From a smallholding point of view, I’m fortunate enough to have my birthday at the end of the Summer. It’s a time of plenty.

Plenty of tomatoes:

Plenty of butternut squash:

(I told you there were plenty of tomatoes.)

This year, there was even plenty wine and beer brought by visitors to écovallée. Which meant I didn’t have to spend my birthday money on anything. Which gave me the opportunity to entertain wistful ideas, like the buying of a longbow I promised myself years ago (until I saw how much they actually cost), or a new pair of gloves (although there’s really only one big hole in one of them at the moment), or something I hadn’t even thought of yet.

Unfortunately, the economic reality of smallholding caught up with me and what I actually bought was this:

From left to right: a 40 kg bag of maize, a 25 kg bag of rolled barley, a 10 kg bag of corn and a 25 kg bag of rabbit food. These are things that have to be bought with alarming frequency (except the corn – that’s a treat for the chickens and geese) and which are increasing in price at an alarming rate (and will continue to do so, until the oil runs out).

I was going to use the opportunity to write an indepth post about the economics of smallholding, including an aside about the impossibility of self-sufficiency in the early 21st Century, but that will have to wait. It’ll take a bit of time to write and I really have to get back to work on the caravan project.

So I give you this slightly self-indulgent woe-is-me post instead. (Cue world’s smallest violin.) It could have been worse, I suppose. I could have used the money to buy fuel, like last year. And the year before. (Violin fades out.) But I can’t ignore the fact that the chickens got me something in return:

Which would be perfect. If I only liked eggs.