Sunday, 11 October 2015
Early October 2015 - Farm update - Chickens, Honey and New Things to make life easier
As anyone who loves "things" will know, it's not such an easy task, but having listened to an expert speaking on ABC radio during the past week about this very topic, I'm taking her advice and starting slowly.
Now I should let you know that my "things" are mostly collected over the years from Garage Sales and Op-shops, have little monetary value, but are lovely to look at and bring me pleasure.
Yesterday, sitting with a cup of tea and thinking about this, I moved the recipe books that sit on the bench to this little nook in the large kitchen dresser. I had to remove the decorative items from the dresser to other places, but a couple of pieces went onto the clearing out pile.
This pile I will photograph and place an advertisement on "Barossa Online Classifieds" Facebook page. Some items have gone into the pile to go to one of my favourite Op-shops. Yes, I know, I'll probably bring something else home when I go in there to deliver my donations.
I feel a sense of achievement already as my Kombucha jars have a little place of their own now, where the recipe books used to be, and that bench has more space for me to work at.
The plan is to clear some other shelves in the kitchen, but I'll wait for a scorching day when I'm confined indoors.
Early this week it was warm enough to extract some honey from the hives and to try out our new electric four frame extractor. It worked like a dream and I no longer need to wind the handle like I did with the old one that we used ever since we first started with bees in 2004.
Crikey, a few hours of honey extracting in the heat of summer was quite exhausting, but now it's a pleasure.
Brian researched on line and bought ours from on this site on Gumtree The follow up service from Sally Middleton was first class. She responded quickly to any of our questions and couldn't have been more helpful.
The tap had been broken during transit so Brian informed Sally who had a replacement tap sent to us within a few days.
A couple of phone conversations followed, and we have became great friends since. Hoping to visit her and husband Brian at their property at Woollombi in NSW some time in the future. (Another Sally and Brian team).
Some wonderful friendships have been formed over bees and honey sales.
An incubator full of seventy something eggs hatched successfully last week. This hen had gone broody so Brian had her sitting on a golf ball and was ready to accept the chicks when they hatched out. The chicks will grow and learn about being chickens from their surrogate mother. She can't cover them all to keep them warm, so inside their shed there is a globe with large light shade hanging a few centimetres above the ground for the excess chicks to sit underneath to keep warm.
The roosters will be for our table and the hens will be our replacement laying hens, with a few for sale as well.
The hay contractor was called two weeks ago to cut our hay paddocks. This year has become warm much earlier than usual. In previous years our hay was cut in mid October. The number of bales will be well down this year as the crop of mixed pasture grasses was not very tall. We have a few bales remaining from last year's cut and we will just have to use the hay sparingly and hope it sees us through until next year. Now we're waiting for the contractor to return and bale it into large round bales.
This bed is my "self seeding" garden where chooks are banned so the seeds can fall and grow where they are happy.
However, there is such an over abundance of the pesky earwigs here, it makes growing anything a real challenge, so we caught three hens and left them in this garden for two days. There are a couple of lettuce plants and some silver beet that I wanted to protect so I put up-turned buckets over them. It got quite hot so we moved the market umbrella to create a shady spot for them.
They scratched and gobbled up earwigs busily, each laying an egg among the rhubarb.
Thanks for visiting today and don't forget to leave a comment so I can look at your blog too.
I'm off to plant some beans and cucumbers now.