We used to get shearers to come for a day or two, and depending on the luck of the draw, sometimes our poor sheep were cut up pretty bad. It makes us angry that some shearers show very little regard to the welfare of the animal. Not all shearers are like this, thankfully, but it gets more difficult to get good ones here at the time we want them; when the nights have warmed up and before the grass goes to seed.
We put elastrator rings on his tail and testicles two weeks ago, and although his tail has dried up, it hasn't dropped off as yet.
Corning some legs of muttonOn Sunday morning we cut up the three sheep carcasses that had been hanging in the cold room for eight days, since last weekend.
Brian had an "apprentice" to assist in the slaughtering. A young man, who runs a few sheep on his small property and wanted to learn the skill of butchering. We both love to show and pass on our skills to those who want to learn.
One of the sheep was a ewe that had not had a lamb for two years, so as she was obviously barren, she had to be culled. Mutton!
The other two were hogget; year old sheep that have outgrown the lamb stage, and we believe, are tastier than lamb.
The hogget were cut up into roasts and chops and shared (traded) with friends and for our freezer too. The mutton was cut up into pieces for slow cooking, stews, curries etc. The two hind legs were put into a corning brine and are soaking in a pot in the fridge for a week before I'll cook one of them as corned mutton (as in corned beef), and put the other in the freezer for later.
If anyone would like to have the recipe for corning meat I'll be happy to post it.
Our firewood is all sourced from trees around the district, an overflow from a friend's tree lopping business when he runs out of space to dump it all. Thank you very much, our free heating and cooking for a large part of the year. Another example of trading skills and services between neighbors and friends.
No photos, even though I did attempt to take off my glove at one stage, just as a group of bees made a bee-line to my bare hand. Besides, I was too busy being chief torch holder, assistant lifter of heavy boxes onto the back of the ute, lighter and puffer of the temperamental smoker, and note taker. (Yes, notes in the dark!) Then I have to read these notes in order to write a report to each of the hirers, and supply them with their own honey.
We have brought those hives home to do some maintenance on the boxes and to re-queen, before placing them out at one of our other three apiary sites.
The bee keeping workshop planned for October 8th, is booked out, so we have opened another date for the next workshop on November 19th.
In the coming weeks I'll be organizing the catering, tidying up the workrooms, ordering bee supplies, and various other preparations for the workshops which, no doubt will be here in a flash.
I remembered to go to my hair cut appointment today and have a super short cut that will see me through for another eight weeks, until my next appointment.
Writing it into my diary was first priority when I got home. ;)
Cheers, and if you made it all the way through to the end, thanks for reading.