The dogs wouldn't stay out of the rain, they were having so much fun playing. Gus is now 22 kg and taller than Taz, so we are watching to see if the dynamic between them changes. Gus is still a laid-back loving dog, he will come for cuddles while Taz is barking at us to throw her ball.
Is everyone signed up for Plastic Free July? I'll post more about our plastic-free efforts in July. Here's what we've done in previous years.
|Gus in the shed after playing the in mud|
Winter weather brings out the slow cooker and I make my all-purpose casserole. We love Y-bones and you don't ever had to chop up the meat, just put them in whole and pick out the bones later (bones = flavour!). I add onion, carrot, any other tired veges from the fridge/garden, stock (beef or chicken) sometimes a can of tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, dried herbs (oregano and rosemary usually). This time I had some left over coconut milk to use up as well. And a turnip.
Land and farming
We spent several weekends building a fence - 500 m, 4 posts with stays, 100 star pickets (knocked in by Peter, I did 3-4), 4 and a bit rolls of barbed wire and 400 wire ties. This makes about a 50 acre paddock for our Angus cows and little bull to enjoy. They were very pleased to move into this paddock as they were running low on grass in their previous paddock. Winter is the best time of year to be outside building things, so I'm really not complaining, in fact I hardly broke a sweat, it was actually quite pleasant out there!
|One strand done, three to go!|
|one plump hen|
Cows and cattle
|house cows Molly and Bella|
Bees and beekeeping
We haven't been checking the bees regularly since the weather got cooler (apart from just stopping in front of the hives and checking the traffic in and out), but we really wanted to remove the queen excluders. And one hive at Eight Acres had NO traffic, so we were a bit worried. That hive was alive, but had little honey or brood left, so we fed some raw sugar solution and moved the frames into a nuc box to help them keep warm. The next weekend we moved the nuc box out to Cheslyn Rise, and while we were removing the queen excluders we put a frame of brood and pollen into the nuc to give it a boost. The queen excluders are supposed to stop the queen from laying the honey supers, so you get pure honey with no brood in those frames, but they also seem to restrict the hive, so we have removed them for winter and will see if we want to put them back when we get the next honey flow.
|This the year of the capsicum|
The permaculture ethics are earth care, people care, fair share. They are inter-related so its not possible to discuss one without the others. Earth care can be taken literally to mean caring for the soil, or more broadly, the environment and all living things. This recognises the intrinsic value of all forms of life and their importance to healthy ecosystems and life-support systems (clean air, clean water etc). People care starts with each person and then more widely, entire communities, where increasing self-reliance and self-responsibility help us to use resources wisely and look after each other. Fair share is about distributing surplus so that everyone has enough.
In mid-June we had our second Nanango Home Produce Share, which we intentionally branded as a share rather than a swap. We encouraged people to come and share what they had to spare. Again it was a lovely vibe, with everyone working hard to make sure that everyone took home something they could use. This was a beautiful example of permaculture ethics in practice. People who grow things and care for the soil, came together to talk and support each other, and share their surplus harvest.
Lately I've been crocheting a hat for a friend as a baby shower present, so I have to wait a few months before I can share it! In the meantime, I also made another ear-warmer, this time using crochet and a new stitch - front post treble. And now I'm working on my alpaca lace knit scarf, I don't really need another scarf, but working with alpaca yarn is so lovely, its so soft and warm. I am wearing my alpaca crochet scarf a lot, and my crochet wool socks are great bed socks.
I've also been trying to fix my salt soap fails and rendering more tallow so I can refill soap I've sold and try some soap with honey (what could go wrong!!).
|More neem oil soap and black magic|
I have a few blogs to share this month:
From Soil to Sky - found this one via Instagram, proving that its not a complete waste of time!
Our Permaculture Life - how did I not know about this blog before??
Mista homemaker - a new Aussie blog, with a rare male author
Say! Little Hen - another one I can't believe I didn't know about! I shared a guest post last week.
I have some new affiliate partners, which I've listed on my "Support me" page, and I'll introduce them with relevant product links in posts over the next few months.