Skip to main content

Farm update - November 2011

Spring is such a lovely time of year here, the cold weather is gone, with some nice warm days, but its not too hot to move yet.  The evenings are still cool and comfortable.  But the weather is warm enough to see some real growth in the garden.  Unfortunately this applies to both desirable veges and weeds!  This week I have spent each afternoon after work moving wheel-barrow loads of mulch hay that was not good enough for our fussy cow.  The garden is now covered in a layer of weed-suppressing, water-retaining, ground-cooling, fertility-enhancing mulch.  Everything is looking very tidy, but that won't last, I'm sure the spring/summer growth will take over again soon and it will be the same tangled mess I had last year, which is quite alright as long as I get some good veges to eat!

I have a mix of old faithfuls and a few new things that I'm trying this year.  In terms of planning, it is very minimal, I've seen some fabulous garden plans on various blogs (here and here), but I'm not a planner.  Too often the seeds I plant don't sprout, or too many sprout, or the plants produce so much more than expected, or just die and have to be removed and I really don't know how much to plant yet, so planning doesn't work for me.  I just put things where there's a space for them and try to remember what I had there last year and rotate it all a bit if I can.  And try to mix things up as much as possible to the bugs get confused :)

Anyway, in the garden this summer are old faithfuls........
  • tomatoes (some from seed and some from the compost)
  • mini capsicum that survived the frost
  • crazy poor mans bean that survived the frost and two others that popped up near it :)
  • normal beans that I planted (bush and climbing) from seeds that I saved from previous years
  • zucchini and squash
  • lettuce - lots of it for summer salads :)
  • silverbeet - still going from winter, got to love it when its the only thing growing
  • spring onions (will be planting some more as soon as the seed heads are ready!)
  • some garlic that sprouted in the cupboard and I planted and forgot about, but seems to be growing again
  • broccoli that is still going from winter and looking far better now actually
  • basil and parsley to compliment my oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and various mints and comfrey
  • lavender and marigolds for a bit of colour :)
......and some new veges that I'm trying for the first time:
  • corn (I tried this one before and it all got eaten by bugs, trying again with better soil)
  • potatoes (same as above)
  • pickling cucumbers (ie gherkins, I'll be needed your recipe mum!)
  • eggplant (was successful in previous years, but still feel like an amateur with this one)
  • a chili plant that I hope has sprouted successfully

The chickens are laying reasonably, some of them are getting a bit old, but they all look the same, so its hard to tell which are the old ones.  We have done one run in the fancy new incubator and hatched 2 chicks from 48 eggs, so doing a bit of troubleshooting, will post more on that later, but the little chicks are doing well and very cute.

they fell asleep in my lap when I had them out for "cuddles"

The cattle are now all together in one herd of 5, they love being together, but they do get up to mischief.  We've put them all up in our top paddock, which is between the road and the house yard, so we have to drive through there to get to the house.  The other day I parked the car outside the gate and went to talk to our neighbour.  When I got back the cattle were all standing on the other side of the gate staring at the car.  I had to do an interesting manoeuvre to get back in the gate without them all escaping, I hope nobody was watching as I ran from the car to the gate and gate to the car trying to get there before the cattle worked out what was going on!

My husband has been working 12 hr shifts, 6 days out of 7 on a maintenance shutdown, so I have been house mother and doing all the animals, meals and gardening myself (which of course I don't mind) but I'm sorry to anyone that I owe emails, I have been getting behind!  However, I have finally got a chance to do some blog updates, and with my cousin staying one weekend and taking some lovely photos, I've updated the banner, so check that out if you only look at the emails, and I've added a few summary pages to help with navigation.

I hope you've enjoyed my posts celebrating our first wedding anniversary and please feel free to add your own to my simple wedding linking post.

Cheryl sat very nicely for photos as her ball was just behind the photographer
Chime had to bribed with food, and she won't sit still!


  1. Great update on what is happening at your place. You have been busy. Love the new banner and thanks for the info you sent the other day about banner collages. It has been put to good use.

  2. Hi Liz,
    Love you blog. I tagged you in my post today.
    Hope you'll partake and pass on the love. Keep up the great work. M xx


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

Popular posts from this blog

Chicken tractor guest post

Sign up for my weekly email updates here , you will find out more about chickens, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon.... Tanya from Lovely Greens invited me to write a guest post on chicken tractors for her blog.  I can't believe how many page views I get for chicken tractors, they seem to be a real area of interest and I hope that the information on my blog has helped people.  I find that when I use something everyday, I forget the details that other people may not be aware of, so in this post for Tanya, I tried to just write everything I could think of that I haven't covered in previous posts.  I tried to explain everything we do and why, so that people in other locations and situations can figure out how best to use chicken tractors with their own chickens. The dogs like to hang out behind the chicken tractors and eat chicken poo.  Dogs are gross! If you want to read more about chicken tractor

Getting started with beekeeping: how to harvest honey

While honey is not the only product from a beehive, its the one that most beekeepers are interested in and it usually takes a year or so to let the bees build up numbers and store enough honey before there is enough to harvest.  There are a few different ways to extract honey from frames.  We have a manual turn 2-frame certifugal extractor.  A lot of people with only a few hives will just crush and strain the comb.  This post is about how we've been extracting honey so far (four times now), and there are links at the end to other bloggers who use different methods so you can compare. Choose your frames Effectively the honey is emergency food stores for the bees, so you have to be very careful not to take too much from the hive.  You need to be aware of what is flowering and going to flower next and the climate.  Particularly in areas with cold winters, where the bees cannot forage for some time.  We are lucky to have something flowering most of the year and can take honey

The new Eight Acres website is live!

Very soon this blogspot address will automatically redirect to the new Eight Acres site, but in the meantime, you can check it out here .  You will find all my soaps, ebooks and beeswax/honey products there, as well as the blog (needs a tidy up, but its all there!).  I will be gradually updating all my social media links and updating and sharing blog posts over the next few months.  I'm very excited to share this new website with you!