Monday, June 11, 2012

WOOFers! (Workers On Organic Farms)

We've had a wonderful weekend this Queen's Birthday weekend. Frans' nephew Christopher, along with his lovely wife Sarah and baby Saskia came to visit. Sara and Stephen came down from Melbourne too so we had had a house full of grown up children! We're the oldies now....

Sarah, Saskia and Chris. Saskia was more interested in the cows than the camera!

We are pretty sure that all three our cows are pregnant. They're the black ones. We have Agnes the Angus, Eileen and Thursday. We've not named the two white calves for obviouos reasons... If all goes well, we will slaughter one of the white calves in the next 3 months and sell the other one. And hopefully, there will be three brand new baby calves to take their places.
The guys got to work digging holes. I bought fruit trees last week and they needed planting. So we're extending the small orchard behind the house and have planted them there. They had help! 

Chris digging a hole. Well, he's pretty good at this job. He's a plumber! Can't let those skills go to waste! Nala was there, posing for the camera too.

Remember all the garlic that needed planting? Well we've started. Frans made us a clever contraption to drill holes into the bed. Sarah and I got stuck into the planting on Saturday. We stopped half way as the Otway drizzle became a little cold and just too wet to keep going. The fire was going inside and that seemed a much better place to be!

Baby Saskia giving her advice from the side lines!

And then I did a recount of the garlic cloves I had to plant... and came to the conclusion that we did not have enough space. So the men got stuck into creating another bed. Stephen said it would take 15 minutes.... Ha! Try 3 hours!

We decided that the 'no dig' method would work the best. So here Stephen and Chris are laying down cardboard boxes directly onto the lovely lawn that Frans has been nurturing. (He's a bit sad that I've twisted his arm to turn a lovely lawn into another garden bed. But in reality, what's more beneficial? Food or grass?) We still have our packing boxes from our move, so they are now coming in very handy. 

After the boxes, we needed a layer of chook poo and straw. What good timing! We have been meaning to clean out the chook house for a while now. It's not a fun job. It's dusty and smelly. So we are very grateful that Chris got stuck into the job of cleaning the chook house and shovelling the poo onto the new garden bed.

Chris dumped load after load onto the cardboard. (the poles on the cardboard were there to stop the board from blowing away over to our neighbour's farm.) As Chris dumped one wheelburrow after another, I watered it.

And speaking of our neighbour... While we were preparing the garden bed with the first layer, he came over with his tractor, bucket full of good soil. He'd seen us busy with the bed and figured we could do with some soil. Good man! So five trips later, we had a garden bed with a layer of chook manure and straw as well as a good layer of quality soil. Only one more layer to go and we'll pick that up in town this week. We'll add a layer of compost to the top.

Now we should have enough space for the remaining garlic! The bonus of having created another bed is that after the garlic crop, I'll have the bed available for more vegies.

I want to show you this. It's my chilli plant that Stephen gave me for Mother's day. It was FULL of lovely glossy red chillies. I put the pot outside and managed to use a couple. Then one morning I came outside and this is what what left of my plant! No chillies! All eaten. Gone! I'm guessing that it was a parrot. The cheek of it!

You know how eggs are shaped differently at each end? Well this egg was almost a perfect oval. Looked like a rugby ball.

We have a pile of dirt next to the chook house. We want to move it, but the chooks love it. This is where they take their baths!

Last week I lit the wood fire stove. It's been going non stop. I have a rule for myself. If I light the stove, then I don't use the electric one. It's a challenge, especially when it comes to baking. I have managed to stick with the rule and have baked bread, cake and biscuits for the first time. Warm winter porridge for breakfast was delish! Frans enjoys his porridge with a hefty dollop of farm honey!

On the cold rainy days I've been busy in the sewing room. I've started a quilt for a friend's birthday. Hopefully it will get finished this week!

And this has to be the best photograph of the year! Sara, on her bike! Yes, she's riding! 

Chris, Sarah and Saskia have gone back to Sydney. It was lovely having them to stay. And great that they enjoyed working on the farm!

Have a wonderful week.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful weekend Ami, so ewarding to have the support of family to share the bounty of living the life in the country.
    lol Janelle