A blank canvas

And so it starts all over again… But then, it’s never quite the same is it? In fact, it this case it is not even remotely the same, not even by a mile… But then, it is right next door! Confused? So are we J

So we’ve always looked with dreamy eyes at the mostly neglected 4½ acres to the South of us. On it is the original farmhouse – a restorer’s dream, an old stud horse that we, especially the children, regularly feed and then open paddocks with useless weeds and mostly tussock grass, which is categorised as an un-eradicatable pest in these parts. OK, it is not due South, more South-East, but that cold Southerly onshore wind howls straight across the paddocks slam-bang into our apple trees along the driveway and straight through our vegetable patch. (Note to self: should have planted windbreaks.) But I’m side-tracking…

Marlene view.jpg

The view to the South-East – our long-term dream

So when our neighbours (really nice people) on the North-West side told us that they’re putting their 1 acre property on the market, we didn’t give it much thought, at first. We felt really sorry to have to see them go and half-dreaded who we may get in their place. But then it is weird how things developed: we started noticing the many fruit trees and feijoa bushes they’ve got going, as well as granadillas, more raspberries and so on; we also realised they hadn’t sprayed any pesticides or herbicides in the four years that we have been there. We did calculations, looked at other much bigger and more suitable properties, even full-scale farms further away, we speculated about money that wasn’t yet available, we debated about an unsure future with me recently diagnosed with a potentially but not necessarily deadly disease, and we came to the logical conclusion that it wasn’t the right thing for us to consider – not even at a bargain price.

But then one day out of the blue, their son talked to me over the fence, as he often does, but he politely insisted that we should talk to his parents, come take a look and consider the whole thing as an opportunity… Curved ball from the left! So we did the walk-through, noted some potential about the house (more about that in much later posts), shared a few meals with them, and through that short little period of about two weeks, we felt a stronger and stronger calling that we should grab it as an opportunity. It wasn’t clear what kind of opportunity, but the call felt clearer and clearer. A week of negotiations, a bank loan that was surprisingly quickly approved despite my unstable work situation, and before we could even wipe the dust out of eyes, the offer was made and accepted. Shortly after, we took transfer.

At first I thought it would be a good opportunity to rent out the house for income and transform the back ½ acre into an intensely farmed productive organic orchard, edible forest style, maybe totally under nets with some chickens and ducks to bring in the permaculture aspect. Patricia, on the other hand, was thinking about a retirement place for her parents, along with some potential for hosting small fitness classes in the lovely big warm enclosed patio. However, the more we talk about it, dream about it and start our initial planning, the more we realise that as small as it is, relatively speaking, the property really calls out for a small version of the “health sanctuary” we have been dreaming of for the last couple of years. At this stage, we have no idea how we can get the necessary permits to run such an establishment, we have no idea how we can make enough money off it to make even a meagre living and we also have very few ideas how to glorify God properly through the sanctuary. All we know, for now we have answered the call, taken the step in good faith and we have a great blank canvas to work with!

Blank canvas 2

A part of the back part of “Dreamland”

So from now onwards, our residential block will be called “Homeland” and the new blank canvas property will be called “Dreamland”… OK?

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  1. When life gives you lemons, squeeze the day – Our pursuit of real living

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