Been a busy month. A few weeks back I went over to Tolga and picked up our new hot house. It was still standing and I helped the owner and his crew of hapless backpackers carefully pull the structure down. There were about ten sections, each fifty metres long to be disassembled and it was hot, hard work. Nevertheless I am glad I did help as I have a much better idea of how to reassemble it. I plan to cover the veggie garden under two side by side sections each sixteen metres long. In order to do this I will have to level the veggie garden and terrace the lower end. A big job but I know a good man with a big digger that should make short work of the job.
God willing I will have it done before the wet season.
|The hot house components stacked in the stockyard.|
The drawback to the whole plan is that I have not planted out the winter crops and the veggie garden is currently a grass patch. Not only are we missing our own veg but I am going into severe gardening withdrawal. Damn but I need my veggie garden.
|A well deserved rest after a hard mornings eating and sleeping.|
What else? Well the remaining two pigs are HUGE now. They still have a month to go before slaughter and we are stuffing them with all the food they can eat until the last week. Then they will only get a diet of soaked corn as this ensures the fat hardens up. Important for bacon and ham. I have grown tired of boiling potatoes in the kitchen twice a day so I made a boiler from an old gas bottle I found on the dump. This goes over a fire outside and can hold two big feeds worth of potatoes in one hit. I am thinking of eventually making a boiler shed on the site with a brick stove for the boiler pot and a covered wood store. This will allow the cooking of potatoes throughout the wet season without too much trouble.
|The temporary boiler set up. Blocks form the firebox |
and the tank in the background keeps the firewood dry
Two weeks ago the turkey hen went missing for most of the day only turning up for a quick feed in the afternoon. Sure enough we eventually found her hidden in the bluetop under the lime tree on a nest of seven eggs. Not bad for a first clutch and she is sitting firmly. The duck also began disappearing for most of the day and we found her on a nest of some eighteen or so eggs. I am not sure she is sitting though. It is also her first time and she might need some practise before she brings off a clutch yet. I am thinking of stealing half of the eggs and putting them in the incubator.
|The duck nesting in a pile of sticks.|
I have no idea how she gets in there.
|The turkey hen on her nest. She is insisting that I actually cannot see her.|
The weather has turned cold. It looks like we will get a good winter. I like a cold winter. It kills off most of the nasties in the garden and knocks the cane toads about. Today we all went out and took the tractor and trailer into the bottom paddock to load up with firewood that I cut down a year ago. We used to have lychee orchard on the place. It must have once looked like a good idea to whoever planted it but it was of no use to us. The trees only seem to fruit every second year and we would never have harvested more than a bucket of fruit from some eighty trees. However, they do make good firewood. So we loaded cut timber into the trailer and took it up to the house. There I hauled the band saw out into the turnaround and we sawed the timber into billets for the fire and a stock of timber for the potato boiler. It was hard work but fun and we had a good winters day outside.
There were a few weeks of late season rain last month. This was not so good as it meant the cold wet weather did not allow the grass in the fields to get the final flush before winter. As we have four cattle on the paddocks at the moment we will probably be running short of feed before spring. Not to worry though. I am scything excess grass in the house yard and orchard and this should see them through.
I came home last week to find Boris, our beef steer, in the front yard. The child bride had been doing the evening milking and got the fright of her life when she came back in. It looks like he managed to jump the fence into the orchard and then wandered into the house yard through the open orchard gate and couldn't find his way out. I had work the next day so we were forced to move him that night. I can tell you, chivvying a stroppy half tonne steer in the darkness is no picnic. Out the cocky gate, up the road, into the driveway and then through the gate into the top paddock. Of course he wanted to make changes to the route and took off up the road in the darkness and then into the bush across the road on the neighbours place. Much bad language echoing off the mountains in the moonlight.