Winter is coming
The seasons really matter on a farm. What needs to be sown, pricked out and planted? “Is it time to put the garlic in?” the Lovely Deputy asked a couple of weeks ago. Yes it’s time. From March to the shortest day of the year. It’s harvested before Christmas.
In Moonah, the street lights of the city were a buffer for the long dark days. There’s no such thing on #Blissfarm. On these short days, there’s less time to be productive and head torches are the fashion accessory de jour.
The Lovely Deputy started a farm journal – activities and learnings from each week – what was planted, what was born, what died, what needs to be done to make the most of the land?
The early promise of tomatoes sown in the greenhouse was not realised, They needed pollination to bear fruit 🙁 Next slaughter we’ll make sure we have cryovac bags ready the night before so the production line doesn’t include sealing the bottoms as well as the tops. The steps to preserving pears – make the sugar syrup, peel the fruit, put in citric acid water, when you have enough pears to fill a couple of jars then you core and slice the pears, fill the jars, place in the preserver, repeat. Coring early results in oxidised pears.
We record what we learn to plan for the next year.
Life and Death
On the farm, the work of nature never rests. Every day the animoolz and birds must be checked. Did everything survive the night? Did everything survive the day? Is everything warm, fed, watered? Do the animoolz look healthy – eyes, feet, size, breath?
During summer a goshawk greedily eyed the guinea pigs below in the netted vegetable patch. We try and keep the chickens and pullets in the orchard protected from the crows. We’re breeding for critical mass but sometimes they find a way out and we find their little bodies stripped bare and surrounded by feathers.
The latest poll is two animals are pregnant and birth is a time of equal parts excitement and anxiety.
From city dwellers to farmers, you have to learn on the job. The Lovely Deputy is a man of research. He consults instruction manuals with serious contemplation and researches everything he wants to learn. Google is his friend. This Girl throws caution to the wind.
When we took charge of our newest farm addition – miniature goats – it was clear they needed some hoof care. The Lovely Deputy announced he was across it since he’d been watching YouTube that morning. My job was to hold them.
YouTube smoochube, it was a pedicure that’s all. I had a go too and got those nails sorted in no time. There are things that need doing and we just have to get in and have a go.
You can’t do it alone
The Lovely Deputy can usually manage to run wallaby out of the property by himself, for which I am grateful, but on a farm, there’s more work than you can do by yourself. From a hand with the fencing to peeling the Nashi pear from three trees, you need help. Here’s to:
- our neighbour whose Land Rover helped pull our ute out of a bog in the paddock.
- the man down the road who brought up his tractor to dig a trench for the remains of our slaughter
- Mrs S and family for collecting food scraps to help feed Pig
- Snooz, Manager P and the Lovely Cathy who helped out on the butchering day and
- the Other Girl for a million things.
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