Saturday, 19 September 2015

Simply Spring

"The attraction of simplicity is mysterious because it draws us in a completely opposite direction from where most of the world seems to be going: away from conspicuous display, accumulation, egoism, and public visibility — toward a life more silent, humble, and transparent than anything known to the extroverted culture of consumerism."

~ Mark A. Burch

Talk about taking the art of trading to the very limit!
Plans were made with a friend during the week to trade some of Daisy's milk for some of her chook eggs. We agreed to meet up at the Farmer's Market this morning and we duly made our trade transaction.
From there I had to drive to Tanunda to deliver some jams and honey to Nosh Cafe, but along the way I was distracted by a "Garage Sale" sign. Of course I had to stop for a look. Got talking to the owner of the house and although she was selling some most beautiful items,  my house is so cluttered,  buying more things just isn't an option. After all, I am trying valiantly to de-clutter, but occasional special finds can sometimes be had.
Somehow, the subject came up that I had a farm gate stall, and by chance I have eggs in the car for sale. She asked to have some and perhaps we could trade something. So I took some cuttings from her garden and a couple of lovely little hand embroidered old handkerchiefs. I know the perfect person who will love them.
No money changed hands, but after setting off from home this morning with a bucket of this morning's milk, I returned with eggs, plant cuttings and the perfect gift of the hankies for daughter Lizzie.

Lavender is due to have her first calf next month. Brian trained her to go into the bales when she was young, so now we're refreshing her memory in preparation for her first milking soon after the birth.
She is a Murray Grey/Jersey cross breed that we bought from a dairy when she was two days old, hand raised her on milk, and now at two years old she is about to calve.
A perfect sized little cow for our small farm and will hopefully give us plenty of Jersey milk and raise her Angas calf. This will be the first calf from our young bull, Mulga Bill.

Leaning down to get a picture of her undeveloped udder and I noticed she has five teats!

Well, this could be interesting.

 Daisy's calves (her own plus her two fosters) are all five months old now and their suckling was taking its toll on her teats, so the day after returning home from Nepal we weaned them.  Three days of noisy bellowing cow and calves followed, but all is quiet again.
We had no way of calculating just how much milk she was producing whilst we were share milking her, but once she settled down and started letting her milk down, which took a couple of days, we're getting 25 litres per day.

An order has been made for two more Angas calves from a friend's dairy, but until they are born, we're milking twice a day. Twenty five litres per day! Did I mention that?
What to do with it all? Cheeses of all description, yoghurt, icecream, butter etc.
We can't possibly use it all, so are separating the cream out with the old milk separator and making lots of butter, selling the excess in the Farm-gate stall.
When the pigs arrive soon they will consume some of the milk, and the chooks are getting a big bowl of yoghurt each day to boost their protien intake.
A large bucket of milk with a small bit of yoghurt added initially (with a lid on) sits out in the sun.  I take out a bowl full each day for the chooks and add more milk to top it up. By the next day it has become yoghurt again.
The whey is tipped onto the garden or into the compost heap.

First job after being away for a month was crutching the ewes. This weather is perfect for fly strike. Brian had the help of a young man keen to learn all aspects of farming. It is so very heartening to see young people take an interest in this kind of life.

A couple of old laying hens needed to be culled so, not wanting to waste anything, I took the meat off the bones and put it through the mincer.  The frames were kept for making stock and the skin kept to make a stew for the dogs.
The hens would have been so old and tough. A bit like the story of how to cook a Galah. Throw in a rock with the Galah and veges, when the rock is tender throw away the Galah and eat the rock. Or something like that.
Today I made wanton soup with the stock and some of the mince. It was so tasty.

The coriander plants in the garden needed trimming right back, so I tried freezing some. Chopped up roughly, shoved into ice cube trays and topped up with water.  Once frozen I stored them in plastic bags in the freezer. They will be a life saver during those in between times when there is no coriander ready for picking.


  1. Thanks for all the tips. Gorgeous photo's as usual. Annie. :)

  2. WOW love the blog & living in a sustainable way which saves money & most importantly is sympathetic in caring for the environment. All the animals look content & containers are recycled for further use, not just put in landfill. Lots of useful hints. You both are doing a wonderful job.

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments ladies. Janine, you have sharp eyes to notice the recycled containers. I scrounge used containers from my friends at work because the conundrum I have is that because most of what we eat is made from scratch, I don't get those lovely containers. At present, with our glut of milk and cream, every single container is full and in the freezer. Ice cream containers are gold to me! However, I do hope you don't think I would use the product that is written on that yellow plastic container in the photo. Margarine!!! Oooooh horrible Frankenstein food.


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