Internet access was high on our list of priorities when choosing our farm. As sad as it sounds, we mightn’t have settled with the farm we now know and love if it didn’t have access to the lifeline that is our cherished internet.
Not only do we need a reliable connection for income once we make the move, but its value as a source of immediate knowledge cannot be substituted, especially for the kinds of ambitions we have. Satellite is available almost anywhere, of course, but the technology just isn’t good enough for our requirements and the data plans are bollocks.
I remember during our road trip searching for land we had fallen in love with this place after seeing it for the first time, but we didn’t know if it had internet access and so for the rest of the journey we were biting our nails, eager to get back to Auckland to make some inquiries.
To our great relief it turned out there was a relatively new wireless internet provider servicing the area. Yus! It was the last box to be ticked and a month or so later we had our farm. When a technician came out to survey the area, we learned that the wireless transmitter was up on a high hill overlooking the farm. Perfect… only, a shelterbelt of massive cypress trees stood between it and the house, blocking direct line of sight. Damn. There was only one thing to do. The woody giants had to be sacrificed.
The fellow who’s leasing our land for grazing at the moment just so happens to work for a logging company (the owner of which also just happens to be the son of our real estate agent). He said it would be no problem to organise some tree felling, so we got a quote which included milling of the wood to be done on-site.
As much as we’d prefer to be planting trees rather than having them cut down, there are multiple benefits for having this particular lot felled. Most importantly it has to be done for a direct line of sight between the cottage and the transmitter. However, the trees are also on the north-west of the cottage. In winter, which is now, they block the sun from about 4.00pm onwards. Having an extra hour and a half of rays hitting the house in the colder months certainly won’t go unnoticed. Then there’s the timber. We’ll apparently get about five cubic metres of milled wood out of them, which will come in handy when we renovate the cottage and get to building furniture and other doodads. Finally, it will obviously take time for the trees we intend to plant for firewood to mature, which means we would have to find firewood elsewhere. Having these trees felled means a few years of firewood at least, even after milling, giving us time to get ahead with planting.
So we turned up at the farm today and – whoa – what a shock. The loggers had been and gone during the week in our absence. The farm is quite bare as it is, so to see a large portion of what trees it does have on it cut down felt quite exposing. It’s not quite so private anymore – not that there are any houses in that direction. It will take some getting used to, but at least we can now see the transmitter on the distant hill from our cottage. The fellers did a top job; everything in tidy piles and minimal damage to the paddocks.
We’re looking forward to seeing what they can get out of these massive logs. There should be some pretty delicious timber slabs in that macrocarpa. In the mean time we have our work cut out for us… there’s a heck of a lot of firewood to saw and chop. Does this mean I get a chainsaw and splitting axe?! Finally I get to be a real man! (Or at least pretend to be.)