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Farm Update - July 2012

Just when I was thinking that we'd had the last of the rain for the winter.... 70mL in Nanango and 80mL in Kumbia!!!  Note that with our sub-tropical climate, winter is typically dry and we may not get much more rain until spring, so this will set us up very nicely with some soil moisture.

80 mL at Cheslyn Rise!

the creek at Cheslyn Rise had water in it after the rain

the oats are loving the rain!

In the garden, its amazing the difference between this year and last year!  Last year I was so focused on Bella that I didn't get around to planting much for winter, and I think we only really had silver beet to eat from the garden.  This year I got organised and the garden is full of veges.  I am regularly harvesting leaves from the kale, mizuna, tat soi, bok choi, and silver beet.  The other day I even pulled out a purple carrot and a swede for a stir fry!  I've also used the leeks and spring onions.  The broadbeans are growing strongly and seem to need re-tying every few days, why don't they grow their own tendrils if they want to get so tall??  The cabbage and broccoli are yet to produce, but if anything they are distracting the bugs from the other good stuff :)  I am very pleased with what I have achieved this winter and just shows that a winter garden can be very productive with some planning in autumn, and I haven't done much replanting apart from another row of carrot seed (which is yet to germinate, grrr), radishes, peas (which are up and going, but I was hoping that the bean would have died off by now to make room) and more beetroot for kvass.

lots of greens for picking :)

the paw paws are suffering, but still standing....

lettuce has gone to seed, sweeds and turnips in the background

My mixed up brassica patch

leeks, and the chickens got in and ate the tat soi.

broccoli in the front and broad beans behind

bean and tomato still growing, the have a very sunny spot.
Still picking tomatoes in mid-winter!
We bought a little bull - Donald the Dexter, I'll write more about him soon, but suffice to say that he has spend 3 days with Molly while she was on heat, so we will be waiting to see if she comes back on heat in 3 weeks time.   Bella is looking a bit pregnant.  We're not milking her anymore, so counting down to when she is due to calve in September.
Donald the Dexter bull

Bella sunbathing

Molly trying to lick my camera again - love the horns!

Frankfurter - also with the horns :)

Bratwurst busy eating - butcher is booked for August, so eat up Brat!

The chickens are getting bigger, the egg situation is getting worse, but with winter solstice out of the way, I'm hoping that eggs will soon follow.  I did find the secret egg stash in the grass and was taking the new egg from that each day until a kelpie figured out what I was doing and helped herself to the whole lot!  Don't know where they are laying now!  

big Wilbur looking gorgeous
Some of our crossed chickens, 3 roosters and 1 hen, I call them Beavis Browns, they are the progeny of White Leghorn hens and the Rhode Island Red rooster, similar to the hybrids that you can buy, so wonder if she will lay well...

The new White Leghorn rooster (Boris) still doesn't have a tail!
Some of our little pullets
the stash of eggs that kelpie ate

 Speaking of kelpies.....
Chime ready to play
Cheryl not acting her age (10)
Cheryl with the mouse that she caught, she has refused to catch
another one, so they must not taste nice!
we've nearly finished half of one of our two firewood stacks

If you're wondering how the hugelkultur is going - I didn't do much with it over summer, just tried to get some things to grow, which was difficult in the heat, but arrowroot, geranium, marigold and tomato is still growing up there.  This time of year is ideal for picking up loads of manure (over summer it gets incorporated into the soil too fast), so we are dumping about a barrow-load a week up there and continuing to develop the soil.  I also planted some oats in a little compost, but they're not doing as well as the oats at Cheslyn Rise!

Can anyone identify this weed?
How was your June?  What's your plan for July?


  1. Nice that you got some extra rain, we get a little grass growth in our winter but then we get rain and snow every so often. Looks like you are in good shape going into winter.

  2. I can't believe your drive and energy! You always do soooo much! I love reading about it. Makes me want to get out in the paddock, but it never seems to happen. One day!

  3. Your garden is looking great and it's wonderful seeing your cast of animals :) I love all shots of your chickens but really laughed when I saw the one of Molly. She looks like a cute little devil or maybe even Dave Navarro.

  4. Fabulous update with lots going on. Congrats on all your hard work. We've had a fruitful winter in the veggie garden too with all this rain. And by the way, don't you think that weed looks like rocket?

  5. hi there, my name is phil and i have been reading your blog for some time now and have had some fantastic ideas from what you have been able to achieve. Ilive with my wife and four year old daughter on ten acres in far eastern victoria and have a few cattle, dexters, sheep, dorpers, and numerous chickens. I really enjoy visiting you site and seeing how you have been going. i may be able to help with the weed, it looks a little bit like wild radish plant, and there can be some similar weeds. Wild radish is quite common here but not so sure about up there. anyhow keep up the good work,
    cheers Phil

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone. I have had various IDs on that week, it does seem to be some kind of wild brassica, whether its turnip, mustard or radish, I don't know!


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