"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, 11 June 2015

Winter jobs

Earlier this week the youngest cloud farmer and I cleaned up some long grass out front. I needed cut hay to put on the floor of the chook shed as well as for nesting boxes for both the chooks and pigeons.
 My tools of choice are the scythe and hay fork. Why? Because they are the easiest and best tools for the job. I can listen to the birds singing (or my son telling me all about the birds singing even though I can hear them already...) and it takes the same time, or less, than using a powered brush cutter. The hay is also neatly cut and left long rather than being turned into worthless pulp as a brush cutter will do. But mostly I just plain like using my scythe.
Here the littlest cloud farmer is standing in the "mow". That is to say the area cut by the scythe and this is the origin of the word. To his right is the windrow of cut hay deposited as I cut. He is supposed to be spreading the hay to dry but prefers to take more of a managerial role and tell me how to do it instead.
And this is some old guy, (well, ok... me actually) whetting the blade. A scythe is kept sharp enough to shave with. Every dozen or so strokes I will stop and whet the blade to keep the edge keen.

Winter beauty

Once again the seasons amaze me. I captured this beautiful sunset earlier this week. It was cold and late in the afternoon with a low mist rolling in and the orange sun burning through creating a halo on the horizon. Some times it sure is tough having to live in such a beautiful place...

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A big day for the pigeons

Three weeks are up and today I removed the wire from the pigeon shed.
Pigeon shed. It does not quite have the rustic ring of Loft or Fly. I suppose I could cal it a coop although I prefer the sound of Doocot, Dovecote, pigeonnier, colombier, Fuie, duivenkot, columbaria, colomendy or even Culverhouse. Will have to give it some thought although I do rather like the latin Columbaria.
I then installed the ledges and dividers to create the hole entrances. These holes make it difficult for crows and raptors to enter the shed itself. Pigeons, having evolved from a cliff dwelling bird, have no problems negotiating the narrow ledge and holes. The pigeons appear to be quite impressed and were soon out and about.
Next I need to finish the rows of nesting boxes needed. I was originally wanting to make a timber series of boxes but a lack of both timber and cash means this will not be happening any time soon. So plan B involves making boxes from salvaged materials.
Cleaned and cut properly these drums will make fine boxes that should serve our needs well. Tomorrows job.

Time for Beef.

Remember this little fellow?
Leopold is back on the farm after helping keep the grass down on a neighbours property. Nearly three years old now and chock full of beefy goodness. We will put him in the freezer in a few weeks time and that should keep us in beef for a year or so.