been “no” I suppose I could have moved on to do other things. (But then again, I have encountered a number of “nos” in this journey, but each time I heard no, I new that my task was to come back and ask the question in a different way.)

The little bit of work I was able to do on the farm, some with the help of volunteers, I had to do in the knowledge that it could all be wasted effort if the deal did not go through. But another part of me decided to continue as if the farm were mine already. Clearing paths, fixing dams, fixing roofs, building fences and grazing cattle. And I suppose that part of me won the day, the part of me that is the believer, the part of me that does not give up, the part of me that keeps pushing and does not easily tire.

Can you see the Woodpecker?

So now that the place is ours, I feel we have to give it a name. When I go out there, I say I am going to “The Farm”. Its formal name is Portion 3 of Farm 43, Goedmoedsfontein East. But Goedmoedsfontein East is the name of the “parent” farm from which this piece was subdivided. Gavin Flanagan’s farm across the road has a signboard that says: ‘Goedmoedsfontein East”, So while the farm is, I understand, the site of the original homestead of the farm, Goedmoedsfontein, it seems impractical to give that as is official name. So what is it to be then? We are in discussion as a family, but until then we will have to go by, Portion 3 of Farm 43, PE!

On the farm this weekend, working on a new “temporary paddock”, The moved the cattle this afternoon into the space marked “10” on the diagram. Perhaps 2 days worth of grazing in there. Its very small, will have to see how it looks tomorrow. The work involved in setting these paddocks up is mainly in clearing a path for the single strand electric fence to run. I then fix plastic insulted clips onto tree stumps and branches on the edge of the pasture or through the forested edge. Th actual running of the fencing strand takes only a few minutes.

paddock layout, revision 3

Author: Tim Hewitt-Coleman

The World can be a better place.... But how? Taking the debate beyond the political, beyond the theoretical into the real economy, into the physical and spatial dimension where cities, landscapes and livelihoods take form.

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