Thursday 23 September 2021

Wandering through August and September


In August, as we loomed closer towards lambing the second mob of merino ewes, and weaning the two six month old calves, it was becoming more apparent that we wouldn't get our week at the beach in the caravan. 

The previous three weeks had been wet, not complaining about that, but definitely was not conducive to a relaxing time at the beach wrangling two wet dogs in a teeny tiny Avan.  Then the weather cleared, we made plans to go, and the entire state of SA went into a week of lock-down. Thanks Covid.

When the lock-down was over our ewes had begun lambing and when Brian suggested I should go away for a few days on my own, (was my cabin fever showing?) I jumped at the opportunity.

A pet friendly Air-BnB cottage at the beach on the Yorke Peninsula was hastily booked, a few supplies loaded into the car, and the following day Meg and I hit the road.

Four days with my best four-legged mate. We walked and explored, I slept and read a lot, ate meals at odd times, and generally had a complete shut off from the busyness of farm life. 

 Mid August, calves weaned and a return to milking Honeysuckle and Poppy twice daily.  I didn't realise how much milk those big calves were consuming each day. 

On the evening of weaning day I milked seventeen litres from Honeysuckle. The following morning I milked eighteen litres. So her foster calf was drinking more than thirty litres of milk each day!  Aha, that would be why he was growing so big and fat.

Poppy also milked more than I realised, with fifteen litres per day over two milkings.  

What could I do with more than forty litres of milk every day?

Welcome to Lucy, the Angus cross calf purchased at three days old from our dairying friends.

She is the fourth foster calf for Honeysuckle during this lactation since her own calf was born in June last year (2020). Her milk just keeps coming. 

She isn't due to have another calf until mid next year (2022) if her latest attempt at AI (artificial insemination) is successful.   Her body condition is good, she enjoys babies, so it's the logical solution to grow another calf. 

Using the electric separator to take the cream from the milk.

Making this much butter every day.
A year's supply of butter. This is only one of the freezers.

But still there's too much milk so..........

We ordered another calf, and came home with these two.
Quarantined from Lucy and the other cows until their poos are a solid consistency and any signs of bacterial infections are ruled out.
And separated from each other at feeding time because Bambi (foreground) is a guts, gulping his milk quickly and then butting Blackie away from his. 
September and bee season is upon us again.  The weather has been cool, with just one day last week warm enough to begin harvesting honey. 

Lambs are dropping. There are lots of twins and this blurry photo is of Meri, one of  the rescued lambs from last year.  I didn't want to get close and upset her.

The hens are laying more than we can deal with so the incubator is full. 
There will be chicken meat for the freezer and replacement laying hens.

The days are flying by too fast.  When the sun goes down and all the chores are done, this is where I'll be. 
The granny square rug is almost finished and there's a lovely silver grey sheep fleece ready for spinning.
Thanks for dropping in, I hope you're finding some joy in your days despite what's going on out there in the world.  I'll be staying safe in my bubble for awhile to come. 

Cheers for now, Sally XX




  1. I so enjoy your updates!Thank you!

  2. Wow. Busy busy. Love the rug. We too have tried several time to get away...covid won. Lovely to read your news. Stay safe.

    1. I hope you've managed to get away for a holiday by now Brigie. Thanks, I have so enjoyed making this rug and am almost be sorry to finish it. XX

  3. Wow lots of butter...nice to get away for a few days and reset and I'm sure ending your evening crocheting is very relaxing. Have a good week.

    1. Kathy I think we're overindulging on the butter, but gosh it's so good. XX

  4. Sally you sure do like to stay extra busy. Those little calves are adorable. Bluey and I love their names as well. It wont be long and your farm will be full of the calls of baby animals.

    1. The baby numbers are building fast Jane. haha. XX

  5. Sally, good to hear from you. I love your rug. No lockdowns where we are thankfully and life is fairly normal apart from travel restrictions interstate and overseas.

    1. Hi Chel, Thank you, my new rug is getting plenty of use, our evenings are still just a bit chilly but not cold enough to light the fire. Glad to hear things are smooth sailing for you as it is now for us here in SA, but perhaps things are going to get a bit rocky soon. XX

  6. I fully understand your need for those 4 days at the beach! That is a busy life but everything and everyone looks healthy. A treasure.

    1. Hi Wendy, it was great to have some down time as it's now super busy here on the farm, which is usual for spring/summer. But yes I do believe the activity keeps us healthy and fit. XX

  7. wow you have been busy with the farm, busy recuperating from surgeries & injuries & not to mention fires, it's no wonder you've had no time to write!
    so glad you are all okay & totally on the mend; slowing down is good but not too much, it does catch up with you & before you know it, you can't do half the things that were once easy.
    the calves are gorgeous & so much milk still! do you still sell your excess at the farm gate shop?
    i do a little crochet occasionally, still have a blanket going that i started years ago; it's so relaxing doing the crafts
    glad you are back
    thanx for sharing

    1. Hi Selena, you are so right, slowing down too much is not good. I lost a lot of my fitness while the rib was so painful and it took a good month to regain fitness once it healed. Feeling so good again now and ready to take on raising pigs again, which I gave up doing two years ago because it was all getting a bit too much to handle. I may regret my decision come mid but if I want to eat good pork I have to grow it. I hope all is well with you. XX

  8. So much happening at Jembella Sally. Always something to keep you both busy.

    Your crochet is lovely, a good thing to do for relaxation. You are going to spin wool? That's great to hear, I love knitting or crocheting with homespun wool.

    Glad you had a nice little getaway. A break to the beach sounds wonderful right now.

    Take care.


  9. How cute are those calves? I really enjoyed catching up with your farm and holiday adventures. With all the rain we've had in our region, the cows on surrounding properties are fat and seem to be doing a lot more laying down, ruminating. Which is always great to see.

    Glad you guys have your food supplies organised, even if it is a lot of hard work. Being able to control some of your food, is a handy thing to have in these uncertain times.

  10. thank you for another wonderful blog post. fingers crossed for an update.
    many thanks kylie

  11. welcome back!
    wow, have you been busy! sorry to hear about the fire that took your grass paddocks, hoping it's all grown back now?
    beautiful granny square blanket, love the orange border!
    it was lovely seeing the calves & learning what you do with so much milk!
    it's a mess everywhere with the CoViD situation, should never have opened the borders.
    we're still getting over floods here, they left quite a mess which is going to take months to clean up.
    how are the dozen chickens doing? how big are those all those calves now?
    broken rib? you need a shallower bin for the feed & up higher, bones are probably getting a little brittle with age, not good, hope it's healed now.
    wonderful post, love reading about your farm life
    thanx for sharing

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