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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The word is spreading

We had a few farewells to do yesterday, so it was decided that we'd run our own soup kitchen in honor of those taking their redundancies.  It was a great event, I made a Pea and Ham, with Valley View smoked bacon bones.  In adition we had two venison stews, a pumkin and a wonderful potato and leek soup.  All provided by friends for friends. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Our River Cottage Journey

River Cottage Australia's Paul West with Tilba pig farmer Martyn Noakes.
Paul West, myself and pigs at River Cottage Australia

Well,  it all started about ten years ago when we first moved to Murrumbateman,  I convinced The Cook that we could afford satellite TV.  One of, the first show we got hooked on was an English sustainability show called River Cottage.  After watching a few episodes we soon began talking about how good it would be to actually grow all our own food.  A little later the kids went on a scout camp that included a trip to a free range pig farm in the Southern Highlands.

The Cook came home and full of enthusiasm it was decided that we'd find a property and raise some pigs - we'd be just like Hugh.  Ten years along and, we have our pigs, the farm is moving along and we actually pretty much ffed ourselves.   Then one day recently, at work, somebody told me that there was going to be a River Cottage Australia, they were having auditions - that I should apply.  So I did, but nothing came of it and we carried on with our lives.

Then one day I had a phone call at work. Some how, through a friend of a friend, they found out about our pigs and we were asked to provide the pigs for the show.  It was being produced just down on the coast not far from home in a small town called Tilba.

Now, like that wasn't enough, being asked to supply pigs to River Cottage Australia was one thing, but to actually play a small part in one of the episodes was fantastic.  We were invited down to Tilba to have a look at the site for the pigs and meet Paul West the Australian Hugh.   The Cook took down one of her now famous Rhubarb Cakes and sat on the back porch and talked pigs for the afternoon.   Paul is a great guy and very passionate about what he's doing and very conscious about doing everything as well as possible.

We had no idea that we were going to be involved at this stage, but after a phone call from the production people it was pretty obvious.  Bredbo put on the perfect day, the pigs all behaved and everybody was really happy.

But, to top it all off I actually got to meet Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - in person,  as Hugh said, we'd come full circle, me, Hugh and our pigs all at River Cottage.

Don't miss an episode - River Cottage Australia starts on June the 27th 8:30pm on the LIfestyle channel, I think we are in episode 2 or 3,  can't wait.

Canberra Times River Cottage Article

Friday, June 14, 2013

We've been doing some work on the pig paddocks.   Our local farm contractor has been deep ripping parts of the property with a Yoemans plough.  This has made a huge difference on the penertration of recent rain into the soil.  We'll be seeding and adding probiotics to the soil again soon which should prepare the paddocks well for spring.

This morning I heard noises outside from about 4am.  I shuold have got up to check, but it was wet and dark.   By the time I did get up, about 5:30am we had about 100 lose pigs running about the place.  I'd forgotten we had not had sun for about four days and the solar powered fence energiser had run down.  Luckily I had the spare charging and by the end of feed time, with a lot of help from the boys and the Cook (she was wearing heels and a skirt chasing pigs through the mud - I love her) we ggot them all back.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Starting small and slow

Our new Hiolistically managed pig system is worknig well, and with this rain our recent seeding should be cming out of the ground after the first bit of sun shine.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back from the blogging wilderness

Well after more then a years break it's time to get back into blogging.  A lot has happened over the past year and there is so much coming up.  We've had our ups and downs, none quite as momentous as Sunday when our "Boar King" Tiberius passed away in his sleep.   He's been with us from the start and   his passing has left a large emptiness in the paddock.

I'll try and update the blog on what has happened over the past twelve months as I go along.  We start our first first Permaculture Design Certificate course on Saturday, this is really exciting, we have a bunch of keen and enthusiastic people just itching to get into the lessons.

The Cook has a new off farm job which she is really enjoying,  nine to five as well - no more shift work for her ;)   Harry turned 18 and is in his final year of school, how time flies!

Anyway there will be more, I just have to pace myself for the moment.