"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 17 January 2013


It's hot! Unusually hot for this part of the world. I know we are in the tropics but our farm is at altitude and we usually experience a very temperate climate. So when we suffer temperatures at 38C (100F for the metrically challenged) we feel it!
Still, we did get a good wash of rain and the grass is growing again. This may not sound like news to some folks but to us grass IS the staff of life. Good grazing is directly responsible for a large portion of our diet. With the grass growth comes the changes in season and the life that it brings. Grass seed attracts the finches to feed and nest each year. I love watching these guys go about their business.
We have also finished off most of the work in the orchard with the felling of the last two trees to go. One pink cedar (also called sarsaparilla) and one black wattle. We now have plenty of firewood for this winter.
The ham is finally ready and I can report it is a success. Although the outside of the hams turned a rather unappetising grey, the inside was firm and pink.
Texture and taste is much like a prosciutto which is what I was aiming for. Fine shaved cured ham with a wedge of farm cheese and good wine. Does it get better than that?
Finally the chook pen is nearing completion after a long wait for time and materials to come together. A very kind gift from my parents allowed us to splash out and by the wire needed to enclose the yards. This is heavy duty chicken mesh and is *quite* expensive but I prefer to use it -because it is cheaper.
Does that sound like a contradiction?
Simply put, if I use the proper materials then I will not need to replace this mesh in my lifetime. Having to replace a cheaper mesh twice would be a lot more expensive in both money and time than doing the job properly in the first place.


  1. The rationale for expensive mesh sounds like the Vimes Theory of Boots to me. Terry Pratchett was at his best in The Watchmen!

  2. The serious looking man with the yellow chain saw looks like he is giving the smiling man with the red chain saw a run for his money.
    Ulf I think the old recipe using saltpetre was what kept the "more natural" colour in the end product. Your end result looks perfect to me. I am sure it will taste nice too!!