Food and cooking
With some cold weather during July it was definitely time for some pumpkin soup (recipe from The Eat Drink Paleo cookbook). We also culled two roosters and three old hens, so we minced the meat and made some wonderful thick stock with all the carcasses, look at all that gelatin! (Here's what we do with the older birds). You really can't go wrong with soup when you start with a stock base like that. If you're not making your own stock yet, I think its the one traditional cooking technique that is really worth the effort for both improved taste and the health benefits of eating all that gelatin and minerals from the bones.
|pumpkin soup from The Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook|
|Mincing the chicken meat|
Greenhaven: Cooking with stinging nettles
Snow falls in Queensland town
Land and farming
We also finally got a tank for the high point on our property, which is the beginning of the second phase of our solar bore pump project. Phase one was to install the pump and see if it could pump to the top of the hill. In phase two we are going to run irrigation pipe from the tank down to the house. Checking the 1km pipeline from the bore to the tank provided yet another opportunity to look at trees! Now we just need to set up the rest of the pipeline. I'll write more about the solar pump soon, now that I know that its all working properly.
|Our bee "nuc"|
|We don't know the name of this tree, I call it the "peely bark Christmas gum" |
because it flowers in December and the back peels (Jackie French says to just name things so you
remember what they do that is important to you)
|the tank at the top of the hill|
5 Truths About Free Range Chickens - A Farmish Kind of Life
Molly had her little calf one evening. Pete called me and said he was pretty sure that Molly was in labour, and about an hour later he called to tell me that the calf was born and safe with Molly. That was very happy news. Over the next few days Pete thought the calf might be a girl, then a boy, and then a girl again. When I got home I was able to confirm that she was a girl! Now we have seen two births, we are more confident that we can recognise a cow in labour.
Molly did not suffer the same swelling that Bella had, and Pete didn't milk her right away, she came over to the milking bales to be milked the next afternoon, and then the afternoon after that, when she was ready. It was nice to let her decide when she needed to be milked.
I named all the calves because I was sick of Pete calling them "it". The Aussie Red cross is called Rosie and the super friendly Jersey calf is called Charlotte (its very difficult to get a photo of Lucy when Charlotte keeps sneaking up behind you and licking your arm). We are still milking both cows, the poddies recovered from the paralysis tick poisoning and are taking 3-4 litres each morning and afternoon, I have seen Charlotte licking Bella's udder, but if she goes for a teat she gets a kick. Lucy is suckling from Molly and we are taking a litre here and there for ourselves.
|Molly with her calf Lucy|
|The angus herd follows us around the property|
|Bella looking more like her normal shape|
|The two baby house cows - Charlotte and Rosie|
Three Years In The Making - The Browning Homestead
Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures In The Good Land: Not every body gets to stay. Goats. Gone.
We've had no rain in July and plenty of frosty weather, so everything is dry and dusty, apart from in the garden where we sprinkle the grey water. Its weird to be in the middle of winter with a bumper crop of tomatoes (thanks to hydroponics) and the start of the strawberry season, such is the joys of growing food in the highland sub-tropics! This month I am still harvesting plenty of greens, although many have started to flower (bee food!), the peas are taller than me, but not much to pick. The broad beans are flowering and smelling wonderful. And I seem to be able to grow broccoli one small floret at a time, but if you pick enough you get a meal.
|greens, tomatoes, chillies, broccoli florets and eggs in winter...|
|its strawberry season - these don't last long|
|the garden is still overgrown with chickweed, giant pea plant to the left|
|pak choi flowers = bee food|
We made a start on some demolition work at the house, removing the kitchen cabinets and stripping the bathroom and toilet back to bare walls. Its much easier to sit in an empty space and decide where things should go than to envisage it while all the ugly bits are still there. We have some good ideas, we just have to figure out how to make them happen! It was fascinating to see what was behind the cement sheeting (fortunately turned out it was not asbestos in the bathroom) and we could see where doorways had been moved and work out where rooms were in the past based on the paint colours.
|Poor Taz, renovating is so boring!|
|The bath turned out to be cast iron, in pale green!|
How homes kept cool before the age of AC
- Heating and cooling the house - Passive solar design
- Fertility in the soil - Biological agriculture and more about soil
- Energy in trees, seeds and food - Perennial vs annual plants, Perennial pasture, Saving seeds
- Catching water in dams - Keyline Design
How to get shiny hair and natural hair growth - Lulastic and the Hippyshake
I am also very nearly finished with my eBook "Design and Use a Chicken Tractor". I have a couple of friends proof-reading it at the moment, and then I just need to do a final edit before I put it on sale. It will be good to have that finished, it seems like it takes a LONG time to write a short eBook!
|This is just the offcuts!|
|I love this shot of Taz ready to play ball|