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

Monday, March 2, 2009

A day at the show

It was a hot afternoon at the show. I arrived just on lunch time on the first day. Not a lot of the exhibits had opened and I was really there to look at the Goats and introduce myself to the bee people. The goat and sheep areas where adjacent to the gate I entered through so I was lucky not to have to walk miles to see them – it was also next to the diving pigs, unfortunately I missed their performance.

I had a walk around the goat enclosure and tried to ask a few questions. But I think the stress of showing and the heat made most people less then conversational. I really wanted to find out things like protein quality of feed for good milk and prices for good milk breeds – the Cooks reading this shaking her head. I found out that goats have a higher cream content in their milk than cows – something I didn’t know before. All the goat breeders had a mixture of breeds, nobody really concentrated on just one breed. I sat and watched the judging for a while, which was interesting, but I’m still not totally convinced I know a good goat form an average goat.

I watched the sheep judging as well, the classes where large and the judging was intense. Most classes I watched was for the Suffolk Sheep – I think the Merinos are judged on Saturday.

After an hour or so I decided to move onto the Bee stand in the pavilion to have a chat with the Bee Association people about their club and what I needed to do to get a site picked out and readied for a couple of hives. I met a gentleman named Pat and he spent a good amount of tie explaining the ins and outs of beekeeping and the benefits of joining the club. I think with activities such as beekeeping it’s good to gather as much information as possible before you leap in. I’m looking forward to attending the first meeting and learning more.

Saturday I spent most of the day running Ben around birthday parties in Canberra, so I wasted a good amount of the day. He enjoyed himself, he had a good time at the laser tag and won both his tournaments.

Back on the farm and we are still having problems containing the pig population. There are two larger pigs that continuously escape regardless of what deterrents I put in their path. Ben has marked these for processing at the soonest possible opportunity. Can’t say I disagree and I think the Cook is very keen to see the wiggly end of them.

Over the weekend they managed to get into the chook pen again and devastate the ducks laying boxes, they pushed their way into the feed shed and consumed the whole batch of evening feeds and have been pillaging in the potato patch as well. They look good, a nice layer of fat across the back and rather large hams, I mean legs – which undoubtedly will be their undoing. I spent hours working on the electric fence over the weekend. I’ve stained it and inspected it and cleaned the connections as well, but it’s still only working at about 50% of capacity – I even took a length of fence off the circuit. I am starting to wonder if the battery is starting to wear out. Luckily this morning only two had managed to escape and that was just prior to feed time. They both squealed when they pushed under the fence on the way in, so it’s working, they just seem to be ignoring it.

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