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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Great weather for the Ducks

I can’t believe it but we’ve had more rain today, last time I looked it was 16mm – and there has been more since then. Looks like we are going to get our whole month’s average rainfall in a week. Pity it didn’t come before the fires in Michelago started and destroyed people’s homes. The Duchks spent the day in the garden eating snails - yum yum.

We had visitors today from Melbourne – great to see them again. They stayed for a BBQ dinner which we ended up having to cook inside because the rain was so heavy. Also fatso was being a pest carrying off the BBQ on her back – I really need to get her fence fixed so she can’t get out when it rains. The pigs are having a ball with all the mud, they slide and wallow and lay around. It was quite hot before it rained; it reached 34 Deg C by midday, but dropped once the rain started.

The Cooks brother has been helping her build a Chook Dome – it’s a real work of art, abstract I would say. It will be interesting to see it finished; The Cook is hoping to keep her new Ducks in it for a while down in the garden. I’ll post pics tomorrow.

The puppy is having fun, she’s played with fatso this morning and tried to play with the cat today – but he’s not really interested in playing with the puppy.
The Cook created one of her world famous Christmas Cakes today – spectacular, she’s a real gem in the kitchen – so lucky I married her and didn’t wait around for Trisha Yearwood.

In other News - Looks like we are getting our own smoker built – won’t be half as good as the Rock Wallaby one. Obie, our visitor from Melbourne, has a brother in Canberra who is a gun welder – apparently this will be right up his alley, the Cook wants him to flash up a Rotisserie as well – I think She thinks I’m made of pigs. Shame I haven't got a welder or I'd give it a go myself (yeah ok, I can hear the Cook laughing from here too).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nice rain. Penny say's hi!

How about that rain? Not quite biblical - but I’m not complaining, far from it. The rain started at about 0100hrs on Christmas morning and this morning it is still raining. The Cook measured 19.5mm by dinner time yesterday and we’d only put the new rain gauge out at 1100hrs. By this morning we’d had a total of 26mm (due to no rain gauge we missed the first fourteen hours).

We had a lovely Christmas Day – all started a little later the normal Christmas Day, our recalcitrant visitor refuse to get up early, that didn’t go down well with the kids and all sorts of punitive actions were being discussed when he wasn’t up by 0800hrs. Luckily they don’t have my creative slant when it comes to this sort of thing and the visitor was allowed to slumber – threats from the Cook to the three of us also went some way towards our better then should be expected behaviour.

For breakfast Christmas Day we had our own bacon and eggs. Dinner was the traditional turkey, prawns and ham. The highlight was the home grown ham. It was just superb, the Cook likes the Shoulder ham better but the rest of us will take anything you dish up as long as it’s from our paddock.

Today was a little slow whilst we get over yesterday. The cook took the time to plant a couple of Pecan nut trees she brought at the Murrumbateman Filed Days - that have been sitting in our bath tub ever since. She has also attempted to pig proof the trees, but time will tell how well that will work. Hopefully the pigs will ignore them, yeah right........

I took the dogs for a walk out to the dam to see if we had managed to catch any of the rain – appears not, none of the dams have any water in them, maybe over the next few days we’ll get some inflow. Penny the new puppy was a terror, she barked at every cow, sheep and kangaroo. She’ll sleep well tonight for sure.

I don’t know if anybody else saw it, but ABC2 showed the Australian film ‘A Bush Christmas’ it Nicolle Kidman’s first movie. It was filmed around Rathdowney, near Beaudesert in Queensland. I grew up not far from there and recognised a lot of the extras in the movie as well as the land marks. I also manned a polling booth in the hall they showed the dance in and rode at many camp drafts and Pony Club days at the show grounds. It was filmed in 1983 – now I feel really old.

Mrs Duck Herder, Afternoon Tea sounds very nice and now the Cook has a brand new second hand antique oven she can cook a cake and biscuits. We are home all week, if you talk to Em organise a time that is good for you both and give me a call.

Oh, nearly forgot. This was funny; the Cook discovered that the Kitten we thought was female for the last six months is indeed male. I just shake my head.......

Friday, December 25, 2009

I hear footsteps on the roof

As I sit at the table to write this the Cook is busy wrapping the last of the presents, CMC is playing every film clip in their catalogue and the new puppy is whining at the back door. Yep, I went and got the Cook a short haired Border Collie puppy for Christmas. She’s rather cute, her name is Penny and she’s made herself right at home. And the Cook loves her – he scores...a direct hit on the perfect Christmas present yet again.

The tree is lit and everything is ready for Santa’s arrival, in fact, the dog are starting to bark at something now. Must nearly be time for bed.

It’s been a rather busy year, a few ups and downs, but mostly positive if you don’t count the dry, weeds, LHPA, horses, the Jeep, foxes and my useless electric fence building skills. But hopefully Santa is towing that huge thunder storm I asked for, we’ll have to wait and see what morning brings.

Well guy’s, I hope Santa is kind to you all. Hopefully we get rain from Rock Wallaby to Valley View and all those places in between. Thanks to everybody who reads our blog for the kind comments and remarks – especially Mrs Duck and Em. We’ll have to all catch up in the New Year. JAAAM in West OZ, promise I’ll ring and The folks in Maryburg – I know it’s my turn to ring you too – I’ll do it at 5am when the kids get me up. And not forgetting the Rock Wallaby guys – nice looking ham, great looking pigs, nice to hear you got rain at last. And no, I didn’t forget the Adelaide connection, I hope your all well and safe also.

Goodnight to all and Merry Christmas, from all of us here at BVVF.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Too close for my liking.

Sorry for another break – things are hot and dry, very dry. Yesterday we had our first fire scare; a blaze broke out on the western side of Cosgrove Hill, just behind us (800m South). I’d just returned from picking up feed when we saw the smoke. The Cook got the pump running whilst the kids and I unloaded the feed and filled the fire tank. Luckily this time the wind was in our favour and the fire was to far south be any direct threat on the house. In the time it took us to start getting organised the aircraft from the Michelago arrived and spent about an hour bombing the fire. The aircraft had been over flying the farm all day between Michelago and Bunyan Airfield and they probably spotted the fire even before we did.

I had a talk to one of the firies this morning, I was told they had trouble getting a crew together due to the effort on the other fires.

The last two months we’ve had less then 10mm of rain, our average for this period is over 140mm and the rain we were expecting over the Christmas week has disappeared. So with little outlook for a break in the weather we will be constantly watching for smoke over the next few weeks – or until it does rain.

This also means that a lot of the jobs I wanted to do in the back paddocks are off as well. We can’t afford to have the vehicle start a fire and as I have to drive through thick beds of tinder dry grass to get anywhere - it’s just not safe.

One of neighbours was badly injured in the Michelago fires; he made front page news of the Canberra Times on Saturday. Hopefully, he makes a swift and full recovery.

In the middle of all this however, the Cook has managed to keep her garden going and we are currently enjoying a bountiful harvest of Zucchini. The three new ducks are growing and now have full feathers – they are just beautiful, and we think they are all girls too.

I saw on the Sister-in-Laws Blog that she took a fall off a quad bike (I hope your okay) – Don’t worry F, doesn’t matter what you do to your face you’ll always be prettier then Maverick…. And I haven’t started my Christmas Shopping yet either, I figure I’ve got until Thursday. Is it too late for Amazon????

I’ll post more soon, lot’s of stories stored up, like being bitten by a snake, selling lots of pigs and George’s latest indiscretions.

Monday, December 7, 2009

White with two please.

Yeah I’m still alive, survived a sense of humour transplant. Things in general have worn me down a bit lately so I think it’s really time for a little holiday – if I’m lucky Santa might let me have one for Christmas. I was talking to somebody today and they asked when was the last time I had a holiday? and I couldn’t remember.

I read an article today about a judge who believes the internet doesn’t allow us to forget. His opinion is that in the past, pre digital days, people would forget bad things people had said or done and over time forgive them for their indiscretions. However, in today’s digital world everything lasts forever and nothing disappears over time. A bit like the Blog – here forever, don’t tell the Cook.
The farm is still here, pretty to very dry, no water in the dams and very little summer feed – lucky sheep eat rocks.

Speaking of sheep, you may recall we had a successful lambing this year, lots of little spring fella’s bounding across the dry, dusty dirt chasing down mum. I was lout fencing on the weekend, I’d missed going out there last week due to an injury, so I was keen to see the sheep and see how they were doing. I tracked them down the flats and into a small gully, I could hear Mildred’s bell tinkling away and smell the heavy sent of lanoline on the air. I creped over the rise, they usually bolt if they see me so I stayed out of sight. I did a quick count, and made a mental note that there must be more somewhere. I watched them for a spell then moved back down the gully. I looked around for more tracks and sign of the remaining animals but couldn’t find anything. Whilst I was snooping around the sheep began to move towards the river into the shade for the afternoon. I decided to take up a position overlooking the trail and count them into the paddock. We only have 24 so if I take off my boots I can keep track – thanks to those extra toes!!

So we lost some sheep. We had a couple of good litters of pigs as well – which is another story. One poor mum had ten piglets and was doing really well. One night we noticed she was down to eight – nothing unusual we lose a couple every once and a while. Anyway by the end of the week she was down to a single piglet and I couldn’t believe it. I searched around and couldn’t find any sign of what was happening until a couple of days later when I found a well worn path being travelled by an adult fox and three or four cubs. It must have been hunting lessons for the young ones. Anyway I have a solution in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again – looks like the old Yowie suite is going to get a run after a few years in the trunk.

Mrs Duckherder, your ducks are going fine and I’ll take a picture of them soon. Only three hatched but they are doing really well. The other chicks that we hatched are doing well also, we’ve been really lucky with them and there are some really nice looking birds amongst them. The Goose had a nest going for a while – but she dropped dead walking back from feeding one day – oh yeah, it’s never slow around here. It was a real shame, and it happened right in front of the kids. We tried to incubate here eggs but that didn’t work and we took them off life support the other night. Which reminds me, those eggs are still in the incubator.

The Cooks garden is going well, she has been away a bit lately and even with the blokes looking after it there appears to be life. Ben has been enjoying the strawberries and we’ve had a good supply of lettuce, radishes and assorted greens.
Got my ugly mug in the paper – must have been a slow news day. Mrs D spotted it otherwise it would have gone totally unnoticed.

The fence is taking shape and I’ve got over the blisters – now I just have calluses. I’ve spent alot of time and effort hammer posts into rock to make it work. I think next time I have such a bright idea – I won’t.

Snakes are out and about and we’ve seen a few to date. The Cook had a close call the other day and the kids have seen a couple too.