Friday, March 22, 2013

Markets and RAIN!

 The month of March is proving to be manic! We have five country markets that we're setting our little stall up at. The first market was at Birregurra a couple of weeks ago. It was an incredibly HOT day! So hot, that the stall holders started packing up at around 1.30pm. The heat was too much for regular customers, and the weekend visitors stayed away, preferring to visit the beach no doubt! We got home and jumped into the pool! Then this past Saturday we had the Kana Festival in Colac. We were hoping for a good turn out of visitors. Of course I must remind you that we have had no rain in the district for months. It has been VERY dry. We set up our stall, crossed our fingers and watched heavy black clouds race across the Colac sky, coming directly at us!  

Our range of homemade farm preserves has grown considerably since we started creating jams, conserves, chutneys and pickles. We added Anzac biscuits as well as toffee apples to the table.

Then the rain came down. Sideways! Festival crowds disappeared into shops along the main street or huddled under tent awnings of market stalls. We had to rearrange our tables to keep all our stuff from getting wet. Once the rain passed, people returned to the festival area. A few more squalls of rain saw the afternoon out. We packed up around 4pm and were home by five. A washed out event! 
We sold quite a few of our toffee apples. I picked the apples on Friday morning, made them in the afternoon and sold them on Saturday. They were FRESH! We have photo evidence that they were a hit.
These two gorgeous little girls are Freya (left) and her big sister, Willow. They are our friends' John and Norma's two granddaughters who were visiting for the weekend. By all accounts they loved their toffee apples. They got home from the festival, soaked from the rain, but that didn't deter their enjoyment of gnawing on the hard toffee. Freya managed to get toffee in her eyebrows, and Willow got it in her hair at the BACK of her head! Norma said the apples were great entertainment value! 


 This week has seen plenty of veggies ready to be picked. Most mornings I'll bring a basket inside filled with a variety of squash, cucumbers, herbs, tomatoes and spring onions. The fuchsia gladioli was rescued where it had fallen over. It is now standing straight and tall in a vase in the kitchen. Amazing colour!

(now please excuse the big space below.... Blogger is doing strange things to me today and I cannot get rid of this space! Technology and me don't always work well together!)

 The olive tree we planted last year is starting to bear fruit. We want to plant a row of olives along our southern fence line. We'll do that once the weather is a bit cooler.
When we first moved to the farm, we planted two truffle oaks that we'd been given as goodbye presents from friends in the city. We had a minor disaster with the trees when the cows ate the tops off them when we'd let them graze the top paddock late last year. The cows had ignored the electric tape around the trees! We didn't think the trees would recover, but they have! So in perhaps 5 years from now we may be rewarded with a black truffle or two! 
I'm popping this pic into the blog today just because I like it! I was watering the geraniums along the old shed wall earlier this week. I love the endless view toward the Otways. Nala is my constant companion when I'm out in the garden. 
I've shown a photo of Spike our rooster before I know, but he deserves a second viewing! He looks after his girls. We have always known that it's good for a flock to have a rooster to keep the girls happy. Yesterday Frans witnessed first hand that he takes his job as protector seriously. It's wood pile shifting time, and Frans was re-stacking the dry wood, moving it from under the trees to the wood shed. Winter is coming! (sounds like "Game of Thrones"!) While he was working away, the chooks were running around the yard, scratching and chuckling away, just being chooks. Then suddenly, Spike gave an unusual crow. All the chooks froze. They stopped what they were doing and stood dead still. They played 'statues' for a few minutes. Spike had obviously decided there was danger around, perhaps a fox, hawk or snake. He must have given them a secret signal because they went along their merry way after a few minutes. Clever Spike! 
 Last week we tested some of the apples to see if they're ready for harvest. The trees are still netted. But we lifted a corner up and let the chickens have a little scratch. They didn't waste any time at all! Getting them out was another story.
This photo is our HAPPY photo of the week! It rained!! Yes! We had over 10mm's yesterday. Our first proper rain in months. We are now a little more at ease as far as the rain is concerned. We have passed St Patricks Day. Now it can rain. And it did!  
Not only did it rain, but the wind blew fiercely! We had gusts of over 100 kms. Today Frans and I were working at the back of his shed, unblocking the filter on a big water tank. We heard a shout from our neighbour's farm. Graham called "Ami, can Frans give me a hand for a few minutes!". Hand signals and shouts in return. Frans ran over to the old shed, hopped into the car and drove down to Graham's farm. Graham was stuck on his roof! A tree had blown down yesterday in the wind and landed on his shed roof. He'd climbed up and was sawing the tree up with chain saw. Part of the tree knocked his ladder, leaving him stranded. Old farmers are amazing. They don't let old age or dicky knees get them down. Graham is 67, and still climbing on his shed roof! 

And as I type away, it is getting dark and Frans is outside cutting up another fallen tree, another casualty from yesterday's wind. Wood. And to quote Frans "a man can never have enough wood"!

If you're still with me (yes, it's been a long post...) I'm going to leave you with this little treat. 
Meet Tilly. She's Sara and Stephen's new puppy. She graduated puppy school this week! 
I can assure you, that she does not sit still for long!

Have a wonderful weekend.
We'll be at the Dean's Marsh Heritage Festival on Sunday. If you happen to be there, come and say 'hi'.


  1. Fabulous post Ami..I love reading about what you've been up to. 67 really old????? Please tell me it's not old.

    1. No Kali! Not old at all! But probably too old to be climbing on a roof! :-)