16 January, 2014

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

This season I finally got my veggie patch up and running, not as big and plentiful as I'd hoped but at least it is a start. I noticed in spring that there wasn't many bees about, just an observation in my garden and I thought maybe because I don't have many flowering plants around, but I live in a rural setting and there are lot of native plants. Anyways, I've had this concern for bees and even thinking of getting a hive and for the last few months I've been reading about the Bee Colony Collapse Disorder and it has just dumb foundered me, we as a society are killing our bees with pesticides and whatever else we use. The bees are getting all sorts of viruses because their immune system were  being suppressed in some way, there is no evidence of this as yet but if we, they, the scientist don't figure this out its going to wipe out our food supply.

I am no scientist or expert on what's going on in the world of bees but this is something that will affect everyone and I think we should all be thinking of the bees and stop using pesticides. More info check out these websites:-


11 January, 2014

I love this life

I just love this life on the farm more and more each day. The morning starts with the milking of the goats and the tendering to all the animals eagerly awaiting for their breakfast, the smells and noises as breakfast is serve to all of them waiting is amazing, you definitely feel loved.

 I seem to always be in the kitchen at the moment, which I just love, there is always bread to be made, morning and afternoon teas and lunch to be made for a very hard working and hungry husband. With funds a bit tight at the moment I make my own dog food, it's just basically pasta, veggies, garlic, stock and mince. They also get raw meat bones every now and then. Living in a rural area we have a lot of problems with feral pigs and kangaroos and farmers are allowed to cull a certain number on their farms which brings me to the point were I will be culling a few for my dogs. My kids bought me a oven smoker for Christmas and I'm thinking about smoking and drying roo (kangaroo) meat and bones which would be cheaper and healthier.

On another note my tomatoes still haven't ripened, I feel this has been the longest season ever but thankfully someone on my facebook call out has agreed to swap some cherry tomatoes for some fresh chook eggs, way to go. I've been hanging for the sweet juicy flavoursome taste of home grown tomatoes. I've just started to pick the cucumbers and it won't belong and I'll be making bread and butter pickles, so yummy.

09 January, 2014

Its Raining!

It's been raining on and off today and the temperature has dropped giving us some relief. The paddocks have that dry yellow crispness about them and the dam levels are dropping not a good start to the year. I'm sending some sheep to the abattoir next week, enough for ourselves and the kids plus one for a friend which will cover the cost of freight/slaughter and butchering. I might even think about sending some to the sale yards, we don't have a real lot of stock but if the paddocks start to suffer it probably is for the best.
Wally my farmyard cat loves to hang out with me when I milk the goats. I often feel her rub against my leg when I'm milking. There is also a hen that lays eggs in there as well, its a real family affair kind of farm. I often wander around the farm checking fences and animals and I would look behind and I'd have a trail of animals following.

This is where I milk and that is my milking stanchion that my hubby made for me, I also keep the babies in here for the night. I have about five goats that I milk sometimes seven depends if the kids feed off them and I usually get between 5-6 litres of milk.
This is where the chickens hang out, we are in the process of making more pens so that we can breed meat birds and maybe gets some turkeys. The kid goats also have this area to hang out as well, you can never have enough fenced off areas for animals.

I'm off to bed early tonight as I've had a few sleepless nights with restless leg syndrome, it drives me insane. I'm looking into fermentation as I read probiotic drinks are good for your system and could possibly help me.

06 January, 2014

Trying to be Frugal!

The zucchinis are producing well at the moment and I plan to freeze some and later add to the dog food I make, some to be used in fritters, soups, stews, cakes and hopefully I can make pickles and relishes. Whatever I grow I plan to make as many things possible so that I have a variety in my pantry and freezer,

I've been trying to stay away from foreign imports and to buy only home grown or organically grown foods. This was a bag of garlic I had sitting in my veggie box for a while now, it is from China, so I thought I'd use my dehydrator and make a garlic powder. I used to think more of price than product but I'm becoming more concerned with the state of our food that I'm thinking I am investing in my health when I buy organic wholesome foods.

This is what I harvested today from my garden for dinner and I thought I'd dry some fennel as well. Another job I managed to do today was go through my recipes that are written down on pieces of scrap paper, envelopes and cut outs from magazines and combine then with other hand written recipes into one book. I should post a picture of my current folder that I have that is overflowing with these recipes it is a bit of a sight. Anyway I'm trying to get some order in there, I love cooking and I have a lot of fantastic recipes but I also have a pile that look good but I haven't made so I thought I'd go through one by one and try them out.

05 January, 2014

I Forgot and I Remembered !

I forgot that I have 4 Dexter cows and 3Dexter calves in the top paddock, silly me. I do go and see them regularly and give them extra hay as the paddocks are suffering with the long hot days we have been having. Our little farms is doing pretty well as for being self sufficient, I have two bull calves and one will be for the freezer.
I remembered after pulling these beauties out that I planted garlic a few years ago at least I think I did. I haven't really worked my garden since our house burnt down so anything is possible.
I've found that I have more time to do a lot more now and one of those things is making sour dough bread. Facebook has opened lots of opportunities for me and I have made lots of new friends in my area and one of them offered to show a group of us how to make sour dough bread and gave us some starter to start off with. The taste is amazing and the process is really easy and works in well when ever I want to make a loaf, plus have you seen the price of sour dough bread its something like $5. My other quest to make fermented drinks, but I need to do some more research into that.
I bought this ten tray dehydrator from one of my facebook groups for $40, bargain don't you think. So I've been busy drying herbs, I'm going to make herb butters and salts as well.

 I love spending my time doing these simple things and what's even better is I can pass these things onto my girls and get them involved in being self sufficient and tasting the difference between home grown and made to processed shop bought items. They have children as well and they are wanting to provide the best for them so they are choosing the healthier options.

My corn crop is going well and Rosie loves being with me as I work in the garden. I'm quiet please in how the garden is going, I did have high expectations at the beginning of the season and I did face a few problems but I am now picking the fruits of my labour.

 This is my bean teepee made from tree branches. My first planting of beans was a disaster, I think the seeds were eaten  before they could get out of the ground. Some did surfaced but were either killed off by the frost or were eaten just as they were about to take off. There is just over 7 weeks of summer left maybe the growing season will be a bit longer with this hot weather at the moment, lets hope so.

04 January, 2014

Trying to be productive and make a living!

 It is good to be back online, life on the farm has been busy. With the weather warming up shearing has been my top priority but with only about 25 sheep to shear it has been difficult getting a shearer out here. It was actually facebook that helped me get in contact with a shearer that was able to come and shear my sheep, so after a full on day with shearing, drenching and marking lambs it was satisfying to have this job over and done with.
We are only a hobby farm but it still takes time to tend to everyone on the farm, todate I have 24 sheep, 23 lambs, 1 ram, 14 dairy and bore goats, 15 kids, 9 chickens, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 3 guinea pigs and I think that's about it.
With not working anymore I am now a full time farmer and my aim is to make this little farm to be as self sufficient as possible so the wool from the sheep will be taken to a wool buyer in town and this will pay for the shearing. I only have cross bred sheep so the wool is not of a high quality but it still brings in an income.
My goats are also bringing in an income, I sell my goats milk to people who are bottle feeding puppies, lambs or one lady I sell to she has miniature donkeys, they say goats milk is the best for humans and animals. I also sell off my baby boys, the wethers, as I have no need for them, my girls I plan to keep until they are old enough to be put into kid and be able to be milked, then I will sell them off as dairy goats. This is the plan at the moment so I'm hoping this will turn into a viable business.

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"