Thursday, 17 August 2017

That List

I don't think I'm the only person who, all too frequently, finds herself so overwhelmed by the "To Do" list, that nothing on the list gets done at all because I'm not sure where to start, or I'm not really in the mood for doing any of them.
Of course the routine daily tasks are always done, otherwise there would be hungry animals, no food on the table, and we would be living in filth. No it's not those tasks that I'm talking about here.
My list goes something like this;
     Write Blog
     Take bee suits to the tailor for zip repairs
     Make appointment to have my Tax done
     Finish next Grass Roots article for submission
     Design & print new jam jar labels for the Farmgate shop at our front gate
     Pot up new plants for selling in the farmgate shop
There are many more things on my list, but you get the gist!
So! Here goes, I'm working through my list and starting at the top.. Write a Blog Post..! And gee it feels good and virtuous to be making a start. aaahh!
I may even pot up a few plants later when the rain stops, just so I feel doubly good as I'm ticking off my accomplishments for the day, when dozing off to sleep tonight.
My poor blog has been neglected lately. I think of so many marvelously interesting things to write about when I'm out in the garden, or working with the sheep or cows, or whipping up a meal that just happens to turn out surprisingly well. But, when I find the time to sit at the computer, it's all gone, the brain is frizzled, the cupboard is bare.
So today, please bare (bear?) with me as I try to catch up on what's been going on around here.

It must have been May or June that I picked the pumpkins that grew at the bottom of the vegetable garden last summer/autumn growing season. The photo at the top of the page shows the various shapes, sizes and colours of the harvest, and yet the seeds I planted were all Queensland Blue!!
This would have to be the cheapest and easiest staple vegetable for anyone to grow who has the space for rambling pumpkin vines that have a mind of their own and grow like Triffids. These were grown from the grey water that gravity feeds down to the orchard and pumpkin patch, so no cost at all, apart from my energy to move the grey water hose around daily.
Now we're enjoying them roasted with almost every evening meal, mashed in cakes and breads, in soups and stews,  roasted caramelized pieces in green salads with home made egg and oil mayonnaise.

In the kitchen
Tis the season for comfort food, and nothing beats thick chunks of sourdough dipped into a hot bowl of soup.

Three of the seven bottles that live on the kitchen bench for these few months of bottle feeding lambs. My days are punctuated by feeds, but it's getting easier with the bigger lambs requiring only two daily feeds now. The two babies (Peewee and Trevor) are still getting a lunchtime feed, so anytime I might need to go out, needs to be arranged between feeds. Oh, and the update on Trevor.. after eight days of painstakingly dripping milk down his throat, he suddenly started suckling hungrily from the bottle. There were hoots of relief and jumps for joy last Sunday!

A nest of eggs was found under one of the big trees at the edge of the chicken enclosure so I "floated" them to see if they were still fresh enough to use for baking. None floated so they were all OK to use, thankfully.

The farmgate shop does a good trade in biscuits, so I need to make a batch of these twice each week, and sometimes more often.

I was gifted some limes, so I put them with some of our lemons to make a big batch of marmalade.

A few small jars to go into the farmgate shop.
Today I'm making orange marmalade, so there should be enough to last us until next citrus season. I love it on sourdough toast, but it's also very good in casseroles, fruit cakes, puddings, and home made icecream.
And speaking of icecream, Cheryl at A Simply Good Life has posted a Mary Berry recipe for icecream. I made a trial batch and will stick to this recipe from now onward.  Smooth, creamy, and economical, but deliciously luscious with a good mouthfeel.

Farm stuff

 We "marked" the larger lambs on Saturday. This is ear tagging, vaccinating, and putting elastrator rings on tails, and in the case of the males, elastrator rings on their scrotum. It's a stressful time for both ewes and lambs, so we get it done as smoothly and as fast as possible. It does cause them some pain for the first thirty minutes, so we try to have them back with their mums as soon as possible so they can have comfort suckles.
Good organization is the key. Have all the equipment in good working order, and work methodically. After we draft off the ewes, Brian does the job, while I re-load the ear tag gun, load the elastrator gadget, hand him the syringe, and write the score of boys and girls.


Bee season is just around the corner, so with a 20C day on Sunday, we drove to all of our four apiaries to check every hive.  Notes were taken by me, the assistant, as to the health of each hive and what is required in the next few weeks.
Extra brood boxes will be added, excluders will be inserted, some of the nucleus hives will be transferred into full size boxes, supers will be added to the strongest hives. Overall, we're really pleased with how well they have all wintered over, with a loss of only one nuc hive.
Our customers have been keeping us busy during the week with their orders for boxes, frames, and various bee equipment as they too prepare for the coming season.


 After a few warm days in the high teens, we're now back to severe wintry weather with rain, which is very much appreciated. Alan loves his coat, but Meg is always on the go, has thicker fur and sleeps inside so no coat for her.
So now, hours later and after many interruptions, I'm just going to click on 'Publish' and tick this one job on my list.
Cheers to you and thanks for coming over for a read.


  1. Well there you go, Sally...a blog post done. One tick off your list. Mine is never ending I'm afraid. We have had 28C yesterday so I spent the day complaining about the heat in winter but I am sure you would have liked a bit of the heat down there by the sounds of it. I was wondering how Trevor was going. So pleased to hear he is okay.

    1. That list keeps growing Chel, and as soon one thing is ticked off, another thing is added. Hanging onto winter as long as possible here as summer will arrive all too fast for my liking!

  2. I have learned a great strategy for using my To Do list: Choose just one or two items to highlight as your "Must do" items and make sure to get those done. Anything else can move to the next day but the Must Do items will give you a real sense of accomplishment!

    1. It really is a good feeling to tick things off, but you know those days when the mind won't settle on one thing? I have too many of those days but I'm working on fixing it. Writing down a list is a good start.

  3. So wonderful that Trevor has turned that corner, Sally. What a lucky lamb to have had you looking after him) I have my daily to do list but I am not getting much of anything done right now, not even a blog post, because the Winter flu has finally found me and sapped all my energy. I was making some little mini quiches for my son to take to his friend's place as a lunchtime offering earlier and had to ask my husband to whisk up the eggs. (Seriously!) At least I can read everyone's blog posts propped up on my pillows in bed. Meg:)

  4. I hope you're feeling much better now Meg. You are a real trooper to be baking whilst struck down with illness. I hope they appreciated your efforts.


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