Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Friday, January 30, 2009


There is only one way to describe it - HORRIBLE. The weather has been just horrible. Today we reached 38Deg C - tomorrow it'll be the same, then cool down to 33Deg C. The pigs are coping with it just, the horses and cows are a little upset and teh goats hate it. The sheep have been coming down to drink from the troughs at night and head back to the shaded gullies during the day.

After thinking everything was going so well over the past few days I arrived hme to chaos yesterday. Twelve pigs had escaped, the electric fence didn't work, the female turkey Cybil, had hatched two Ducklings, I don't know why, but; the male turkeys attacked them and they all died. And to top it all off - I burnt dinner.

Tomorrow I need to take the kids in to town for a sleep over and pick up some timber - then come home and finish building the pig pen before next weekend. The Cook is getting ready for her big trip to Gunning for the Biodynamic course. Sh e didn't get home from work to really late yesterday so she's slightly tired as well.

I'll probably have to start carting water from the Murrumbidgee over the weekend so I can give the pigs a good wallow - I'll have to leave that until the cool time.

No picture today - sorry, too hot to stay on the computer for too long

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No rain yet - just hot

It may be very dry out our way at the moment, but I sure do sympathise with the poor North Queensland farmers who have had way too much rain. At least once it dry’s out they may have a good season or two. We need rain like that to change the conditions here.

Well the organisation for the NSF day is gaining momentum; it’s making for a couple of busy weeks ahead. This weekend I want to get the pigs yards fixed up, I received the wool cheque in the mail this morning – that should cover most of what is needed.

We reached 34 Deg C yesterday which was 3 Deg C below the forecast. It’s currently 35.8DegC and went too 36 Deg C – still, that’s’ 2 below the forecast.

I’m keeping a close eye on all this hoping the pregnant pigs don’t decide to drop right in the middle of it. There’s always something!! I won’t be able to pick up any straw or fence them into their birthing shelters until Saturday – anybody want to bet on a Friday morning population explosion?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not a drop left.

It was quite busy this weekend, the boys had their fun at Cancon, Ben won five games and Harry won one. We had visitors on Sunday from Murrumbateman and the Bush Heritage Ecologist was out on Monday.

Things are looking pretty desperate as far as water goes again. The River is now totally dry; we pumped the last drop of water out of the water in front of the house on Monday. I’m hoping that the rain forecast for the end of the week does actually eventuate – that would be nice. Failing that, I’m not sure what we are going to do.

The biggest problem will be if we have a bushfire – but I’d rather not think about that.

Yvonne’s friend Jane is dropping off some chickens tonight – egg might be back on the menu, and chickens don’t drink too much. Archie took a stroll into town on Saturday morning, found him down near the Bredbo Community Hall. I think he got his days mixed up; the Australia Day BBQ wasn’t until Monday.

The heat is taking its toll on the garden, the plants are wilting very quickly now. So I need to get on with it – I thought I’d add this article from today’s ABC Rural - enjoy

Aussie farmers slow to take up blogging trend
By Kerrie Lush
Tuesday, 27/01/2009
Do you keep a diary of your day on the farm, or even a scrapbook or photo album of the big events?How would you feel about sharing that with the rest of the world, through an online blog?While Australian farmers are a little reluctant to join the blogging craze, it could have real benefits.Steve Truman is the founder of rural networking website AgMates, and says more Australian farmers should be blogging."It's a wonderful thing to chronicle your life on the farm," he says."Farmers forever have kept diaries"It's just a wonderful thing to keep a record for future generations."Blogging's popular amongst farmers in the United States according to David Ricardo, director of the website wants more Australian farmers to start writing blogs to boost their profiles."We've all got an image to project about how we farm and why we farm and why we like it and what we do," he says.Deb Cantrill from Nirvana Organic farm in the Adelaide Hills says having a blog has lifted the profile of their business."I actually find that you can do more on the blog than you can do on most websites like updating it as frequently as you like without the expense of having someone to design it."For me I like taking photos and writing things so it's a good outlet for me."

Friday, January 23, 2009


It did rain yesterday – but I don’t know how much, the goats knocked my rain gage off the post. I’ve never seen goats so fat, Bendy wobbles from side to side when she runs like a half full water bladder, Nudge can't run up the side of the gully and Precilla is taller laying down then standing up – maybe we all need to go on a diet.

The rain we had was good, using the “Grandees’ rain gauge of chance” I figure we had about 15mm – but I’m not so good with the maths for that particular method. I heard on the radio that Murrumbateman had 64mm – lucky buggers, Cooma only had 2mm.

I went to the NSF meeting last night, Peter Andrews visit is confirmed for the 7th of February. We are having a BBQ lunch down by the river at Valley View on the day. The Cook wants me to organise a pig for the day – I’ll see what I can do, but it is only two weeks away. Peter Andrews was on the Sky News Eco report this week as well. It was a very positive interview and a great credit to him and Sky for the manner in which it was conducted.

There was a lot of haze about this morning – it was almost like the tropical haze you’d see in Townsville. The temperature was above 18 Deg C by 6:30am and it is looking like more storms for this afternoon.

One of the mother pigs, I think it’s Myrtle, has turned up with a sore back leg. She’s lying down a lot and wont walk on the leg. She’s the second pig in the last six months to hurt herself like this. We have the kids giving her water during the day and we feed her separately. I think the uneven ground in the mothers’ yard is the cause; I need to have a bobcat come in and even out the ground.

It’s Australia Day this weekend. Which means Cancon for us, the kids are heading in to participate in the Magic card game competition. Sunday we have local visitors and Monday its Bush Heritage. Somewhere in there I need to clean up before the NSF weekend – its just one thing after another. The Cook is off to a Biodynamics workshop in a couple of weeks as well, I’ll be left behind to get the kids to school, feed all the animals and complete another list of jobs that’ll be attached to the fridge door before then.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Technophobia - achoooo!

Well, firstly no photo today - I'm blogging from the Woden Centre in Canberra using one of those internet cafe's. I was in town and have a meeting tonight so I thought I'd try this out.

I came across a great blog today whilst I was sitting here - that's why I decided to post. The Blog is here . I've only had a short time to examine the articles and stories - But, if you are in to anternate and sustainable living it's worth having a look at.

Any others I happen a cross I will add to the list. We have the Bush Heritage people out again on Monday and a gaggle of people over on Sunday as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pleasant surprise

So this morning, the dust was settled and the pigs were content to snore through the early hours. It was another early morning for me – I took a quick picture of the sunrise for the Cook. I know how she hates the fact that she misses this every morning.

In the end it did manage to rain – about 7mm all up. Not bad, and at the moment, anything is gratefully accepted. It’s nice to walk out to the fresh smell of overnight rain, much better then the dusty smell we’ve had lately.

After yesterday’s sheep debacle, the sheep all ended up walking into the top paddock on their own – except for the two we wanted kept close and a straggler. A very good out come considering the effort that went into the failed attempted move yesterday.

I still haven’t found the Cook a new oven. Soon I won’t be able to call her ‘the Cook’; I’ll have to find another suitable pseudonym.

The garden is still providing us bounty for the table. Last night it was carrots, spinach and potatoes freshly harvested for the table. There are some very strange things growing down there – I need to photograph some for the Blog – I’ll make that tonight’s mission.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Missed again

Here's the radar picture for 4:00pm today - no rain for us!

Running of the Sheep

She’s a warm one today – it’s only lunch time and it’s reached 32Deg C already. The weather bureau has issued a storm warning, but the radar shows everything is missing our little slice of heaven. I decided last night that the sheep needed to be moved back out to their paddock. The Cook is home today and she thought she’d move them with the kids. I received a call about an hour ago “The sheep are every where! We can’t get them out of the impound paddock!” It’s forty sheep and a half acre paddock; I wonder what she’s doing?

We have had Peter Andrews’ visit confirmed, hopefully we will have some rain between now and then. There’s a Natural Sequence Farming meeting this week and I’ll find out more then. We are still having problems with the Jeep – I think it’s the Cylinder Head Gasket, I’d better order one from the US and get the whole thing fixed before its too late and somehow I think its something I’m not going to be able to do myself.

The animals all ended up drinking their apple cider vinegar as well – can you imagine the faces they would’ve pulled!!! The Cooks now brewed her famous Biodynamic animal lick ready for the sheep – apparently it fixes the lack of sulphur, which is what leads to infestations of lice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend well spent

I spent Saturday morning doing a job for a mate, collecting some free steel and taking Harry shopping. Saturday afternoon we brought the sheep in to be sprayed for lice and checked over. We managed to muster the majority, however; Beryl is lurking out there somewhere with here part bred Ram friend. Mildred is still wearing her bell - I'm seriously thinking about putting more bells on the sheep, they make finding them so much easier.

We walked the sheep down to the impound paddock to give them a couple of nights of Apple Cider Vinegar treatment. The sheep don’t seem to mind it and will drink a bathtub of the stuff in an afternoon. The horse won’t touch it; they stand at the trough, push the water around with their noses and refuse to drink. The cows are little sensitive to the taste of it as well.

By Sunday, after a well deserved sleep in, it was back to real work. I had to replace the carbie on the fire pump - I’m glad that’s working again. The Cook spent a lot of the day in the garden, we built a leaky weir down in the gully close to the road and I cemented in the Cooks new Hills Hoist.

After feeding last night I went for a walk around the horse paddock, I found a number of half eaten loaves of bread, a collection of egg shells and a good amount of Fox poo – all fresh. Seems the foxes are still about, just picking different targets now.
I just niticed the coiunter is working again - beauty!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back on line

There's a problem with the Blog, you may have noticed the counter isn't working and this morning there's been a problem putting up pictures.
I’d often heard people say “it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey” but never thought that much about it before. It makes sense – well, at least it explains why I’m always so lost.

I often sit and wonder what I’m going to do next. There are so many jobs, so many projects and so many ideas. Where do I start? I can’t ask the Cook – all I get from her is “you can do the dishes whilst I think about it”

There are always the priorities that occur naturally because of the weather or unplanned pregnancies (not mine). I’ve tried various prioritisation tools I’ve carried form my previous lives, but nothing seems to work. I know farming works around the seasons; problem is we only have one at the moment – Drought. I’ve noticed the soil is starting to change. It’s turning from clay/ alluvial to sand, particularly in the heavy stock traffic areas. At the moment it’s only in small areas like around troughs and gates, but I noticed at the neighbours the other day that their whole paddocks are changing in the same way. Of course they have many more stock than we do using their paddocks.

I really enjoy reading other peoples Blogs. I’ve discovered so many interesting Blogsites, there’s hundreds I’d love to read from start to end but just don’t have the time. And you can get so much inspiration or so many different ideas, the time I do spend reading them is always worth it. I know updating our Blog every day has change the way I look at our life here on the farm. I think it helps put everything in proportion.

I’ve noticed since moving onto the farm that lots of things have changed. The kids are growing up. The boy’s and I have started interacting differently. Harry is a lot more confident in himself and Ben is more outspoken at times and introspective at others. The dynamics between us is changing as well. Over the break I took them Bow hunting – I was surprised at how enthusiastically they participated, no complaints, no wining. I had always thought that it was going to be too ‘hard’ for them – I was happily surprised, and deep down proud of the way they performed. They are really growing up to be nice kids -

I like reading other Blogs, written by people who are doing similar things to us and see that they struggle, have their highs and lows and manage to just get on with it. I think its great therapy to sit in front of the computer and think about what it is we’ve done or achieved over the past day or so. It’s funny how when you do sit back and look at things again, they don’t seem half as bad as they first appeared. It really helps put everything into perspective.

Of course nothing can beat that dark, wry humour we Australian’s are famous for. I know I’ve found the funny side to a few things I’ve had to do that weren’t funny at all. The Cook, she has a wicked sense of humour – especially if it’s at my expense.

I don’t have a watch, I used to, I used to rely on it – it was a part of me. But I don’t see the need for it anymore – I know the Cooks always going to be late – that’s a given! I get up in the morning, I feed the pigs first up and at sunset, I have lunch when I’m hungry, I go to bed in the dark – so what’s the point.

Well – there’s more eggs in the incubator, so that means there are more roosters on the way. I bought a dozen fertile eggs into work this week for a lady and she wants me to take any roosters – that’ll be a few! I really do need to fix the chook yard – luckily changing the dogs routine has been keeping the foxes away, but I still need to get the wire to finish it off properly. Next weekend a new fence has to go in around the garden – please let it rain before then, and we have weeds to address. Of course that doesn’t include the piglets that need castrating , the sheep paddock fences or the oats paddock fences that needs fixing.

Cooler at last

The Cooks sister has gone home and everything is back to normal. Everybody enjoyed the time she was able to have here with us. The Cook took her to see Menopause the Musical and apparently she could relate to more of the show then she felt comfortable with – but then again, she is getting a little long in the tooth.

The cool change came through at about 9:00pm last night – much to our delight. It’ll bring a couple of days of cooler temperatures before the next wave of over 30Deg days.

I brought home a couple of Earth Garden/ Organic Farming magazines the other day for the Cook. There’s a great article in one on aquaponics – I mentioned this to the Cook and received a stinging rebuke about starting another project (I had to ran and hide!). I wonder if this is how the River Cottage managed creative thinking?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To hot to type

The Cook had a little bit of drama coming back from the coast yesterday, so things have been a little waylaid. She came up over the range from the coast and overheated the Jeep. Nothing serious, just slowed her down a bit – didn’t stop her going shopping however.

I walked up the back to check on the sheep last night and all seem to have survived shearing OK. Little Mildred, or Milly, was hanging with the mob. Her bell could be heard all the way down the hillside. George followed me the whole way like a dog, I don’t think he’s realised he’s really a sheep yet. Thankfully the Cooks garden survived her absence – helped by the fact I left the drippers on all night and day, by accident.

Everybody was sunburnt, tired and grumpy last night and bed was the best place to be. It never went below 25 Deg C all night – but we were all so tired nobody noticed. We’re expecting a cool change tonight, with any luck.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just quackly

With the Cook and Boys away last night I didn’t finish the chores until 10:00pm, makes for a long day after a 5:30am rise. All the animals were fine – however I have left the chickens locked up until they get home.

George, of course, was ferociously hunger by the time I got home and assaulted me as soon as I got out of the car. His stomach rules our life at the moment. Some of the sows are coming in season thick and fast, this only lasts for three days, then there will be peace again for a few weeks.

Wool went to market today – get paid tonight. It won’t be a lot, but at least I can think about doing the walls of the pig pens before winter. I was hoping to be able to do this before the NSF day – which now looks promising.

It’s going to be a scorcher today, it’s already 30 Deg C, probably get to 32 again and tomorrow they forecast 35 deg C. This, thankfully, is down two degrees from yesterdays forecast. The pigs are handling the heat with out much fuss so far, and now the sheep are shorn they should be alright as well. Of course, today is bread day so another early rise and late night is on the cards.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Onion envy

Malcom grew these onions and you've never seen anything as big before. There are three varieties here; White, Brown and Odourless. One of the cooks onions is in the ground to the right of Malcom's onions - it's only a quater of the size and it was planted on the same day. I am endevouring to reveal his secrets!

Mildred - Valley Views' future

Valley View fine Merino wool

Shearing Starts

Click go the Shears

Shearing is done! It took nearly all weekend, but it’s done. The first bale of Valley View wool is off to the buyer and I still have to clean out the shed. The mustering was the fun part – because it rained. We had eight people helping muster, I had the Cook and her sister and Malcom had his two dogs – must say I might get myself a couple of dogs, they work better then the two girls I had and you only have to whistle – not stop and explain why you want them to go up there, or block that gap or stay and they don’t stagger around all Sunday creaking and groaning (it’s ok the Cook doesn’t have time to read this right now).

It was an early start Sunday and the work didn’t end until well after dark. I’d forgotten how hard shearing and the associated work is, luckily it only happens once a year. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the shearing shed and yards. I want to get myself a welder so I can build a good steel set of yards, I’ve probably got a year to get the most important jobs done – which I’ll probably start a week before it’s next shearing.

The kids help out and, as usual, did their best. Couldn’t really do it all on our own so we are lucky to have them around.

I picked up Georges’ new girlfriend Friday afternoon in Yass. She wasn’t very impressed and is now up in the ewes paddock with the rest of the sheep. She stayed with George for a little while, but I think George is a little young for her.

We did get a little over 9mm of rain for the weekend. But a lot of the storms missed us either side – yet again. Unfortunately there was a lot of lightning which is dangerous this time of year. After the rain on Sunday afternoon I went to check the sheep and make sure they had settled down OK. I only found a dozen or so, but they all seemed ok, the rest have headed for the gullies and hill tops – I did see two foxes, both heading towards the house.

And guess what we had for dinner Sunday night – Roast leg of Lamb, well done Cook.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It costs what?

Eventually I’ll learn. Yesterday was a long day, made longer by a wait for the NRMA man at Michelago. I had taken the Jeep into town to pickup feed and on the way home decided to stop and pick up ‘The Land’. I couldn’t get the Jeep to start again, I figured out it must have been the fuel pump – didn’t waste all those years in the Army for nothing, and called in the man. Luckily I was correct and with a little bit of hand waving and black magic the Jeep was started and transported the feed and myself back home. I rang Jeep to find a price for a new fuel pump - $850, you’ve got to be joking – so I looked up a place on the net, in the US, for a part - $64, that’s more like it. How do people get away with charging 14 times the cost for a part? Even with $50 freight I’m way ahead.

The Cook drove out to the scene of the disaster to see what I was up to ( I was asleep – of course, bugger!) ; she had spent the best part of the day with the weed man and wanted to fill me in on what had happened. Luckily the weeds man was only after Serrated Tussock this time – and we have enough of that on its own. But we are both glad that was all he was after this time. Of course in the process of cleaning one up the others will get cleared as well.

So, unfortunately that’s another job for the list on the fridge.

I am picking up another poddy lamb tonight – a girl friend for George, I’m seriously thinking of calling it Mildred. George had the Cook laughing yesterday afternoon. She drove off down the track he decide he wanted to go as well, so he cased her down the track, he clocked over 30kmph! She had to stop and the lamb bolted around the car in giant circles very pleased he had made her stop. He started dancing a jig on his hind legs and bunting the car with his head – he was very pleased with himself!

On the way down the drive last night, once I had made it home, I saw a fox sitting in the middle of the drive, he just sat on his back side and watched me drive up – once he realised I wasn’t going to stop and was actually aiming at him he decided that he shelter of the willow tree was probably a better place to be.

So - no picture of the Red Rumped Parrot today, maybe over the weekend. We are shearing this weekend so I’ll see how we manage updating – I have to get some goo shearing shots.

Happy Birthday to the Nomadic Ladies out there in WA! Big move in progress so they probably aren’t checking the Blog at the moment – We all hope you have a wonderful day (no sarcasm implied).

Todays picture wa taken by Ben - can you guess what it is?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Cooks on fire

The council weed man is here today, I should’ve taken his photo for the Blog, but I thought that it might be a little confrontational.

It cooled down over night after reaching 33.9 Deg C during the day. The cattle have moved down to the pastures along the river where the poplars shade the grass – but I think they’ll be fighting the sheep for the shade.

The goats still hang around the house, they don’t seem to keen to wander off to anywhere. Sometimes they head up to the rocks and the boys have to rescue them, but other then that. The Wedge Tailed Eagles were around again last night. They came right down over the house and circled around only metres above the trees – looking for slow chickens I suppose. I also saw the pair of Red Rump Parrots yesterday on the pump and Yellow Crested Black Cockatoos this morning. I ‘m going down to the pump tonight to see if I can photograph the parrots – hopefully I’ll have a picture for the Blog tomorrow.

Everything is drying out again, the river has receded to a slow dribble and the ground is hard. Last night we had a huge dust storm that lasted about an hour, we came in for dinner feeling hot and gritty.

Yeah, the Cook put on another great meal last night; she did a fabulous stir fry chicken, what made it special was that all the veg came straight from the garden. She was down there picking vegies only minutes before they were cooked - and it tasted divine.

I just took a break for a minute and rang around for some fencing stuff I need for the weekend – there is more then $2 difference in the price of steel posts. They are all the made in China type, and range from $5.59 each to $7.20 - that’s outrageous!! And there is a difference of over $50 in a 1500m roll of 2.5mm wire – pays to shop around!

Todays picture is from last night at feed time - everybody wanted a bit of the action!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

You make me laugh

It’s been hot again today; I think it went to 33Deg C. Luckily there is a cool change on its way. At least no matter how hot it gets we always have cool nights and mornings. Pigs have been wallowing and the horses and cows are lying in the shade of the poplars.

It’s Wednesday already and it looks like we’ll miss out on rain again this week, be nice to have a couple of inches rain right about now.

Hopefully I’ll able to pick up some fencing material for extending the pig park. When Dennis, the guy who ploughs and sows our oat paddock, was over the other day he made a mighty fine suggestion about putting the pigs onto our garden area and using the current pig paddocks for the garden. The Cook and I thought it was such a good idea that we’re straight onto it. In reality it doesn’t appear that we’ll get too much out of our potato crop so we may as well move on.

I’m also starting to plan out our water reticulation – but moving the garden requires a reassessment of some elements, I might get to that after I have a sleep.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Here's looking at you

It hit Thirty yesterday – damned hot out here on the Monaro.

The Cook went off horse ridding with her mates last night, she went down to where the Murrumbidgee meets the mighty Bredbo River. She says there’s lots of water down there so we will probably take the boat down for a run this weekend. We’ve had it since mid last year and it’s probably about time I made the time take the boys down and test it out.

The pigs need daily mud baths in this weather. The boys have been filling their wallows for the daily pilgrimage – makes them happy so it’s the least we can do.

Looks like, providing it doesn’t rain, the shearing will happen this weekend. Only about 30 odd sheep so that shouldn’t take long. The cattle along the river should be moving up to the back of our place some time today but we’ll see what happens.

You’ll swear the eye’s on this pig follow you around the room – spooky hey!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Start of a brand new week

Just for the record - we have offically entered our tenth year of drought.
It was a busy weekend. Finally had time to finish all those jobs I wanted to do over Christmas, fenced the cattle out of the veggie patch, cleaned up around the silo’s and removed all the rubbish from under them, attacked the pile of scrap metal down at the old pig pens – so what’s next – The Cook will fill me in soon enough!

I took the boy’s bow hunting the other night – every time I go out the back I see a fox, not this time! Kids loved it though – boy’s doing boy’s stuff. We tried to rescue the potatoes but I don’t think that’s a happening thing, not enough water earlier on was the problem. We are still getting a couple of spuds per bush but nothing like what we should. Our biggest problem is that there is just not enough plant material in the soil to hold the moisture – a common problem across the farm, so we are going about working on a solution. Of course, like everything else, it’ll take time but be worth the effort.

The Cook has managed to graze the apricot tree fruitless, she’s hopeless – I caught her sending Harry up a ladder to get the last few out of the top of the tree. Her sister is coming for a stay this weekend, always a pleasure. I’m sending them all down the coast for a couple of days, that way they can’t gang up on me about stuff. I’d rather have to feed the pigs on my own then be subjected to that again.

Our first pigs are supposed to be going for processing this month but I’m having trouble finding somebody who makes tattoo brands (slap brands) for the pigs. They have to be branded on either shoulder before we can send them off. It’s totally painless but makes the carcass with our PID number. I’ve been making them mud baths the last few days as things heat up, yesterday it almost made it to 30 Deg’s C and we’re forecast for warmer days up to 32 Deg C by Wednesday. No chance of rain either until at least next week. Probably rain when the girls go down the coast – I’d put money on it.

We had our first good look at he oats since it rained before Christmas. We had a slight hope it would grow the last couple of inches we needed to get it mowed, but unfortunately not. On the up side this will help the low soil carbon issue in that paddock.

Well, I need to get back to the ‘To Do’ list, it’s longer then the brown snake in the chook pen at the moment – which isn’t very healthy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Shear Ignominy

Well we finally talked somebody into doing some shearing - not all the sheep but the most needy. The rest will be done in a fortnight. One of the Rams was flyblown on the belly but the rest were OK.

I found the flyblown one down under a tree this morning and thought I could give him a clip with the hand shears - I now have even more respect for the old timers. Those shears are so hard to use! you have no idea if you've never tried. It took me an hour just to get through the matted wool along his back - The Cook ringing someone we know and graphically describing what I was doing was what secured us a shearer - thank god.

Earlier in the day I had gone into town to pay some bills and get a hair cut - boring stuff really. Whilst I was away the Cook and our brood fed the pigs, lamb, calf and chickens - by the time I arrived home they were all flat out in the lounge room watching DVD's.

We had a family measure session tonight - Harry has grown another two inches since October (he's only about three inches shorter then me!), Ben has grown about an inche; no wonder none of their clothes fit them.

The garden has really suffered in the winds we've been having. We had to use the large water tank on the trailer today in an attempt to resuscitate the potatoes - we put almost 750lts of water on them today more tomorrow, hopefully it will work. I've been watering whats left of the pumpkins by hand which is quite laborious.

The Cook has managed to germinate a number of native seeds into seedlings. We're hoping to be able to plant these in Autumn. None of the seeds that we planted with Greening Australia seem to have germinated - I need to have a closer look at them tomorrow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The fox returns

We had visitors today, Kev, Judy and Christine - It's always good to see these guy's. They come out every now and then for a look around and BBQ. I took Kev for the Cooks Tour around the farm, we went around most of tbe boundary and up to the high spots with the best views. Christine fed George fromn the bottle and thought that was just great and now wants to start some chooks off in her own back yard - great idea.

On the farm side we had the pony yarded for a couple of weeks due to her overeating problem, she's slimed right down and now looks a lot better, she was very happy to be released back out with her mates this afternoon. The Goslings are spending their first night alone out in the chook pen. The dogs chased off a fox this evening so I hope they will be alright. We lost another chicken and rooster to the foxes this morning as well - just can't win with the damned things. The boy's and I even went bow hunting yesterday afternoon but saw no trace of a fox.

The apricot tree is providing a bountiful harvest. We've had our first fruit off it this year and they are just devine. The cook was planning on making some jam, but she can't stop eating them. Of course Shadow, the dog, waits under the tree all day to snaffle the ones that drop before the Cook can pick them.
We were lucky enough to get a double load of bread this week which has made the pigs very happy, lots to eat and drink - they'll think it's Christmas!