Slow Living Farm Update - November 2014

Nov 05 2014 0 Comments Tags: update

Once again, its time for the Slow Living Monthly Nine, started by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and currently hosted by Linda at Greenhaven.

We currently have 20 hens, half we hatched this year, so we get 15-16 eggs a day.  I have been selling most of them at work, but its also nice to occasionally cook up a giant quiche!  This one was filled with ham, onion, kale, mushroom and topped off with tomato and cheese, yum!  Other options that I've see recently include dehydrating the eggs and freezing eggs, I haven't tried these as we usually has enough eggs over winter.

We have been waiting and waiting for a roofer to be available to work on our house, but this month he told us we are next in line!  We are very excited!  The roof did not have to be replaced for us to get council approval, but it won't last much longer, so we wanted to get it done before we started working on the rest of the house.  Soon it will change from rusty red to Colourbond Evening Haze, which should be a nice cool colour for summer heat.  Then we just have to start the rest of the painting....

I hand-sewed the hem on a pair of trousers that I bought from the op shop, and I sewed a few buttons back on to a jacket and a top.  Its good to be able to mend clothes and make them last a bit longer.

I have had ants invading our whole house for months now and I've tried various natural strategies because I didn't want to use chemicals.  Finally I tried neem oil - 5% in water, with a squirt of detergent, in a spray bottle.  I have been spraying ants whenever I see them, and so far its keeping them out of the house.  (Here's a post about using neem oil more generally).

The garden is growing despite a lack of rain, here's the full update....

Earlier this year, when we still had 25 or so cows on our property and not much water left, we had a successful bore drilled and bought a solar pump system.  We were able to the cows shortly afterwards (huge relief!), before we had a chance to equip the bore, and we've only just had time to start working on it again recently.  After much deliberation and careful planning we bought all the materials and Pete started fabricating a stand for the solar panels.  One weekend I was given the job of making a "pipe wrap" so that Pete could cut the pipe for the stand at a 27 degree angle to match our latitude.  It was quite fun doing a bit of "tech drawing" to develop the angle into a wrap for the pipe, especially when we couldn't find a compass or a protractor!

This may be stretching it a little, but I think I'm doing a public service by taking my eggs to sell at work in Brisbane.  Not only are my work colleagues able to enjoy farm fresh free-range eggs, but they also have the opportunity to learn about farm life.  We have some great discussions about chickens, gardens, cows and freezers full of beef.  I like to think that I am educating them gradually about where their food comes from.  It can be hard to have these discussions, as many people would rather not know, but the eggs are a good starting point and I've seen many people thinking more about their food after I've explained more about how its grown.

Pete and I went over to Gympie for a bee-keeping open day with Valley Bees.  It was a great day, we talked to lots of people and bought a couple of books.  Since then we've both been trying to find out as much as we can about how to get started with bees.  We also walked around our property and looked for native stingless bees, but they seem to be good at hiding!

Sometimes its hard to enjoy these hot dry months (and Cheryl finds them tough too), but it helps to focus on the small things that make me smile, like our funny little puppy Taz who will hop into her dog box to nap even after we took the bed off her (she started chewing the corner) and time spent fussing around in the garden picking herbs and smelling the flowers.  We had a nice dinner together at home for our wedding anniversary too.  In November we are off to NZ for a week, so that will be a well-earned holiday and we are lucky to have family who can look after all the animals while we are away.  (Here's photos from our last couple of holidays there)

Here's a few blogs that you might enjoy:

Living the good life

Merryn's menu

How was your October?  What do you have planned for November?

I thought you might enjoy these posts

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