"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

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Mucky days

Well winter is here. We have actually been experiencing some absolutely beautiful blue-sky crisp weather. Cold nights and those clear cold days that are so good to work in. I turned over the veggie garden and dug in a couple of tonnes of compost. Then built a temporary iron fence to keep the bandicoots out- they are dreadful diggers in garden beds and will wreak havoc on seedlings. I managed to get in a couple of rows of winter peas and some carrots before the weather turned.
 Now it looks like the blue skies are gone for a while as the "winter muckies" close in. Good weather for germinating winter seedlings or toasting in front of the fire. I have been doing both.
Today the wind is blowing a gale and visibility ranges from fifty metres to one in a flash. The cold rain comes in horizontal gusts making a good Drizabone (oilskin coat for the non Aussie/Kiwi readers) essential.
Oh yes, the Cloud farm winter ensemble this year features a wide brim Akubra with a tasteful hint of chook feathers and poop on the crown where I hit my head under the roosting perch, A full length brown Drizabone riders coat with mud stained and tattered hem line and matching gumboots in red mud. Finish the whole outfit with a tatty grey jumper and old jeans with red mud on the knees. A perfect and stylish ensemble for those early morning milking's or when stumbling through a muddy chook pen. Not surprisingly it is much the same outfit as featured in last years catalogue.
Don't get me wrong, although it is cold and muddy, I actually love this weather and this time of year. I love the nights beside the fire and sleeping warm under blankets and doona. Drinking wine and eating cheese. Spending a day working outdoors without dripping sweat all over. It is a time of real productivity and fun.
As I mentioned a few post ago, we have slaughtered the beef steer. He turned out really well and I intend to follow this method of raising and slaughtering in future. The steer was raised to almost three years and slaughtered at "the end of the grass" which is a way of saying he was fat from the summer flush of good grazing and had not yet begun to lose condition as the cold weather came on. The beef was then hung to age for two weeks to fully mature it. This improves the texture and flavour no end. We then cut the beef into useable cuts over two days. Steak, roast, silverside, mincing, chops and cutlets, T bone and blade, rendering fat and finally dog bones.
I cut and the child bride packed. The meat is bagged in meal sized portions and then paper wrapped for the freezer. According to the lady wife, pumpkins make excellent paper weights.


  1. Interesting Ulf you use paper wraps for the freezer.
    This is a new one for me....please explain more!

  2. Hi Jim,
    We bag the actual meat in plastic and then wrap it in paper. This makes it easy to label the cut but mostly it is so the bags do not freeze together into one lump- the paper making it easy to separate the frozen packages. Having a freezer full of unidentifiable meat in bags frozen into one great mass is no fun I can assure you. We did it once without thinking, never again.