Farm update - April 2014

Apr 02 2014 0 Comments Tags: update

In Australia March is the beginning of Autumn, although the Autumnal equinox is not unitl the 21st.  Lets just say I didn't notice much of a change from summer.  We even had another heat wave day over 35degC!  The weather was consistently hot and dry, I think we got a few mm of rain the day before the super-hot day, so that would have evaporated pretty quickly.  The yard dried out until it was almost just dust with some dried grass.  Then we got a little bit of rain in the last week, around 100 mm over several days, which has topped up our rainwater tanks, soaked into the ground and recharged the dams (although they were VERY low prior to the rain, so they are not yet full).  The wet season 2014 didn't start until March - better late than never!

Our driveway at Cheslyn Rise looking from the house towards the road
Taz isn't worried about the weather!
Neither is Cheryl when there's "ball" to play
Except when its hot and then any shade will do
And Cheryl doesn't mind a cold bath on a hot day

We rounded up our weaner calves and sold them privately.  It was a huge relief to have them gone.  We gave the braford cows a couple of weeks to recover some condition on our last good paddock, and they were next to the saleyards, apart for a few really skinny ones.  Our main focus now is looking after our house cows and the steers for our own eating.  Molly's milk production has decreased and Ruby is taking enough milk now that Pete doesn't have to milk every day, just once a week when we need some milk.

Weaner calves ready to sell
Ruby and the cows in the background

The big chickens are moulting, but we are still getting enough eggs to eat and a few to sell.  The chicks that we hatched are getting bigger and will be ready to free-range soon.  We still have three adult guinea fowl and seven keets.... we are rethinking their housing arrangements.

Big rooster has lost his tail

crazy guineas!
little chicks getting bigger

I will write about the garden next Monday, although there's not much to tell...

not much in the garden!

I have started some herb-infused olive oil so I can make some beeswax ointment, I've haven't tried it before, so it will be interesting!  And the other week I tried a gluten-free bread mix (because I had eaten way to much wheat and was not feeling great), I was surprised how good it turned out using my normal bread method (mix in a bread maker, leave dough for 6 hours with a little kefir added, bake in the BBQ).

herb-infused olive oil

gluten free bread mix (ingredients: maize starch, potato starch,
flaxseed flour, psyllium, pea proteinn)

Blogs I enjoyed last month

Homestead in Africa

Making our Sustainable Life

And a new organic shop at Brisbane's West End: Marcia's on Montague

I feel like this year has been huge already, the weight of the dry weather and extra animal management work has really taken its toll.  I am looking forward to cooler days and a few days off over Easter and ANZAC day.  I know the US has had a horrible cold winter, which holds its own stress too, and you will no doubt be looking forward to spring.

How was your  March?  What are you looking forward to in April?


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