Skip to main content

Farm update - July 2013

We have had some cold weather, with a few frosty mornings (finally the bufallo flies are gone!) and a few mm of rain as well.  Its been a good start to winter.  We've been running the woodstove and cooking everything in and on it.

We have separated Bella from Romeo so she can have a break before her next calf (due in August).  We managed to catch Monty and put a band on his balls.  We had to catch him in the calf yard, which is a horse round yard, so we all did a few laps until we managed to get him on the ground!  I've been working on my house cow ebook and I just need to discuss the tax implications with my accountant (not that I expect to make millions from it!), and have it proof-read, before I can organise to publish it.  The butcher is coming for Frank(furter) on the 12 of July, so we've been organising the freezer and buying more freezer bags and digging a hole for the bits we don't eat.  And poor old Donald is still in another paddock, because he keeps trying to fight the neighbour bulls, and fight Frank as well lately (even though Frank is a steer), they can all be reunited after Frank is gone.

Bella is now with Molly and Monty, away from Romeo

Donald, you wouldn't think he could cause so much trouble
Our hybrid hens have been laying 2-3 eggs/day between the three of them, which is just enough to keep us in eggs for breakfast.  The other hens lay occasionally, but I guess they are saving themselves for spring.  Now that we've passed the winter equinox, they might pick up again.  The little chicks we hatched are about half sized and eating heaps!  We just keep thinking of all those tasty roast chicken dinners.

this rooster pretended to be lost so he could sleep in the hay


 I wrote a more detailed garden update here.

a few things from the garden
At Cheslyn Rise the power has been connected, we've cut down several trees that were too close to the house pad and had an excavator dig them out.  Pete's smoothed out a house pad using the tractor, and we're ready to move the house as soon as the removalists are free.  I'm excited, but I know there is a huge amount of work ahead of us to get the house ready for building approvals, we need to connect the septic, the rainwater tanks, re-wire, install insulation and paint some parts, but it will be relief to finally have it on our property.


In the kitchen, I've been making sauerkraut, vanilla extract, red wine vinegar and homemade muesli bars, I'll tell you more in coming posts.

saurkraut

I finished my arm-warmers and I'm building up sock-making courage

Don't forget Plastic-free July this month.  We are trying a few things to reduce our plastic consumption and collecting all the plastic that we would normally throw out.  In August I'll show you what we collected and discuss how we might reduce it further.  I hope you'll give it a go too, sign up here.



here's Chime, just looking happy to be outside in the grass
Cheryl asleep behind the couch

How was your June?  What are you plans for July?

Comments

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)

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 and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Native bee hotel

Like I wrote back here, native pollinators are as important (if not more important) than honey bees for pollinating crops and native plants.  There are a few things you can do to attract native pollinators to your garden:

Grow flowers and let your veges flower to feed the pollinators all yearHave a source of insect-friendly water in the garden (shallow dishes are best)Provide somewhere for them to live/nest/lay eggs - a bee hotel! In Australia, our native pollinators consist of both stingless native bees, which live in a colony like honey bees, and lots of solitary bees and wasps.  These solitary insects are just looking for a suitable hole to lay their eggs.  You may be familiar with these in sub-tropical and tropical areas, in summer you will find any and all holes, pipes and tubes around the house plugged with mud by what we call "mud daubers".  These area a real nuisance, so I'd rather provide some custom holes near the garden where they can live instead, so I don'…