Skip to main content

Farm update - June 2012

June already!!  I couldn't believe it when I logged in and found 103 followers!  Wow, thanks everyone for showing an interest.  If you've just joined recently, please have a read of the tabs/pages about cattle, chickens etc, if you want to catch up on what we've been doing for the past couple of years.  

Anyway, I finally decided to set up a Facebook page, even though I've been putting it off and thinking that I don't need another gadget to look at!  I do find the occasional link or video that I'd like to share with everyone, but doesn't warrant an entire post, so I'll just be popping interesting things on the Facebook page when I find them, as well as each blog post as its published.  It was easier than I expected actually, and I'll keep working on it to get the most out of it.  If you'd like to have a look at the page its:  Or you can just "like" the page via the widget on the top right of my blog page.  This will mean that anything that I post on the Eight Acres Facebook page will appear on your Facebook homepage so you can keep up with the blog.  The entire blog is also networked to the Facebook page, so you can click back through blog post from the Facebook page.  Let me know what you think!

So back to the update......We've only had one frost, on May 15th and it was very mild, so everything is still growing ok.  We've had a bit of rain on the last couple of weekends of the month, about 10-20 mL, just enough to make the grass a little greener.  I'm looking forward to harvesting some root veges, I already pulled out a few mini carrots when I was thinning them (again!) and they look very promising.

root veges

thinned purple carrots

the brasiccas are still going crazy, and I have been harvesting bok choi etc
by just taking a few leaves at a time from each plant, which seems to work

the self-seeded parsley patch in the front, worm farm move to garden
for better shade and enormous capsicum bush behind that

broad beans so far, I've heard that they're slow, I hope that's all that's wrong!

leeks, also taking forever to grow!

the first lime on my container lime tree

the garden "archway" - could not have achieved this effect if I tried, it is
a combo of poor mans bean plant and cherry tomatoes

can you see the tomato plant popping out the top, wonderful relationship!

paw paws are feeling the cold I think
garden from other side

We have so many chickens, it is quite ridiculous, especially when we only get 1-2 eggs per day from 9 hens, all at various stages of moulting.  We built another chicken tractor, post coming soon, to house all the growing chicks, should have lots of roosters to eat and lovely laying hens come spring.

Bella is dried up now, it was easier than we expected, but I miss the milk already, will explain more in coming post.  Now does she look pregnant?  She should have the calf in mid September.  Hard to tell if she is just fat.

The kelpies were scratching constantly with fleas (ch ch ch), so I finally gave in and bathed both of them, even though Pat Coleby reckons that its natural to leave them unbathed (I wonder if its also natural for them to have fleas too, but they seem irritated with all the scratching).  I was most gratified to see dead fleas floating in the bath water (as well as all that dirt) and were lovely and shiny and clean for about 10 minutes until they found something to roll in!  Anyway, a drop of eucalyptus oil on each dog and lots of diatomaceous earth on their outside beds and here's hoping that regular baths will keep the fleas away, because I'm determined not to use chemicals.  More on natural flea control here.

doggy bath water - never clean the bathroom before bathing the dogs!

blissfully unaware that bath-time is to be a regular occurrence again

Finally, we picked some lemons from one of our new neighbour's trees.  I would never normally climb through fences, but this tree is on its own in the middle of a paddock next to our new place, and its about 100 years old (the original house stumps are nearby - house burnt down long ago), never pruned or fertilised (apart from cattle using it for shelter and pooing all around it), ungrafted, and it is COVERED in the most beautiful lemons.  We took a shirt-full and when I squeezed them they are bright yellow, and sweet enough to drink half a lemon in water.  I now need to find that neighbour's house and go and ask if I can take some more, they are so delicious!

how's that for lemon juice?


  1. Wow, your garden looks very productive. We have also been busy reclaiming our garden, the weather is just perfect for it.

    We use lime around the dog beds for fleas. The book you mentioned is well worth the money, a must have!

  2. I was been told by the breeder we bought Missy from that lavender oil repels fleas. Don't know if it works or not, but the thought of two tough kelpies smelling like lavender would be a bit of a giggle.

  3. Liz, this is all looking amazing. You have certainly been extremely busy.
    I would love to have seen the dogs get a bath.
    I was just reading about diatomaceous earth this week for keeping flies away now we have the chickens.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your garden and animal updates.

  4. I'm not surprised by all your followers. There's always plenty happening on your blog! I wish I lived closer because I would love to go for a wander around your garden. It looks great!

  5. thanks everyone. The kelpies have had ANOTHER bath and still fleas, urgh! Farmer Pete has promised one more chance before we have to use flea chemicals, so back in the bath. Have tried lavender Missy, they aren't so tough :) and also tried lime and DE around the dog's beds. Also tried same on chickens and some now have lice, these insects are impossible!!!


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

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…

How to make coconut yoghurt

Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy.  I know, I know, we own two house cows!  But I am trying to heal inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers, so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had better try to cut back.  Its been hard because I eat a LOT of cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making yoghurt).  I had to just give up cheese completely, switch to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut yoghurt.  I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on some fruit here and there because it is expensive!

The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers.  I was making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L.  So I was thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying to get it right....  and then Biome Eco Store sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt Kit to try.  The kit is…