Winters are wet. Very wet. And cold. But we don't often see any of the white stuff! So when a mate from Melbourne sent us a text asking if we had snow on the farm, we figured we'd go and see where it was. We hopped into the car and drove up the range to the top of the Otways. Well, it wasn't a winter wonderland, but it was pretty. Here are a few of the pics we took.
Just past Baramunga.
Frans getting his shots
There's one treat on a snowy day that warms your insides... hot chocolate at the Nourished.
On the way home we took the back roads. I love this part of Kawarren. A farmer was trying to move his cows. They were all over the place! Which way? Where is he?
This little baby was only hours old and already being shoved about by the herd.
Finally the boss arrived and walked the girls up the hill to the dairy.
We may have only had snow on one day, but we did have a number of frosty mornings. The plants in the ground were crispy and white!
It may be cold, but there are still jobs to be done. Our old concrete water tanks are starting to spring leaks. This is not good. There is a laborious process to paint a goop onto the cracks. It has to be done every day till the leaks stop. I'll get back to you on this one...
It's pruning time! The apple trees are getting a hair cut. In the past we've had a professional pruner come and cut our trees. But this year I'm going to be brave and have a go myself. Google is my friend. There is a lot to remember. Lateral branches, spurs, water saplings... the list goes on. Which ones to cut and which ones to leave are clearly explained in drawings. Somehow my trees don't look like the pictures. Let's hope we get fruit next season!
Beetroot! I've transplanted a few hundred seedlings. Most of the beetroot will be turned into relish and chutney. I'll pickle some for home use too. Our favourite way of eating it fresh is to simply roast the beets in foil or to grate them raw into salads. Delicious!
Yes it's cold. Here's big 'Fat Black Hen' keeping warm in her box.
It's never too cold to enjoy the golden hour tho'... A warm puffy jacket and a glass of red is all you need. Oh, and a beany and a scarf!
August has been busy so far. I entered a few jars of preserves into the CWA Victorian State Exhibition a couple of weeks ago. It was a mission getting all the entries sent off and tickets and forms filled in. Well worth the effort.
Here are the results of my entries:
First - Crochet and knitted article
Third - Felted and knitted article
Second - Knitting and crochet combined
Second - Sauce any other. Damn! First went to a plum sauce. Can't even compare! Next year I have to win! This Worcestershire sauce is excellent!
Second - Jar of Berry Jam. I entered Raspberry. Strawberry won. Much sweeter I'd say. It's all about personal taste.
Second - Jar of Plum Jam. I put ginger in mine. Perhaps too left field?
Third - Melon and Ginger jam. Again. Perhaps too left field? My friend Norma blamed the ginger. She hates it :-)
Second - Marmalade. Happy with this result. The competition was FIERCE!
Coming home from the exhibition, I was inspired to have a go at making Lemon Butter and Passionfruit Butter. I used my fabulous copper pot on the wood stove. The result was sensational. Frans' eyes nearly rolled back into his head when he licked the spoon!
CABIN SNEAK PEAK......
We're almost ready for paying guests! We have a little work to do outside and I'm still fiddling with the decor a bit. We've had a few trial runs with friends who have stayed and have helped us tweak the way we've set everything out.
This fold out couch will allow a family to sleep a couple of children here or two small adults.
The shelf is one Frans made about 24 years ago from old pallets. He was WAY before his time! The bead and wire basket on the top shelf is one my Mum brought from South Africa last year. Thanks Mum! We'll have more books, some DVD's (yes, we will have a tv on the left wall) and an docking station with speakers for music lovers. I'm in love with the rug. I took a deep breath when I bought this hand woven piece. I think it's worth it.
LOVE the tiles! Yep, they're the hand painted Moroccan babies I was drooling over for months. Frans did a great job putting them up. They look rustic and add tons of character to the kitchenette area. We have a small fridge under the sink as well as a small induction hot plate. The kettle will go back on the bench top after its final oil coating. The cooking facilities are very basic. Guests will be provided with a breakfast hamper (home made farm preserves, freshly baked bread, farm eggs, local bacon and seasonal vegetables and herbs). We will be able to offer lunch platters and evening meals on request. Meals will be provided using mostly where possible, the organically grown produce on the farm.
The ladders and tools will be removed from the deck. Promise! The view is just so peaceful.
A small dining area for inside eating when it's too hot or cold outside.
I love the bedroom. It's calm and peaceful. Raw linen curtains, sun blind and natural furnishings all add to the relaxed atmosphere. The watery winter sun streaming through the window is where I could spend a Sunday with a good book!
And look... the yellow and white daffodils are poking their heads up through the geranium leaves. No more red flowers now till summer.
Till next time.... live well.