Skip to main content

Slow Living Farm Update - November 2014

Once again, its time for the Slow Living Monthly Nine, started by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and currently hosted by Linda at Greenhaven.



Nourish
We currently have 20 hens, half we hatched this year, so we get 15-16 eggs a day.  I have been selling most of them at work, but its also nice to occasionally cook up a giant quiche!  This one was filled with ham, onion, kale, mushroom and topped off with tomato and cheese, yum!  Other options that I've see recently include dehydrating the eggs and freezing eggs, I haven't tried these as we usually has enough eggs over winter.




Prepare
We have been waiting and waiting for a roofer to be available to work on our house, but this month he told us we are next in line!  We are very excited!  The roof did not have to be replaced for us to get council approval, but it won't last much longer, so we wanted to get it done before we started working on the rest of the house.  Soon it will change from rusty red to Colourbond Evening Haze, which should be a nice cool colour for summer heat.  Then we just have to start the rest of the painting....




Reduce
I hand-sewed the hem on a pair of trousers that I bought from the op shop, and I sewed a few buttons back on to a jacket and a top.  Its good to be able to mend clothes and make them last a bit longer.




Green
I have had ants invading our whole house for months now and I've tried various natural strategies because I didn't want to use chemicals.  Finally I tried neem oil - 5% in water, with a squirt of detergent, in a spray bottle.  I have been spraying ants whenever I see them, and so far its keeping them out of the house.  (Here's a post about using neem oil more generally).




Grow
The garden is growing despite a lack of rain, here's the full update....





Create
Earlier this year, when we still had 25 or so cows on our property and not much water left, we had a successful bore drilled and bought a solar pump system.  We were able to the cows shortly afterwards (huge relief!), before we had a chance to equip the bore, and we've only just had time to start working on it again recently.  After much deliberation and careful planning we bought all the materials and Pete started fabricating a stand for the solar panels.  One weekend I was given the job of making a "pipe wrap" so that Pete could cut the pipe for the stand at a 27 degree angle to match our latitude.  It was quite fun doing a bit of "tech drawing" to develop the angle into a wrap for the pipe, especially when we couldn't find a compass or a protractor!




Enhance
This may be stretching it a little, but I think I'm doing a public service by taking my eggs to sell at work in Brisbane.  Not only are my work colleagues able to enjoy farm fresh free-range eggs, but they also have the opportunity to learn about farm life.  We have some great discussions about chickens, gardens, cows and freezers full of beef.  I like to think that I am educating them gradually about where their food comes from.  It can be hard to have these discussions, as many people would rather not know, but the eggs are a good starting point and I've seen many people thinking more about their food after I've explained more about how its grown.




Discover
Pete and I went over to Gympie for a bee-keeping open day with Valley Bees.  It was a great day, we talked to lots of people and bought a couple of books.  Since then we've both been trying to find out as much as we can about how to get started with bees.  We also walked around our property and looked for native stingless bees, but they seem to be good at hiding!





Enjoy
Sometimes its hard to enjoy these hot dry months (and Cheryl finds them tough too), but it helps to focus on the small things that make me smile, like our funny little puppy Taz who will hop into her dog box to nap even after we took the bed off her (she started chewing the corner) and time spent fussing around in the garden picking herbs and smelling the flowers.  We had a nice dinner together at home for our wedding anniversary too.  In November we are off to NZ for a week, so that will be a well-earned holiday and we are lucky to have family who can look after all the animals while we are away.  (Here's photos from our last couple of holidays there)



Here's a few blogs that you might enjoy:

Living the good life

Merryn's menu


How was your October?  What do you have planned for November?


Comments

  1. Hang on, didnt i read another post today (Fiona's) that opened with the same quiche and finished with going to NZ in November? Im sure its not my imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yes, Fiona and I are living parallel lives at the moment! I noticed that she had the same quiche too :)

      Delete
  2. My Mum has a natural method for ants which might be better than spraying your mixture around. You put this on and the ants come to it....I'll get on to that and find out as I can't remember. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    ReplyDelete
  3. The quiche looks yum. Great that you get so many eggs. we get through heaps of eggs in our house, we are egg mad! we get through 6 eggs at breakfast with most of us in the house having them. I will use them in baking as well. We will be getting chickens when we move, so i'm thinking we need at least 10 chickens to keep our egg habit going.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Liz, you really are doing a public service by taking eggs to your co-workers, and they are lucky to have the opportunity of obtaining home grown eggs. It's so true too, that many people are not interested, or seem like they don't want to know, how their food is produced. Ignorance can mean bliss when knowledge might mean change.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The house is beautiful! And look at that beautiful red dirt! It reminds me of the red dirt road at my grandparents' place.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

Making tallow soap

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....
For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.