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

Friday, October 24, 2008

Going International

Our Blog has gone international; Ian Walthew, an Author and Blogger in France has added a link and review of our site on his catalogue of Farm Blogs. He's collecting and organising a consolidated list of links to farm blogs from around the world - visit his site and have a look at whats going on around the world. You can find him here

We had a really heavy frost last night and fear the worst for our potatoes. The Cook did have them covered with straw but they may have gown through that this week. The BOM are forecasting daily highs of 30 -31 next week, this morning it was minus four. I'm really not sure what I should be doing first!

I found this older photo on my computer and thought I would share it with you. The Cook made a lamb roast cooked in a sheath of grassy hay. It was absolutely delicious, the recipe is in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage cook book.
Today also marks my last day in my current job, I'm moving on with things, so I'm not sure when I'll post next. I'm hoping it will be monday, but I'll just have to wait and see. So please check back regularly - you don't want to miss anything.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another coldie

Another cold morning with snow falling on the Tinderry’s as I drove into town. The Jeep was hauled off to Cooma this morning, looks like a new water pump and hoses.
Beccy the calf has been grazing with the other cattle and has settled into the herd well. She is drinking more now, probably because she gets more exercise.

Another piglet has been singled out for special attention. The Cook is working on a way to cope with these without having to bring them into the house – good one!
Forgot to mention the other day, the Cook and I were driving home from Michelago when we came across a small herd of deer crossing the road – this is the second time this year I’ve seen them on the highway.

Today’s picture is of a sheep I saw at the Murrumbateman Field Days - I’m not sure what breed it is, but probably a mohair type.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Loaves - but no fishes please.

How the weather changes - it was snowing on the hills this morning and we had the fire going last night it was that cold. Poor Ben has school photo's today and had to wear summer uniform, he was most unimpressed.

I had to pick up the pig feed in the little car yesterday - and it was packed. Poor old Cook had to sit on the roof, which was fine because I couldn't hear her complaining out there. She made me pick her up down the road from work so nobody saw her, with me that is!

The pigs had reorganised themselves when I got home, all the mum's and piglets are in one area now, and I don't know who is drinking from whom any more.

Feed time this morning was a free for all with the goats, horses and cattle all pitching in to help out. Animals came running from all directios to try and get a share of the fresh bread - luckil;y Shadow was ther to organise things for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The ABC Rural page has another of my Photo's

Just browsed onto the ABC Rural web site - they have another of my photo's on their front page! follow the link to have a look.

More pigs gone.

It was all yeee haa!!!!!! and ride'em cowgirl yesterday on the farm. Calamity Jane rode off too the lucerne paddock and brought back the bull. Having successfully relocated him back to his own paddock she drove the sheep out into the gully for a couple of weeks - I hear that Phoe the horse is about to renegotiate her workplace agreement.

We had rain last night - about another half a millimetre, takes our total up to 39.5mm for the past three months. Our average for those three months is usually about 110mm. So things are looking a little dry for the coming summer and it's already getting warm. We're hoping that at least the warmth will bring some storms - which although hit and miss sometimes are beteer then nothing.

The Cook has another lot of eggs in the incubator, and I sold another few pigs last night as well - that's nearly twenty of the thirty piglets gone. I found out last night that he NSW Department of Health has put out a snake warning - appearently there are a lot around this year and earlier then normal, I hadn't noticed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Jeep is dead - long live the Jeep!

The Cook was looking back over the Blog on the weekend and quips “there is always something happening isn’t there!” This week end was nothing unusual. I arrived home Friday night and passed the Cook at the gate – it’s nearly dark and she’s off to work. “The bull is down on Buzz’s lucerne paddock over the back, you’ll have to go move him onto the river for the night.” Right, I don’t know Buzz’s lucerne paddock, where the gates are, or where in the paddock the bull is. So off I go on another little adventure in the darkness. I get down to the paddock and the bull is standing by the road – lucky me, I chase him around for an hour until I stumble across a gate and I move him on – ever notice how lucerne paddocks are always full of snakes! Kids are sitting down eating dinner when I get home – Harry couldn’t wait so they helped themselves.

I had to go on down to the oats paddock and do some fencing first up Saturday, by the time I’d trodden on a couple of Brown Snakes and chased a couple with the shovel I was feeling a little lonely. I fixed the fence and headed back to the house. The whole time I was there, the bull was watching me from across the river.

A fellow was supposed to be coming to look at a boar, but he never showed up. I missed the land care meeting as well, but I had a chance to catch up on a few things around the pig yards.

We evicted the piglets from the house; I don’t think they were too impressed. They keep coming up to me and pull my trouser legs for attention.

Sunday morning we were up and at it early – Murrumbateman Field Days. I was up at the crack, about 5:30am to get everything fed and watered so we could meet the Cook in town. We hurried off at about 7:00am but didn’t get far. As we came up to the gate I said to the kids “Car seems to be running a little ruff”, everything seemed OK at that point. About 2km down the road everything stopped – crap!!!! I noticed smoke coming from under the bonnet and thought – crap!!!!! I waited for the Cook to ring – I didn’t have any credit on my mobile, silly me. Our NRMA membership had run out as well.

After about half an hour I decided to try a trick I’d learnt in the Army about moving a vehicle out of danger – and to my surprise it worked. We managed to roll back into town and out the other side until we could turn across the paddock and roll down to the driveway – brilliant, the car won’t be stuck on the side of the road. We got to the house and rang the Cook and filled her in. She’d only had the Jeeps door re-attached the day before. I think this time the Jeep is well and truly dead.

So finally about 11:00am we arrived a the Field Day, had a look around, bought a book on Sheep Basics, and spoke to a guy about irrigation. We headed off home about 3:00pm to do some sheep mustering.

We needed to move the sheep up to the yards to spray them for lice and get them out into the paddock. They have de-wormed and are ready to take on the African Love Grass. The Cook and the two boys haven’t had a lot of experience with sheep, but they love getting into it and having a go. We got them into the yard no problems and the spraying went well. The Cook and Harry got bowled over a couple of times (I can laugh now they’re not here) but apart from that it went smoothly. The sheep are now out in the big paddock happily eating away.

On the way into the yards we picked up the goats, which ended up pretty handy as they led the sheep into the yards. Poor old Pricilla has lost her mate however, with Sheepy leaving the comfort of the house yard to flock with her own kind.

Once the sheep were done there was only getting all the pigs back into their own paddocks left to do. Of course when ever we go out the fence goes off and everything goes everywhere – I should have quessed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Have a good weekend

Well it was all excitement when we got home last night. The Boar had moved in with all the sows and – well – the breeding program is in flux again. The cattle decided that the front paddock wasn’t filling their needs and moved out the back – Calamity Jane went out on her horse and rounded up all bar the young bull – he’s still over on Buzz’s oats. The older bull was found stagging around with a mob of Buzz’s Hereford cows – I’ll cop a heap of misery for that.

There are a few things to do tomorrow, some ones coming to look at pigs, I’ve got to do a rubbish run, now I need to go do some fencing out the back as well. There's also the Land Care meeting in town. Sunday will be written off with the Field Day and back to the grind Monday.

Looking forward to the Field Day, catch up with a few people, see some new tractors and drawl, check out some Wiltshire sheep and have a steak sandwich – yep what more can a bloke ask for?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

to do's

There seems to be a big difference in the way people think about sustainability. I believe it means being able to farm with out effecting the environment or any local ecosystems. Being sustainable is harder work and probably less profitable then more industrial forms of agriculture, but at the end of the day it’s the condition of your property that you’ll be judged by. So how does a farmer judge what the balance is between sustainable and profitable? I’m still looking for an answer to this one – but it’s not lots of pigs.

I would like my pigs to live in green fields, interspersed with oak and chestnut trees, how do I get there? Over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried to stand back and reassess what it is I’m doing and how do I get there. I think reassessment or review is an important part of any enterprise and knowing when to change is important. Let’s face it, pigs are hard work, twice a day feeding, lots of water, electric fencing, housing and the list goes on. I like the pigs and they have just started to bring in a bit of money – but I’ve got to change the way we do things to make it easier.

Up until now we have been jumping from one thing to the next, we didn’t have the first pig paddock finished until the morning I picked up the pigs. The chicken pen is still only half finished. The sheep don’t even have a proper paddock yet. I haven’t finished fencing off the garden or begun on the orchard – and the Boss is going to bring trees home on Sunday. We don’t have water to everything and I have to cart buckets everywhere. The cook has to water the garden from a water can and, well, you get the picture.

So it’s time for what we used to call ‘consolidation’, I need to, in consultation with the cook, prioritise what our list of ‘to do’s’ is and get on with it. And not let anything else lead me astray. Of course I’m getting hassled about the renovations to the house as well – like I don’t have enough to do!

For got to mention on Tuesday - there is a LandCare general meeting in Bredbo this Saturday, which I am going too. It’s interesting hearing what people are doing and planning on doing. Some people are Biodynamic, some are Organic and some conventional, but ever body seems to get along and hopefully learn from each others experiences.

Today’s photo is of the Cooks garlic, one of three patches she has growing around the place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Horsing around

I apologise for nothing yesterday, I was run off my feet doing things for Ben. Yesterday was a great day with 8mm of rain on our freshly planted potato’s, garlic, corn and oats. The evening was rather cool; the Cook was up all night making ginger bread men for Ben to take to school today.

We had finally located the spare part for the Jeep door so maybe we can get this fixed before the weekend. This weekend is, of course the Murrumbateman field days, our yearly pilgrimage to the North of the region. I’m hoping to get some tools, a bit of fencing gear and maybe another John Deere hat as the young fellow keeps wearing my other one to school. The Cook is planning an assault on the plants – more trees I think.

Daylight saving is great. I can be out in the paddocks until 8:30 or later, depending on dinner. It really helps with getting the mundane things done which take up time in the mornings leaving longer on the important things.

Last night we noticed that a horse form the TSR was in the front paddock, the Cook went out to put him back with his mates but noticed he’d hurt himself. I took a torch down and had a good look at the wound; it was rather serious, bleeding a steady amount with a rather large downward gash and flap. We rang the owners, who came down and had a look at it, they put the horse back into the paddock, and hopefully they will come back and treat it this morning.

The piglets residing in the house are being evicted on the weekend – the Cook has had enough. But honestly they do stink a little, unlike the first lot which were rather odourless in comparison.

Looks like I’ve sold more pigs, I’ve got two more orders one for a grown Boar and another for five piglets – thanks allclassifieds.

Today’s photo is of Maia the pony we are looing after for Jane.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday time!!

Party Time; young Ben had his birthday party this weekend so everything revolved around that – not everyday you turn ten.

Saturday was glorious weather, the cook headed off to Cooma for a morning of sanity and retail therapy after two weeks of school holidays. I of course got stuck into the chores, making up a week worth of pigs feed and lugging water to the sheep.

We finished the clean up that James began when he was here. The old pig pens have now gone and all the mess has just about been tidied up. The garden had a good make over with a good mulching and marking out for new spring beds.

The kids had their sleep-over which went well. One of the boys nearly picked up a brown snake – so it’s THAT time of the year again.

Sunday was bens’ party and apart from cooking and cleaning not much else happened – except the toilet broke – there’s always something!!

Today’s photo is of Beccy, I only realised on Friday that I’d talked about her but never put her up on the page.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Whats the cook doing?

There was a major offensive on the Garlic front yesterday. A lot of weeding and replanting of accidentally weeded plants happened. The boys have friends over for sleepovers – usually they have more during school holidays but this time it’s been a little slow.

You wouldn’t believe it either. After yesterday mornings fox attack the stinking thing came back again about 10:30pm. The cook heard the chickens squawking as she went in for a shower, I raced up to see what was going on. It was a bright moonlit night, but I didn’t want to open the chicken house up before I had a torch. The cook brought one up and we went in, thankfully there were no dead bodies. But, one of the silky roosters was making noises from the bottom end. The Cook shone her torch in the general direction and spotted the fox trying to hide in a bush. I picked up a piece of wood and in a mess of flailing arms went after the fox. I connected a couple of times but I don’t think I did any damage. I threw a huge chunk of timber at him and missed – it was pretty intense for a time. The fox ended up escaping through a hole he pushed in the wire – the dogs saw him off this time and he didn’t come back all night.

After we’d calmed down I thought I’d take a look and make sure that he hadn’t killed anything. I bent down under one of the roosts, but failed to notice that Gob the turkey gobbler was sitting on it. Well he must have worked up a good one in all the excitement and dropped it right on the back of my head – lovely I thought, must wash my hair before I go to bed. I didn’t find any casualties so I hope the fox lucked out.

The Cook is reinforcing the chock pen at the moment. Due to her German heritage I can see this will be better then the Atlantic Wall. As long as it keeps the poor old chickens safe.
So the animal count for inside of the house is one guinea pig, two piglets, two injured roosters, a dozen incubating turkey eggs and twenty chicks - in others words, I now offically live in the barn.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


There’s always something. This morning I heard a commotion in the chook pen and doddled off in my slippers to investigate. We had lost eight of our new hatchlings over the past couple of weeks so I’ve been a little worried about foxes. Anyway I couldn’t see anything, the chickens were making a bit of a racket still, but I figured what ever it was it was gone.

Anyway, I was coming out of the house later, the turkeys were gobbling away and I thought every thing was fine. Then I saw a fox jump onto the roof of the chook pen! I thought at first I might be able to get a photo of it for the Blog, but the camera was in the car. So I tried to sneak up to the chooks and give it a good wack with a bit of wood. I thought I saw it jump down onto the ground, but then I saw it on the roof and it saw me and took off. Maybe there were two, I don’t know.

So I took a look in the chook pen and I was gob-smacked. I thought I’d seen the fox/foxes on the way in but obviously it was the way out. The pen was littered with dead chickens, all our Silky hens and a couple of roosters, our layers, Ricki the Rooster – Bens favourite, the last of the young chickens, one of our Pekin/Hamburg cross rosters and our last red Bantam hen. We only have a couple of Hamburg Hens and a handful of Roosters left. They didn’t touch the ducks or turkeys.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get organised enough to get a firearms license, which is obviously becoming more and more necessary. We were only talking about it last night at dinner. The sheep that are agissted on the hill have lost a number of lambs to foxes this year as well.

So – adding to the ‘to do’ list - back to the drawing board with fox proofing, get a gun license, hunt foxes and hatch more chickens.

Funny thing is, yesterday when the Cook went to kill the black rooster poor old Ben wouldn’t let her. So the rooster came back, the foxes didn’t kill him either. So I think we are stuck with that one. Ben did say it was a lot nicer to him yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Photo of the Week

Do I nose you?

The sheep are settling in well. The Cook has them on the Apple Vinegar Cider to clean them out before we release them to the paddock. The Apple Cider Vinegar is a Biodynamic remedy for worms and other internal parasites. We also need to give them a good spray of Neem oil incase they have any lice or external parasites.

The Cook and the kids tried to separate the young gilts out of the boars paddock yesterday with out much success, pigs 27 farmers 3, however, the Cook will get her own back. She's off to help the folks down at Ingelara to castrate their pigs today - and there's no way I'm having anything that looks like meat balls for dinner! She did mention taking the Black Rooster down with her to get the chop. He's been harassing her and the kids lately so I think they are pretty keen to get him on the plate and eaten.

BREAKING NEWS: Another six piglets born this morning - I'm not home and of course everything is a little confused - The Cook has to take the Jeep in to get the door re-attached this morning as well as going to Ingelara. The Black Rooster attacked Ben again and is currently under bag arrest awaiting the chop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pig love

Monday saw us return to the scene of yesterday’s fun and with aching bodies to capture the remaining sheep and transport them back to Bredbo. Whilst we were gone and again soon after we arrived home we got a good shower of rain, which ended up being about 5mm. The sheep have all been put into a small receiving yard, at the front of the property, for a few days until we can get them up to the yards.

When we arrived home we found the pigs had turned off the electric fence, and we had pigs everywhere. One of the sows, who was obviously in season had moved in with the Boar, and they were both very happy. Some of the growers had moved in with the mums and a number of piglets had swapped mums as well. This is what happens when nobody is home!!!

Once we sorted all this out it was time for a cup of tea and a sit down. It rained again for about five minutes, the temperature dropped suddenly and it was like winter again. Finally after feeding the animals it was time to get inside and warm up. Unfortunately on our way inside we noticed one of the ducks lying on the grass in front of the chook house, poor old Pong our first Peking had died. It looks like he just laid down and gone to sleep, he was one of the animals we had brought with us from Murrumbateman when we first arrived here.

This morning we had a fairly heavy frost which hopefully hasn’t done any damage to eth potatoes. We also had snow on the hills along the Western ranges – no wonder it got so cold last night.

Market day

Sunday was very busy – it was up early and off to the Markets. We had never been to the Farmers Market at Woden before and thought we’d take a look and see what the process was like, the types of produce and the atmosphere. The Market is smallish, but has a good atmosphere and there was a constant flow of people through for a good part of the morning. We ran into a couple of people we know, Michael Croft from Mountain Creek Farms who runs Saddle Back pigs and Belted Galloways. He’s a wealth of information and has been very helpful to us over the pas few months. We also ran into one of the Cooks work mates John, he’s a Biodynamic tragic like us, and it was good to finally put a face to the name. John also mentioned he reads the Blog – so hi John!

Produce at the Markets was a good mix of in season fruits and vegetables, lots of wood oven baked breads, meat, fish, eggs, honey and cheese. I would have liked to stay a little longer but we had other jobs to do.

From the Markets we went off to pick up some sheep from out the back of Gundaroo. The sheep were Merinos, a mixture of rams, lambs and ewes. When we arrived at the front gate of the property we could see that they had had a little rain, the track up to the yards was a little rough in places but the Jeep managed to drag the trailer up without too much problem. Once we arrived at the sheep yards the fun started – firstly the front drivers side door of the Jeep came off (I’ll come back to this). The sheep yards had no loading ramp so it was a manual job to get the sheep onto the trailer. The Boys thought this was pretty good, and both of them leapt into grabbing the sheep. My problem was, being the only man on hand; I was responsible for getting the sheep on the trailer.
Normally this would have been a challenge I would enjoy, but after having all that rain, and the sheep not being shawn for a year, they were heavy and awkward to lift. It took us about an hour to get the 24 sheep and lambs onto the trailer, leaving a dozen or so for another trip. We turned our attention to the Jeeps door and after a little swearing and a lot of jiggling we finally got it fixed enough so we could get home. We were all a little exhausted by now and a lot of snoring was heard coming from the back and passenger seat all the way home.

Sowing circles

Next on the list of activities was Corn planting. We are doing a little experiment with the corn to see how well it grows here, hopefully we can grow enough to use for pig feed. All the corn we get at the moment comes in bags as you would expect, so it’s off the cob and dried. We noticed last year that the pigs loved to eat the corn stalks and cobs just as much as the grain. Being easy to store – in the field – it may be just as easy, but less resource intensive to feed the corn to them stalks and all.

Anyway, we’ve planted a fair amount of the stuff now so we’ll wait and see. Of course the kids are just a great help when it comes to these types of activities and a very willing to come out and give as hand. Both Ben and Harry played pivotal roles in ensuring every seed was planted at just the right depth.

Spring oats

What a weekend, we are all knackered – I can hardly summons up the strength to type. One of the first things we did Saturday was check the Oats crop and see if there was any sign of life. I wasn’t expecting much, maybe a few indications that we were getting some germination. I was a little surprised to see it had not only germinated but was standing about 2 inches high all across the paddock.
Next I suppose we need to look at how much the kangaroos are going to affect the crop and what I can do about it. The crop across the river dosen't get any kangaroos so maybe the railway line will act as a barrier.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Macro economic chickens

The world is rushing past in over-drive as people try and fend off economic disaster and I just sit here and watch it pass. How come Countries and Governments have no problem forking out trillions of dollars at a moments notice to try and save capitalism and then be so frugal when it comes to investing in the health of the environment and mankind’s future?

Well it’s not macro economics but we did hatch about 20 chicks yesterday, lots of different colours. Calamity Jane, the former known as the Cook, was sitting by the fire last night with up turned chicks in her hand trying to sex them. I had to giggle to myself, the poor little chicks were squirming away and she was trying to peer up their ‘vent’.

The Greening Australia guy is out today doing some trial seeding. Nice to see some action in this quarter, hopefully we’ll get a result. They have asked to have a field day on the property to collect seed for them, Land Care and us. Of course we have given them the green light; however our share of the seed will be going to K2C or be propagated for planting on K2C properties.

I’ll get to see what is happening in the Oats Paddock this weekend with a little luck as well. I haven’t spoken to Denise yet but it appears everything has gone to plan. We are having a spell of warm weather here as well, up to 26 Deg today – which will hopefully culminate in a storm or two.

I have to start seriously thinking about getting some of the pigs off to be processed soon. I’ve got about six or eight that are at the 60 – 75kg mark and should dress out well. I just need to get a loading ramp built and organise everything down line from there. Currently we are thinking that we can sell most the meat locally to friends, neighbours and work mates. However, the end goal is to have them selling at the farmers market. I’ve heard that one of the major pork sellers at the markets has reached his peak production and is currently not attending one market and may not attend the other.

Garlic, I knew there was something else. A lady advertised organic garlic on the internet the other day so we contacted her to see if we could get some to plant here. She was nice enough to leave a bag full of seedlings at the servo for us. Calamity is down the garden planting it now. Hopefully we can get some good garlic stock from these for planting next year.

When I checked the site this morning I was the 999 hit, let me know who gets the 1000th hit, being a mile stone and all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say Cheese!

When I started my Blog I intended it to be a way I could pass on information about sustainable farming practices, our conservation efforts and how we were managing the two on the one property. Looing back on what I have done so far I see it has turned more into a diary of day to day life on the farm.

So, what I have decided to do is make a few changes. Firstly, from this week Monday will be diary day, Tuesday I will look at what’s new and topical in the sustainable farming world, Wednesday will be photo of the week, Thursday will feature topical issues and Friday will be a roundup of the weekly happenings – lets see how it works.

This week is school holidays, and on the TV at 6:00am – Yes I watch TV at 6:00am in the morning much to the cooks’ disgust, is a show on the Lifestyle channel called Cheese Slices. This program follows the adventures of some fellow travelling around the world investigating and show casing the world of cheese making. It’s not the most “entertaining” show on earth and it’s not Emmy material, but it is a good medium for showing the difference in old and new world thinking on one particular aspect of farming and food production.

I have, for a long time, been interested in cheese making. Growing up in a dairy farming area I always liked the routine and calmness that it offered. I like the idea of using raw milk for cheese making and I know that cheese making although far more time consuming and labour intensive then just milking, can be rewarding and enjoyable.

All this, of course, helps explain the Jersey cow in the front paddock. The Cook likes the idea of fresh cows’ milk for cooking and drinking, whilst I’m the cheese lover. I’ve been looking for more Jersey cows, or any milking cow for that matter, but these are rare to come by around these parts. And any I have found have been rather expensive, for example some went at a clearing sale the other day for $1500 each and heifers for $980. Anyway I may have had an idea this morning on the way to work which I will talk about next week. Of course a lot of people would think that dairy farming in an area like ours wasn’t such a good idea – but then they weren’t doing it as part of a closed farming system. Maybe I’ll try a blended cheese and use sheep or goats to supplement our cows – the possibilities!

The final Garnaut report on climate changes was released yesterday and suggests a shift away from beef and sheep production, to eating kangaroos. What a joke that this has become the focus of discussion in the farming community with regards to climate change! If the way people protested when the Defence Department wanted to cull some kangaroo’s in the ACT is anything to go by.

The whole farming system in this country needs to change; we need to become more sustainable, more regional and more disciplined. We need less reliance on chemicals, less reliance on energy, less reliance on resource intensive processes and more supportive for small scale local farmers, farmers markets and CSA’s. And what about reducing the amount of processing that is allowed? Do we need white bread? Do we need processed cheddar cheese? Can we live without fruit loops?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It’s the first of October, the days are getting warmer, longer and day light saving starts on the weekend. It’s a long weekend with special meaning – the end of snow season! No more idiots on the road speeding to the snow, stopping out the front and depositing their rubbish in our driveway or running over innocent wombats.

The cows took a walk over to our neighbour Buzz’s oat paddock yesterday. They enjoyed themselves for a couple of hours whilst the Cook was busy with the Greening Australia people. She finally had to saddle up old Phoe and go round them up. This is the part about being on the farm that she likes the best – up on her horse chasing the poor old cows around.

The new pony is settling in OK, seems to have found its place in the paddock and the pecking order. The people who brought it took away a rooster as well - good. I had a look at the baby chickens we hatched about six weeks ago this morning and they are growing well and looking healthy; the next batch of hatchlings is due tomorrow – can’t wait to see what we get this time.