Archive for May, 2012

Cold, chooks, cobwebs, cataloging and cars

May 12, 2012

Hi there!  I hope this post finds you warm and well.  It is a balmy 7 degrees in Mole Creek today, I think we reached a maximum of 7.5.  I wanted to get out and dig some spuds today but somehow the idea just didn’t seem very enticing, especially with all the rain that was coming down too.  There was a lovely view of snow on the mountains when I got up, but mostly there were so many rain clouds around that you couldn’t see the mountains at all.  So instead I’ve been cleaning the house and making steamed pork buns on my lovely combustion stove, and I thought that writing an email was a good idea too.  Any excuse to stay inside.  🙂

We have moved our Bush Ranger chooks up to the back of the block now.  They are close to the creek where our water pickup is.  It’s nice to feel like we are making a little more use of the bushy back portion of our property now.  The big tent is what the chooks sleep and shelter in and the little tent is our storage tent which holds extra hay, sawdust and feed.

They look a bit lost amongst the trees.

There are a mixture of Araucanas, Leghorns and cross breeds up there at the moment.  Sadly we are having a second wave of the viral liver cancer disease, Lymphoid Leukosis, going through the chooks closer to home.  It is not unexpected as the disease seems to take quite a while before any symptoms show, and since the only solution is to see which birds are resistant and breed from them so we will just have to be patient.  We are not breeding Barnevelders anymore as they seem to be very susceptible to this disease and Lydia is hoping that her French Marans will be resistant and a good dark egg laying alternative.

Speaking of Lydia, she now has a tack shed down the front of the block next to the horse paddock.  It was given to us by a friend and Lyd and I spent a few days laying a foundation and putting together the little shed.  Lyd likes to ride up the back to feed the chooks each afternoon and the tack shed makes the whole process much easier.

Lyd applied for a part time horse exercising job the other day and went in for an interview this morning.  The interview included riding a “challenging Eventer”.  She had a ball, really enjoyed riding the mare and managed to get her to behave herself in the end.  So it seems that she has passed the first phase of the testing, and when they have worked through some more of the applicants they will be getting the hopeful ones back to try an even more challenging horse!  They told her she should expect another call.  I’m not sure whether to be pleased or not!

During my early morning hikes up the back of the block to feed the chooks I have been admiring the cobwebs that look so lovely, especially on the misty mornings.

There are plenty to see.  🙂

Lydia and I have also been attempting to identify many of the plants that we have growing up the back.  Lyd would like to plant more natives into the mix, especially some that grow edible berries or leaves for the chooks to eat.  We picked up a few plants at Agfest which we have planted out.  (Agfest is a huge annual Agricultural show here in Tassie which doesn’t have the sideshows and non-agricultural stuff that you get at normal shows, and when I say huge the fact that it took us almost an hour to get out of the parking lot might give you a bit of an idea of the size.)  After buying a plant called a Mountain Blue Berry we found one climbing up a gum tree up the back.  I was excited to try and eat it and it tasted like, well, it didn’t really have any taste at all but it had the texture of foam.  The normal blueberries are in no danger of losing their place on the supermarket shelves from this plant I can assure you!

Last week we had a timing belt break on my little Seat car.  It was rather frustrating as Kim had been going to book it in to have the belt changed the following week but we were too late.  It damaged the valves but the pistons survived so I guess the bill could have been worse, but it was an expense we would rather have done without.  Still thankfully we had the funds to cover it, it will just delay the going organic process a little, and we were thinking of waiting until Spring to apply anyway.

Well, I think I better get off the computer and let someone else have a go now.  Take care.