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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A minute to myself to catch up

I’m having a little difficulty typing after a couple of weeks fencing and such. We’ve crammed a lot in over the past few weeks and I’m ready for a little lay down. The temperature took a sudden climb and the days included morning mist and afternoon storms. We had 28mm in one afternoon at the beginning of last week alone. Nothing like the 8inches they had 20km’s down the road which closed the highway, killed stock and destroyed a plant nursery. Of course today it was windy all day – at one point we had rain and dust storm within seconds.

The fencing is far from finished but we’ve been able to complete a lot more then I could have alone. With about a quarter of the steel posts now in on the wildlife refuge and just a little wait until we can get the rock out of the last four holes in the CMA area it’s all going forward. The guy’s came out and helped again – on an incredibly hot and humid day.

The rain we had forced the river to rise and I had to do the dash and rescue the pump – at least this time I had pants on.

I had to drive out to Murrumbateman and pick up some mulch for the Cook. We found some advertised for $30 a bale and the Cook sent me out for two. It never occurred to me to ask if they had any way to load it – I just thought that a horse stud, with 8x4x4 straw bales would have a tractor. Any hoo, a couple of hours later and a tonne of mulch was on the trailer and I was stuffed, it was hot and humid and the straw was wet all the way through and I’d only loaded one. By the time I got back to Bredbo it was afternoon and I needed the trailer to pick up the weeks feed. Of course it was coming a day early, that afternoon.

Mrs Duck herder dropped in on us that afternoon and we had a pleasant couple of hours showing her around and chatting about compost. Unfortunately I left at one stage and the Cook and Mrs Duck conspired to make me go back to Murrumbateman and retrieve the other straw bail for the Cook this week end – I’m really looking forward to that. There was also nice little impromptu lesson in Potato identification and ‘farting’. Poor old Ben was left to unload the straw on his own when we went for a cuppa – looks like its Harry’s job next time.

The Cook and I had been invited to a dinner at Old Parliament House to celebrate the 100 Anniversary of the survey of the ACT and the food producers from within 100 miles that night as well. It was a great night, the food was wonderful of course and the pig farming and slow food conversation was entertaining. The tables were arranged so that there was producers and consumers together and people could ask questions and discuss what it actually takes to grow a pig, chestnut or waratah.

We only just made it to the dinner on time – I had to load a tonne of fed onto the trailer and then park the car at the underground car park at the hospital, we left it there because it might rain and we didn’t want the wheat getting wet. I also needed to get change – unfortunately the Cook only pointed out the security cameras after the event.

On the way home dropped by Mrs Duck and dropped her off some high quality Bacon – she goes to bed way too early.

I had a chance to take a short walk down the river Friday before it came up and chanced upon a couple of swans paddling in the shallows and a juvenile Eastern Water Dragon sunning himself on a log. We’ve had an increase in the wildlife around the farm in the last year or so, things that we’ve never seen before and that aren’t included in the Cooma/Monaro State of the Environment.

And of course Sunday was my birthday, so I went fencing. Paul, Greg and Tanya came out again. Paul was out early and had a farm fresh breakfast of bacon and eggs, Greg and Tanya stayed for dinner after a hard day’s work. We got to sample the Cooks pickled gherkins’ from last year’s crop – now they’re not too everybody’s taste but I loved them – she can make them for me any day, and there are jars of them left – lucky me.

Yesterday on my way home from Canberra the jeep over heated slightly so I pulled over and had a quick look. Transmission fluid was going everywhere so I pulled into the servo for an emergency top up and hopefully a quick trip home before the transmission blew. Luckily I made it, but this morning I had to take it into Cooma for a new transmission cooling hose – five hours in Cooma is not fun. Another few hundred dollars gone, but at least the car still goes and I can pick up bread tomorrow.

Whilst the car was in being looked at someone from the Jeep Club in Canberra came through town, he noticed our jeep out front of the servo and stopped (I haven’t talked to him yet so I don’t know why). He quizzed the mechanic and left a card for me to contact him – apparently he’d never seen a jeep with nearly 500 000 KM’s on it before and was quite impressed.

So I’ve still got a list of things to do a mile long, things like; the sheep need to be mustered, I need to put a water pipe in for the pigs, I need to finish mowing the lawn, there’s some work needs doing on the chook pen and it keeps going ( I’ve ignored all the fencing I need to do other then what is currently being done).