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

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I hope everybody has survived Christmas; ours was quite and mostly restful. It did take me 10 days to mow the lawn with the brand new 21 inch cut, 190cc lawn mower that I bought the Cook for Christmas. Normally we buy second hand mowers from garage sales; I’ve broken three since we’ve been on the farm so this time I splurged on a new one. Apart from being able to start it first time every time, it mows twice as wide rows as the others. It’s made a huge difference to how long it takes to mow the lawn, but it hasn’t made any difference to how fast it grows back.

The lawn had grown so long that it was up to my shoulders by Christmas, Ben had been lost in the yard for a day and night and nobody noticed, we all thought he was doing the waters. He was finally able to follow one of the pigs out at feed time. By the time I made it to the last few rows I had to scythe the long grass first, hunt out the tigers and then mow it a couple of times.
As is tradition at Valley View we had a Christmas Day litter of pigs, ironically it was from the same sow that supplied us with our Christmas ham. She gave birth to a lovely litter of fine piglets ready for this year’s (2011) Christmas.

We have also had a great deal of chickens hatching with clutches of chicks all over the house and yard. Unfortunately only one of the Lavender Araucana’s green eggs has hatched so far. With any luck the other five or so eggs will hatch out over the next couple of days.
Our most exciting news was the first jars of Valley View Honey! The bees had built honey comb on the lid of one of the hive boxes and when I went to add an extra super to the hive I decided to remove the comb so the lid would fit again. I obviously need to put a mat on the top of the frames in that box. The girls did us proud and from just a small amount of comb we managed to extract three large jars of honey, almost enough to last a few months if the cook can stop giving it away. She did do all the extraction and received a sting on the finger for her troubles. And it tasted just divine. We are still only amateurs as far as the Bees, there’ll be a lot of learn as you go, luckily I have Mrs D’s number if I get stuck!

We sold a lot of pigs over the break; every other day pigs were going off. I now only have about 25 grower pigs left for next year. As the majority of these are boars I’ll probably have to take them down to the pig sales in February. We have about twenty piglets which we are keeping for hams for this years Christmas. I’m planning on having no piglets over winter this year and resting the sows.
Somebody whom bought pigs uttered a side ways word about their wife wanting goats, the Cook’s ears instantly pricked and she was off like a dog with a bone.

She had the goats organised the people over and all four loaded in their truck before you could blink, Bendy and Nudge even allowed themselves to be caught with out putting up the usual fight. The Cook waved them off and felt satisfied she was finally rid of them – until today.

The people who took the goats called just after lunch. They found that our beautiful, lovely, placid goats didn’t want to integrate into their herd (what ever that means) so have decided to bring them back – The cook has been bitten on the bum by KARMA! I hope they had a nice holiday, I’ll be there to welcome them back (I’m laughing to myself) and build their new paddock behind the house.


The Duck Herder said...

Action shot! I like it. Now that you have harvested honey this year already you are ahead of me and I can ask you for advise now.

Sorry about the boomerang goats.

and I love the action shot.

And congratulations on all the baby Jesus piglets.

Old Nev said...

Good to see you back. I'll email you some pictures of my nephews alpacas, they are excellent self operating lawn mowers.