Archive for February, 2010

Time flies

February 12, 2010

I seem to have actually missed a month – in that I sent no news at all for January – so thought it must be time to catch up again.

Lots seems to have happened lately, and much of it I didn’t manage to photograph but I still seem to have plenty of pictures to send.  🙂  My first photo is of a makeshift sign I made for the driveway.  In case you can’t read it the sign says “Give Way to free ranging turkeys and german shepherd.  Electric fences are in use on this property.”  We seemed to have lots of people charging up the driveway and were concerned they would squash some of the turkey poults.  Also many people arrive who seem petrified of our sweet but somewhat LOUD, german shepherd so thought a warning about her may be in order.

One of the major events lately was in the transformation of our steer into a freezer full of meat.  One of the town’s dairy farmers, who owns land next to ours, is also a butcher and we arranged for him to do the slaughtering and butchering for us.  The process was as follows (you don’t have to read it if you are squeemish, but I won’t make it too graphic).  We moved the cow and horse away and had the steer happily munching hay under a nice big Blackwood tree.  That evening the butcher came and shot him.  It was good as the steer had no idea what was happening and his life had been fun and relaxed at our place with his mum until the end.  He was bled, skun, gutted and hung in the tree in two halves.  That took about the guy 1 hour.  The next morning we were up before the blowflies and we cut each half in half again so that we could carry the pieces.  We took the quarters, wrapped in sheets, to a cool room in someone’s garage in town and left it there before collecting it again to get it home by 7:30pm a few evenings later.  The butcher arrived again with a wooden table on the back of his ute and spent 2 hours in our carport slicing and dicing the meat up.  I weighed the meat and put it into bags in meal sized portions which Josiah then put into the freezer.  Lydia was trimming and chopping ready to make mince and the boys put all that through a mincer on the back of the guys ute.   It was a busy time but we were pleased with the resulting 90kg of excellent meat from our little Dexter cross.  The butcher charged $60 for his three hours of expertise which I thought was amazingly cheap and he did an excellent job.  Now he has bought one of our piglets.  🙂  We have been enjoying some delectable steaks, roasts, casseroles and mince meals.

One evening recently we suddenly found that we were surrounded by smoke.  Apparently there was a bushfire up near Cradle Mountain and the prevailing winds sent the smoke Mole Creek way.  I went out and took some photos and ended up with stinging eyes for my troubles.

See if you can find the cow and horse in the next shot.

It was a bit scary at first, but we have actually had some fires much closer since which have not had anything like the same effect.

This is another progress shot of the poppies.  Here they have formed pods and are drying nicely, almost ready for harvesting.

The breeding pigs now have the middle paddock to themselves.  The horse and cow have moved to the bottom paddock which they are enjoying eating down.  We have had some hot weather lately and I love to see Erlestoke smothered in mud from his wallow.

We were thrilled the other day to have a lady who bought 3 of our first batch of piglets drop in to see if we had anymore.  She thought it was the best pork she had ever tasted.  She said she had raised Berkshires and Large Whites before but liked the taste of our Tamworth crosses best.  That was lovely to hear and she has claimed 4 of our young boar piglets and should be collecting them tomorrow.  We want to meet more people like her!   🙂

We also have a couple coming on Monday to take a male and a female.  That lucky male is going to be a breeding boar so we are saving our two favourite piglets for them to choose from.  That couple answered an advertisement that Lydia put up on an Aussie website called Backyard Poultry.  We sold half of our previous litter through that website too.  It is actually a great site for poultry as well.  🙂  The butcher has already taken one female to drink his leftover milk from the dairy which leaves us with 3 females and 1 male to raise up for own needs.

I am sorry to say that the last family to come to church have decided not to come to our services anymore.  They just found that the Presbyterian system was too much for them to cope with, and we did have some serious theological differences.   However the good news is that they are still coming to our monthly fellowship dinners and sing a longs and our ladies bible study.  I am glad that I can keep in touch with them so that Josiah can see his mate regularly.

The saddest event for us lately was the sudden and unexpected death of a young man in our church.   He was only 32, a young and enthusiastic Christian who was a great blessing to have in our church.  We loved his questions at the bible reading nights and it is hard to be without him.  It is so so much harder for his mum who now has to adjust to living alone.

Kim and the older boys continue to have awful health.  We are trying to find another doctor to go to, as the current fellow is really not good at communicating.  However it is hard to find anyone who will take new patients, but we have a couple of folk who are going to ask their doctors for us.  We will see what happens.  Lydia, Josiah and I are doing well, thankfully.  Today I was busy working on clearing vegetation away from around the bottom of our electric fence.  I have blisters on my right hand and sore arms to show for it, but the job is not finished yet.  When it rains the voltage going through the fence drops by about half, due mostly to the rain on the scrub I think, so it will be good to have it cleared away.  It makes me miss having the boys healthy though!  I did take time out to collect a roll of hay from some friends, and spent a lovely hour chatting to them and looking enviously at their veggie garden.  We came home with some zucchini and two baskets of Greengage plums for ourselves, a sack of fallen apples for the pigs and a bunch of silverbeet leaves for the chooks – as well as the hay.

Anyway, I think that will do for an update for now.  I will have to fill you in on the poultry and the potatoes another time.  For now I can hear my bed calling.  Take care all.