Thursday, 21 September 2017

Spring Has Arrived in the Barossa

The grass around the house (loosely referred to as a lawn)  is growing a foot a day; or so it seems now that I've taken over that job. 
The bees are swarming!
The honey flow is happening!
The sheep need shearing! 
The garden pots suddenly need watering!
The vegetables are all ready to eat at once!
How did we ever cope with Spring when I was working at a paid job?

Looking out of the north facing door to the top of our hill in the distance. The self seeded cherry plum trees that shade part of the poultry run is a riot of pale pink. Before we know it, the trees will be in full leaf and there will be small plums falling on the ground for the chooks to gobble up.

The "lawn" needs mowing every week. I've taken over this job since proving to Brian that I wouldn't break his new lawn mower. I didn't know there was such a thing as a key start lawn mower, so none of that "Start ya bastard" stuff is required. Nor have my shoulders dislocated with the .#@&%* pull start rope. I quite enjoy doing it, the chooks love the fresh lawn clippings and the compost heaps get a boost from the clippings too.

Every day is packed full. Poor Brian! At work all week, and flat out farming all weekends and evenings during the week. I try to get him to bring in some help, but he loves doing it all, especially the shearing and crutching. We're lucky he's proficient at it, as shearers are getting very hard to find when they're needed.

It was time for some of my bottle fed babies to fly the coop, and to join our bigger sheep in paddocks on the other side of town. Gavin, Coco, Carrie and Tex joined Big Lambie and all the other lambs and ewes.
Brian backed up to the ramp and moved them out to find the other sheep. I couldn't get out of the car or speak at all. Not from sadness, although the feelings are bitter sweet at this stage of their lives, but if they heard my voice they would have wanted to follow me.

 Our supplies of honey dried up a couple of weeks ago, but now we're in full swing again with honey flowing from the hives.

The farmgate shop is stocked again, and the customers are showing their appreciation by emptying the shelves every couple of days.
Brian and I are both working around the clock to keep up with the demands of  honey and bee keeping supplies.
Our past workshop attendees who are now bee keepers themselves, are now appreciating the amount of energy (work) required to keep a bee hive operating healthily.
As well as being called out daily to collect swarms, we're getting requests for more bee boxes and frames to house the expanding bee hives.
As I sit here at 8pm on a Thursday evening,  I can hear the steady tap tapping sound of Brian making frames out in the shed. It's where he has spent every evening for the past eleven days until 9pm.

Part of today's harvest from the rented bee hives. The people who rented the hives for a year have finally been rewarded.

Only two bottle fed lambs remain, and Poppy the heifer calf is weaning off milk, so there is some excess milk again. If I stockpile milk for the babies over a couple of days, I have an entire ten litre bucket of fresh warm milk to put through the separator every few days. With all this lush green grass in our paddocks at present, her milk is incredibly creamy.

With too many jars of jam open in the fridge, I made some jam macaroon slices to use up some of it. OK... there was another reason! I needed a peace offering, and it had to be good.
Feeling most embarrassed after the sudden realisation that I forgot my hair cut appointment last week, I delivered a small hamper of goodies to my beautiful hairdresser, Rachel.
How did I forget? What was I thinking?
My eight weekly hair cut is my one luxury that I wouldn't miss for Quids! Hmmm... forgot to transfer the date from the appointment card into my diary, didn't I?
Or am I beginning on that slippery slide down to you know where?
Time to learn a new language perhaps... in my spare time!


  1. I can't believe how green it is down your way! We haven't mowed the lawn here for more than a month. I live in the Northern Rivers, where we normally get a lot of rain, but it's as dry as a chip at the moment. The back lawn is brown and crunches under your feet when you walk on it, in 18 years of living here I've never seen it this dry!

    1. Cheryl the table will be turned quite soon when our summer turns on the dry heat, the "lawn" dies off and that part of the yard becomes a bit of a dust bowl from the dogs galloping around on it. It will then be me who is envious of your greenery. I do hope you get rain soon.

  2. Look at your lush green grass! We could use some of that rain up this way, Sally, it's so dry here. Everything is parched and the grass is brown and crispy. A storm is forecast for later today and, if it comes to pass, it will be the first rain we've had in ages. Hopefully, it will fill the water tanks. Your honey looks golden and delicious, if I lived "down the road" I'd pop into your farmgate shop and buy some because I've run out! Meg:)

  3. Sally I am quite envious of the lushness of your garden. Most gardens in our area are brown and crunchy. We are lucky to have a bore and this is keeping our garden going. The lawn around the garden beds is green where it catches the water from the sprinkler. We haven't had any rain since Cyclone Debbie.
    I too have forgotten a hair appointment and have made up a cake to take in to say sorry. The cake was politely refused as all members of the salon were on a health and fitness kick. I ended up making some protein balls that were well received. I now get a phone call the day before to remind me.
    I would so love to have a backyard hive but know that there is a huge amount of work to make sure the hive is kept nice and healthy. So I continue to purchase our honey off a friend with hives. I do get my beeswax off him if he has any spare.
    That milk looks so nice. I can see butter, cheese, cream and yoghurt making happening at your place in the near future.
    Is Trevor still with you or has he been moved onto the big boy paddock?

  4. Jane I don't feel so bad about forgetting my appointment now.Rain will come to your area again one day, but I know how desperate it feels to go on and on with just dryness. Fortunate for you to have a bore, we would love one but we were refused permission. There sure is plenty of cheese, and all things dairy being made on a regular basis. Trevor is still very much with us, the little darling, and getting quite round, almost like a real sheep.


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