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September 2012 - farm update

August is always a depressing month here, the weather is usually windy, frosty and dry (no rain this month).  The grass is dead and brown.  Towards the end though you do start to see the promise of spring, the hens start to lay more eggs, the grass starts to look greener, the soil warms and you can start to think about spring planting.  All going well we will have a new calf in mid-September, and plenty of milk again.  So there is mush to look forward to!  

Bella has "bagged up" already

For us August was very busy because we bought a herd of 52 Braford cows and calves for Cheslyn Rise, which I will write more about soon.

Brafords at Cheslyn Rise
We also let the steers up into the oats paddock to start eating, they are putting on some good weight even though the oats didn't grow as much as we'd hoped they would (more to come on that one too).

steers in the oat paddock
 We have been overstocked at Eight Acres for a while, and this has resulted in feeding out round bales all winter, at least we have plenty from Cheslyn Rise, so we're not buying them.

enjoying the round bales

Molly is always ready for a scratch

Donald poses for a photo too
We are finally getting some decent egg numbers again, its lovely to see the fridge full of eggs and to not feel restricted in using them.  We are having eggs for breakfast and I'm using them in baking.  Soon there will be excess to sell again.

Boris still hasn't grown his tail back
The Rhode Island Reds are laying well, especially our homemade hybrid!
 The garden is still going well, even without rain, I water with grey water, and at times have had to put the sprinkler on the lawn instead, as the garden was getting too water logged.  I continue to be amazed at how much I have been able to produce over winter this year.  In previous years I didn't plan for frost and have been very disappointed when everything died.  This year I planted things that I knew would do ok through frost and we have been able to harvest various asian greens, carrots, turnips, swedes and bits of broccoli throughout winter.  For some reason I never get big broccoli heads, but we are able to keep harvesting the little bits that do grow.  This month the peas have finally started to grow (they might not have long, as they get mildew as soon as the humidity hit again) and I can see the baby broad beans forming.  My biggest problem is planning where to start for spring, trying to clear out the beds to make room, while still having veges to eat and allowing some things to finish bearing.

root veges

peas growing up the baling twine

a few broccoli

The beans/tomato combo didn't make it through the frost after all

broad beans and more broccoli

Tat soi gone to seed, lots of leeks and mustard

lemon in a pot is flowering

mini broadbeans

the pineapples are looking surprisingly healthy, will I get fruit this year?

Mizuna just keeps going

the broccoli bits

cabbages, not sure if they will get to a decent size
Finally here's chime helping on a walk around CR (Chez got worn out)

and I like the sky in this photo, shame its a field of weeds!


  1. Around here anyway the frosts are almost over for this year (although you never know). Your vegies are looking really good. Hopefully you'll have a mild Spring with a bit of rain to help them along.

    I love Boris. He still looks quite regal even without his tail.

  2. You have such a variety of different things going on. thanks for the upsdate

  3. Weeds are great for the land, if you mulch them regularly (cut with a tractor) you'll find the fertility in your soil for the plants you want to grow, will increase.

    Weeds are a farmers best friend, as they don't need looking after and once mulched, will spread fertiliser on your land for the cost of running the tractor over it.

    I used to think weeds were an eyesore on our land too, until I realised how great they are at improving the soil. If you've got weeds, is a sure sign your soil is impoverished. The weeds are there to correct the imbalance.

    Not sure if you've read Peter Andrews two books (I think you have) but he's got some awesome tips on how to use weeds to improve your farming land. I've read his books before, but found they need re-reading for some parts to to click. :)

  4. All looking lovely.I have the same problem with broccolli- in winter I will get one big head but the rest of the year it is the little side shoots...maybe it isn't cold enough here.

  5. Thanks all, I'm looking forward to spring too!


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